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A Site Selection Web Exclusive, August 2012
WEB Exclusive story

Shire Plans San Diego Campus

The Irish pharma giant targets growth for its new regenerative medicine division.

Dermagraft, used to treat diabetic foot ulcers, is Shire Regenerative Medicine’s primary product.
Photo courtesy of Shire

Shire Regenerative Medicine’s current manufacturing facility is in La Jolla, Calif.
Shire Regenerative Medicine’s current manufacturing facility is in La Jolla, Calif.

ultinational biopharmaceutical company Shire plans a major new campus in San Diego for its Shire Regenerative Medicine division, formerly known as Advanced BioHealing. Shire has signed a lease agreement with BioMed Realty Trust, a REIT that specializes in the life sciences industry.

Shire says the new campus will provide the division with the increased capacity it needs to meet future demand for its lead product, Dermagraft, while offering additional space and infrastructure to manufacture new regenerative medicine products, in alignment with the business' strategic growth plan. Shire acquired Advanced BioHealing in 2011 for US$750 million. It changed its new division's name in July of this year. Dermagraft is a bio-engineered skin substitute indicated for use in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.

"We are committed to investing in and expanding our Regenerative Medicine business, and with the signing of this lease, we are pleased to confirm and build our presence in San Diego with BioMed Realty as our real estate partner," said Kevin Rakin, Shire Regenerative Medicine's president and former CEO of Advanced BioHealing. "This new campus will give us the flexibility and increased capacity we need to develop and manufacture new regenerative medicine therapies and build our foundation for continued growth in this exciting field."

The campus, located in the north San Diego neighborhood of Sorrento Mesa, will be built on two parcels of land comprising 28 acres (11.3 hectares) that BioMed Realty Trust acquired for $47 million in June. Shire Regenerative Medicine intends to construct office, laboratory, warehouse and manufacturing facilities totaling in excess of 150,000 sq. ft. (13,935 sq. m.) on the site beginning in early 2013. The site can accommodate future expansion of up to a total of 800,000 sq. ft. (74,320 sq. m.).

Phase I of the site development will house the company's manufacturing and associated support operations, commercial operations, corporate, and administrative functions. This expansion could create several hundred jobs once the regenerative medicine campus is operational. The company plans to maintain its current Dermagraft manufacturing facility on North Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla, which currently employs nearly 200.

"Shire's commitment to growing its Regenerative Medicine business in San Diego is important to a region where one in 10 people remain unemployed," said U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray. "This investment will not only provide additional opportunities for rewarding, high-paying jobs, but will ensure that San Diego remains a leader in the development of innovative patient care."

Shire expects to begin construction of the new campus in 2013, with initial occupancy targeted for 2014.

"This site is very well-located between Alere, Inc., and the Scripps Proton Therapy Center in the Sorrento Mesa life science submarket of San Diego, and should serve as an excellent home for Shire for many years to come," said Alan D. Gold, chairman and CEO of BioMed Realty. "We are very pleased to enter into this partnership, which is the culmination of extensive, collaborative efforts by both companies to identify and execute on a real estate solution which will fully support their development and manufacturing needs. We look forward to working closely with the Shire team to develop this future multi-phase campus for the development and commercialization of important regenerative medicine therapies."

Shire, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, has major operations in the U.S., the U.K. and Switzerland. Its U.S. headquarters is in Wayne, Pa. The company employs more than 5,200 globally. In addition to its Regenerative Medicine business, it operates a Specialty Pharmaceuticals division and a Human Genetic Therapies business. Shire was formed in 1986 and has grown largely through acquisitions, acquiring 20 companies since 1995.

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