Agenus (Lexington, Mass.) has purchased 120 acres in the California Biomanufacturing Center located in Vacaville near Sacramento.
Agenus specializes in immuno-oncology products, which span checkpoint antibodies, cell therapies, vaccines and adjuvants.
Agenus purchased the parcels from A.G. Spanos, a housing developer.
Vacaville is aiming to spur the growth of its biotech industry. Currently, the largest biotech hubs in the state are in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.
“We are excited to expand our manufacturing and process research capabilities in Vacaville as we contemplate the commercialization of our exciting pipeline of high-tech cancer treatments,” said Garo Armen, CEO of Agenus, in a statement. “The city of Vacaville is a true partner with their commitment; Vacaville’s close proximity to talent and its high quality of life offerings were amongst the key considerations in our decision.”
Vacaville, a city of approximately 100,000, aims to become a global center for biomanufacturing and advanced manufacturing. Vacaville has developed a Biotechnology Fast Track permitting program for biotech companies setting up shop in the city.
Genentech acquired land for a biologics manufacturing facility in the city in 1994, laying the groundwork for a biomanufacturing hub.
The city and A.G. Spanos collaborated on the Biotechnology and Advanced Manufacturing initiative in October of 2020.
Agenus will be the first biopharma company located in the biomanufacturing center.