Genentech is building a biologics manufacturing facility at its campus in Oceanside, California. Credit: Genentech.
The new facility is expected to be operational in early 2025. Credit: Genentech.
The Oceanside facility will use 25% less energy, 28% less water, and 14% less carbon than conventional plants. Credit: Genentech.
The facility’s development is part of Genentech’s investment of around $450m for setting up advanced manufacturing capabilities in Oceanside. Credit: Genentech.

US-based biotechnology company Genentech, a member of Roche Group, will build a next-generation biologics manufacturing facility at its existing campus in Oceanside, California, for sustainable production of small-batch commercial biologics.

A ground-breaking ceremony for the new manufacturing facility took place in February 2023. The facility will be one of the most advanced commercial-scale biotech production facilities in the world, as well as Roche’s first facility for dedicated full-scale commercial production.

The facility is being developed as part of an approximately $450m investment that Genentech is making to advance the manufacturing capabilities at its Oceanside campus. It forms part of a larger $700m investment by the company for setting up advanced manufacturing capabilities in California.

The Oceanside facility is expected to be operational in early 2025 and create around 150 jobs in operations.

Location of Genentec’s biologics manufacturing facility

The new manufacturing facility will be located 35 miles north of San Diego, California. Genentech’s Oceanside campus was selected for the new facility due to its proximity to a talented workforce and the company’s Clinical Supply Center in South San Francisco, California.

Oceanside is a seaside community with around 200,000 inhabitants on the Southern California coast, midway between Los Angeles and San Diego.

Details of Genentech’s new biologics manufacturing facility

The new facility will be equipped with modern equipment and use current manufacturing technologies, including single-use technology, automation, and digital manufacturing, to develop biologics in small batches while expediting the manufacturing of commercial medicines for patients.

The in-house process improvements are intended to increase flexibility, speed and output under the same roof.

The facility aims to act as a new model for the rapid and efficient manufacturing of treatments, such as personalised and rare disease medications, for smaller patient groups. It will be equipped with modular equipment to enable the simultaneous production of multiple medicines and substantially decrease the time required to transition from the manufacturing of one drug to another.

The facility will be equivalent to the Clinical Supply Center, allowing devices to be transferred quickly between the two locations.

Sustainable features of Genentech’s biologics manufacturing facility

The Oceanside facility is designed to be efficient and use fewer resources, making it more environmentally friendly than conventional manufacturing facilities.

To improve its sustainability, the plant will use 25% less energy, 28% less water, and 14% less carbon than conventional plants. In addition, it will not return any plastic waste to landfill.

Details of Genentech’s existing Oceanside campus

The Oceanside campus comprises seven buildings built on approximately 575,000ft2, covering 60 acres. The campus is used for multi-product manufacturing, with its capacities ranging from commercial scale to launch.

The facility has a production capacity of 90,000l and is licensed for the manufacturing of Actemra, Rituxan, and Avastin bulk drug substances.

Marketing commentary on Genentech

Genentech is a biotechnology company based in South San Francisco, California. It is a pioneer of the procedures and technologies used for the commercial production of complex biologic medications.

Genentech became a member of the Roche Group in March 2009; the two companies’ pharmaceutical operations in the US were subsequently combined. Genentech’s South San Francisco campus serves as the headquarters for Roche’s pharmaceutical operations in the US, while Genentech Research and Early Development continues to operate as a separate business unit within Roche.

Roche and Genentech currently have manufacturing facilities in 11 locations worldwide. The Clinical Supply Centre, along with the new facility in Oceanside, will serve as a model for the company for future small-batch, flexible manufacturing facilities.

Genentech invested $15bn in research and development worldwide in 2021, in addition to its ongoing investments in manufacturing innovation.