SD at Center of Shire’s Plan for Regenerative Medicine Business

6/14/12Follow @bvbigelow

Shire plans to spend more than $100 million to develop a new campus in San Diego, where the Irish specialty pharmaceutical wants its regenerative medicine acquisitions to coalesce into a $1 billion business, according to Kevin Rakin, Shire’s Regenerative Medicine President.

“We believe we’re on the front lines in a new era [with regenerative medicine],” says Rakin. “We’re one of the few commercially oriented companies. A lot of other companies are doing [research] and early stage [development], and we want to be the partner of choice that figures out how to scale up manufacturing, and how to commercialize.”

Earlier this week, Shire (NASDAQ: SHPGY) said it plans to build a 150,000 square-foot facility in San Diego that would combine manufacturing, corporate offices, and lab space for Advanced BioHealing (ABH), the San Diego-based company that Shire acquired last year for $750 million. Rakin was the Westport, CT-based CEO of Advanced BioHealing (ABH) before the acquisition, and he now oversees ABH as part of Shire’s broader initiative in regenerative medicine.

Construction of Shire’s new San Diego facility, which is expected to begin next year, will double current production of Dermagraft, the bioengineered living skin that ABH developed to treat diabetic skin ulcers. The initial expansion is expected to generate several hundred new jobs in San Diego, and could grow bigger over time—much bigger. Shire’s 28-acre site is big enough to accommodate 800,000 square feet of facilities.

“It’s a campus with the ability to add additional manufacturing parts,” Rakin says. “As we see other … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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