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The fate of Biogen IDEC's withdrawn multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri looked bleaker today as the company announced the sale of a California plant built to manufacture the drug to Genentech.
The acquisition of the plant in Oceanside, Calif. was completed for approximately $408 million in cash plus $9 million in closing costs, Genentech said.
Genentech will manufacture its cancer drug Avastin at the facility.
The plant employs approximately 430 people with more than half expected to become Genentech employees by August.
"We can't speculate on the future of Tysabri until we complete our safety profile," Amy Ryan, a Biogen Idec spokesperson told MM&M. Biogen Idec said in April that the company doesn't expect the safety profile of Tysabri to be finished "until the second half of the year."
Earlier this month, reports of a possible fifth case of a rare and deadly brain infection linked to the multiple sclerosis Tysabri surfaced.
Biogen Idec and Tysabri co-marketer Elan voluntarily withdrew the drug from the market in March after a confirmed fatal case and one suspected case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare and frequently deadly disease of the central nervous system.