Polaris Pharmaceuticals extends operations in Northern California

Vacaville Mayor Ron Rowlett (right) meets with Vacaville’s Polaris Principal Engineer Mary Scomona, Business Development Manager Jose Ortiz and Facility Director Matt Mitchell (left to right).

San Diego–based Polaris Pharmaceuticals has purchased 15 acres from the City of Vacaville, California, within the Vaca Valley Business Park. 

Polaris already has a contract development and manufacturing site in the city in addition to operations in San Diego and Chengdu, China. 

In Vacaville, the company plans to construct an additional biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility. 

Polaris established the Vacaville site in 2002, adding a cGMP facility for biologics in 2005 

“We are excited to expand our manufacturing and process research capabilities in Vacaville,” said Chris Huxsoll, senior vice president of operations of Polaris Pharmaceuticals, in a statement. 

Home to the non-profit C…

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An inside look at Northern California’s growing biomanufacturing hub 

Vacaville shown on Google Maps

Vacaville, Calif. is home to a burgeoning biotech hub.

And there’s more to Vacaville’s biomanufacturing industry than Genentech’s presence there. “Genentech is just one of the biotech companies to open in Vacaville,” said Don Burrus, the city’s director of economic development services. “We’ve had biomanufacturers here for almost 30 years.”

Genentech set up shop in the city, located 35 miles southeast of Sacramento, in the late 1990s. The company acquired land in the city in 1994.

More recently, Lexington, Mass.–based Agenus purchased 120 acres in the city.

When Burrus began working for the city in June 2020, he collaborated with economists and other economic development experts to analyze the city’s economic drivers.

“We were able to determine that biomanufacturing and advanced manufacturing were big economic drivers,” Burrus said.


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Biotech Agenus acquires 120 acres in biomanufacturing center in California

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 approxima…

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