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Bioprocessing & Manufacturing

Genentech: Facilities Do Not Always Begin with Bricks

Posted by on 02 March 2023
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Speaking at BPI West 2023 in San Diego, California yesterday, Jeff Davis, executive director, head of SFF clinical supply center at Genentech — part of the Roche Group — shared details of the recent $450 million expansion at its Oceanside, California site in February 2023. The site will complement the recently completed $250 million Clinical Supply Center in South San Francisco (SSF). 

But when thinking about building a facility, the question “where are we going with the future?” must be asked, said Davis.

He explained that historically factories have focused on economy of scale. While this approach will be needed for some future sites, he put forward the idea that “we need to supplement them with personalized treatment [facilities] and to do this, we need to create an overall approach and start to design facilities thinking about the future needs.

Though the physical buildout and selection of technology for the facility is incredibly important, Davis said Genentech’s approach “ends with technology choices but starts with our purpose, vision, and people.”  

In terms of people, he outlined engagement, flexibility, and speed as criteria that has been identified as markers of success. In addition to this, he said Genentech needs to “make sure we create a welcoming environment, and we need to be able to adapt and adjust” in a rapidly changing world.  

Company culture  

To decide on design criteria, Davis said Genentech thought about its company culture, what it will look like in the future, how it can be built, how it can be reinforced, and “how do we adjust it overtime, as culture is not a static organization.” 

Davis claimed the task of looking into company culture before making constructional decisions means “you then can move to being able to sort the organizational structure” of the facility and thus, then “step into building competency” so employees have the ability and confidence to thrive in the plant once operational.

This article was originally published in BioProcess Insider.

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