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CMC/Icos Beefs Up Biotech Manufacturing in Bothell

Xconomy Seattle — 

CMC/Icos Biologics is growing in Bothell. The Danish company is planning to double its workforce from 135 people, and quintuple its manufacturing capacity by mid-2010, according to this report in The Seattle Times.

It’s a dose of some needed good news for the region, after Eli Lilly & Co. axed most of the 500 Icos workers in Bothell when it acquired the company in 2007 to obtain full rights to the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis. Lilly didn’t get rid of everything, however. It sold some of Icos’ assets to CMC, specifically for manufacturing biotech drugs.

Icos began making drugs for other companies under contracts in 2000, after disappointing results in clinical trials left it with excess capacity for making its own internally developed drugs, according to the Times report. CMC now sees a bigger opportunity in using that equipment to make drugs for other companies, and is in talks with companies on both coasts, says Gustavo Mahler, CMC/Icos Biologics president. I’m planning an interview with Mahler on Thursday, so we’ll tell you more in this space about why CMC/Icos sees this as the time and place to bulk up on biotech drugmaking.