US based Biogen Idec has given final approval for building an extensive factory in Hillerød, north of Copenhagen, Biogen Idec's first production facility outside the US. The factory project was recently cast in doubt because Tysabri, Biogen Idec's promising drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, was withdrawn from the market. Tysabri was the main drug expected to be produced in Hillerød.
At a press conference in Washington DC last week, Paul Coleman, head of Biogen Idec in Denmark said: "It is with great pleasure that I can say, that Biogen Idec's board of directors have decided that the project in Hillerød will continue as planned, and that there also will be activities transferred from Holland to Denmark".
The future of Tysabri is still unclear, but Biogen Idec has other products which could be produced at the Hillerød plant including Avonex for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, Amevive for the treatment of psoriasis and Rituxan for the treatment of lymph node cancer. The news is reported by financial daily newspaper Børsen.
Biogen Idec is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, employs 4,000 people in 21 countries and is the world's third largest biotech company. In 2003, it generated revenues of DKK 10.3 bn (USD 1.8 bn). Biogen Idec concentrates its research on neurology, cancer and dermatology.
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