US-based drug maker Genentech is planning to expand its fill/finish facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, with an investment of approximately $125m.

The expansion forms a part of the company’s strategy to increase manufacturing capacity to meet biotechnology and pharmaceutical products demand.

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This will add an additional production line to the existing two production lines at Hillsboro facility, which packages bulk drugs into individual doses and vials for distribution, reports oregonlive.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said: "Genentech’s investment in its Hillsboro campus and Oregon’s robust workforce underscore that Oregon is a great place for all businesses to build their future and for the biotech sector to grow."

"Genentech’s plan to expand its Hillsboro facility represents an important milestone in the industry’s growth trajectory in Oregon."

The investment is expected to create 100 new manufacturing jobs at the site over the next five years, a move that will bring the total number of Genentech jobs in Oregon to more than 500.

Opened in 2010, the Hillsboro site houses an advanced fill/finish facility, and a warehousing and distribution centre.

Commenting on the expansion, Oregon Bioscience Association executive director Dennis McNannay said: "Genentech’s plan to expand its Hillsboro facility represents an important milestone in the industry’s growth trajectory in Oregon.

"Combined with other recent achievements like the historic Knight Cancer Challenge, Oregon is positioned to significantly expand our life sciences manufacturing footprint."

A member of the Roche Group, Genentech was the first biotechnology company to scale-up protein manufacturing successfully from the small quantities used for research to the much larger quantities needed for clinical trials and marketing.

The company has more FDA-approved manufacturing capacity for the production of biotech medicines, when compared with any other company.

Image: Genentech headquarters campus in south San Francisco, US. Photo: courtesy of Coolcaesar via Wikipedia.