Fluor Corporation has been chosen by VaxGen Inc. to provide services for the development of two biopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. Both facilities will be capable of manufacturing VaxGen’s AIDS vaccine candidate as well as a variety of human therapeutic proteins using mammalian cell fermentation. The contract value to Fluor is approximately USD 15 million and will be booked in phases. At the first site, in Incheon, South Korea, Fluor will provide conceptual and preliminary engineering services for a major biologics manufacturing facility capable of manufacturing at least 200 million doses annually of VaxGen’s investigational AIDS vaccine. The facility, built on a 23-acre site, will be owned by Celltrion Inc., a joint venture between VaxGen and a group of South Korean investors. Following extensive facility commissioning, the Incheon complex will be ready for commercial operation by 2006 and will include capacity for the manufacture of additional biopharmaceutical products, either from VaxGen or other companies. At the second site, in South San Francisco, Fluor will perform engineering, procurement, construction management and validation services. Following completion, which is tentatively scheduled for late 2004, the site will support the licensing and commercial launch of VaxGen’s AIDS vaccine if it proves safe and effective at the conclusion of Phase III clinical trials next year. The facility will be capable of making up to 10 million doses per year of the vaccine candidate and may also be equipped to make VaxGen’s anthrax vaccine candidate.
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