AGC Biologics Inc. will manufacture a drug for thyroid-related eye illnesses in its Boulder plant, making it the first treatment confirmed to be made in the soon-to-be-operational factory.
In a statement, the Japanese contract-drug manufacturer said it will produce the majority of Horizon Therapeutics plc’s (Nasdaq: HZNP) Tepezza, which treats Graves’ disease and other conditions caused by overactive thyroid glands in the throat.
When the thyroid overproduces hormones, a patient’s immune system attacks certain tissues around the body, including around the eyes. That gives many patients bulging eyes, and severe cases make it difficult or impossible to fully close the eyelids.
Horizon believes could be worth $3 billion in revenue annually, according to a launch presentation from when the drug hit the market in January.
AGC purchased the Boulder location at 5500 Airport Blvd. for $40 million last June from AstraZeneca plc (Nasdaq: AZN), with state support in the form of $6.4 million in job-creation incentives. AstraZeneca left the area in March 2018, leaving its plants in Boulder and Longmont unoccupied.
AGC has previously said it expects the plant to pass inspections and begin full operations by next April.
The announcement comes days after Boulder biopharmaceutical developer MiRagen Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: MGEN) purchased another clinical-stage drug developer specifically to take control of its thyroid eye disease treatment candidate.
In an investor presentation, MiRagen said it now plans to target drugs with no competition like Tepezza by introducing or licensing alternatives at differing price points.
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