Genetics Institute Inc. (GI) is opting out of its interest inWelGen, the manufacturing partnership it formed in 1986 withBurroughs Wellcome Co. of Research Triangle Park, N.C.

GI will get $24 million from Burroughs, which the Cambridge,Mass., company will plough right back into its manufacturingfacility in Andover, Mass.

"At one time, WelGen provided us with flexibility for rapidlyexpanding manufacturing capacity," said Garen Bohlin, GI's vicepresident. "However, with our sizeable and highly productiveoperation in Andover, it now makes more sense to buildmanufacturing capacity in Massachusetts than to establishseparate operations in another state [Rhode Island]."

When GI (NASDAQ:GENIZ) first formed the WelGen partnership,explained Melinda Lindquist, GI's director of corporatecommunications, "we anticipated we would potentially beproducing large volumes of proteins, such as t-PA and FactorVIII."

Since then, she said, GI has increased its manufacturingefficiency for proteins.

Also, the number of proteins the company was making for itslicensees has decreased. GI's manufacturing facility in Andover,which has four independently operable manufacturing suites,can fulfill the company's short-to-mid-term product goals,Lindquist told BioWorld. -- Jennifer Van Brunt

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