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Genentech Announced as Overall Winner at Facility of the Year Awards Celebratory Reception & Banquet

Marcy Sanford
Genentech Announced as Overall Winner at Facility of the Year Awards Celebratory Reception & Banquet

Close to 500 people celebrated the 2023 Facility of the Year Award (FOYA) Winners at a reception and banquet Sunday night, 15 October, during the 2023 ISPE Annual Meeting & Expo at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Genentech was announced as the 2023 FOYA Overall Winner.

The evening kicked off with the FOYA Committee’s, Past Chair, Dave DiProspero, Senior Fellow | Director of Pharmaceutical Process Technology at CRB, serving as Master of Ceremonies for his 13th year, welcoming everyone to the celebration. ISPE President & CEO Tom Hartman thanked the FOYA Judges, planning committee, sponsors, and ISPE staff who made the program possible and said “FOYA, tells the stories of pharmaceutical industry projects that overcame seemingly unsurmountable odds and recognizes the unsung heroes who design the facilities.” He added, “Everyone of you make a big difference in the lives of patients.”

Facility of the Year Committee Chair Jim Grunwald, Senior Vice President Business Development, Arcadis DPS Group, encouraged attendees to consider nominating their company’s project for FOYA. “Choosing to submit an abstract for the FOYA program is a unique and rewarding adventure,” Grunwald expressed. “Step back and take a moment before you launch your kickoff meeting, ask your team, does our project have a story worth sharing, are we on the cusp of something innovative? If the answer is yes, then light the fire and take the FOYA journey! Your success is our success; we all learn from shared experiences.”

After dinner, the FOYA Judges Committee Chair, Tony Crincoli, Vice President of Global Engineering, Catalent Pharma Solution, recognized the judges and explained the judging process. “Tonight’s winners join an elite league of 122 winners from 20 countries around the globe,” he said. “Winners of these awards exemplify the ideals of FOYA and demonstrate ISPE’s dedication to enhancing patient health through advancements in pharmaceutical manufacturing.”

FOYA Awards Were Presented in the Following Categories:

Innovation – Chugai Pharma Manufacturing Co., Ltd for their project FJ2 located in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Chugai Pharmaceutical’s mission was to create an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) manufacturing facility that sets the standard for patient and worker safety through innovative solutions. The FJ2 project focused on safety throughout the entire project design and employed innovative methods to achieve this goal. The facility incorporates various cutting-edge building design and equipment concepts to ensure the protection of both the product and workers. Shinya Takuma, Vice President and Head of Manufacturing Technology Division, Chugai Pharma Manufacturing Co., Ltd., explained the containment challenges the company overcame to develop their facility and said, “Our facility is shining to receive the award in Innovation. We could not have succeeded without each member’s contribution. I’m so very thankful for all the team members who contributed to the project.”

Operations – WuXi Biologics for their project WuXi Biologics Contract Research, Development and Manufacturing Organization (CRDMO) located in County Louth, Ireland. Their mission was to deliver a state-of-the-art drug substance manufacturing facility, as part of the global operations of WuXi Biologics, while upholding the highest standards of worker safety, engaging with the local community, and upholding an accelerated schedule. This inspiring project proves that facilities can be developed on a highly accelerated schedule, using innovative solutions while complying with regulatory requirements, overcoming unknown barriers, cooperating with the community, and upholding project success and product safety. Brendan McGrath, Site Head & Vice President Manufacturing, WuXi Biologics Co., Ltd. said, “We feel truly honored to be recognized by ISPE. It was truly an integrated project, safety was key, and the subcontractors and contractors worked as one team.”

Supply Chain - Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. for their project, "NISHWAS" The Breath of Relief, located in Maharashtra, India. Their mission was to provide millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by adapting a state-of-the-art facility in record time. Serum achieved the exceptional feat of producing COVID-19 vaccines at a commercial scale in just six months, despite the challenging work environment created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. By employing real-time project risk management coupled with close multi-disciplinary coordination, Serum met the urgent demand and advanced its public health mission. Ultimately, Serum supplied nearly 1.9 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to over 90 countries worldwide. Kedar Gokhale, Projects and Engineering Director, Serum Institute of India Pvt., Ltd. said, “We set up a world-class manufacturing facility and produced the vaccine in an unprecedented short time. It was a breath of relief because the vaccine was distributed to every part of India and more than 90 other countries. Today we are one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world, supplying vaccines to more than 150 countries at a very affordable price.”

Pharma 4.0 and FOYA Overall Winner - Genentech for their project Genentech South San Francisco Clinical Supply Center located in San Francisco, California, USA. Their Genentech Clinical Supply Center project is recognized for being a role model of how the application of bold objectives and end-to-end planning, innovation in applying digital technologies, deep team alignment and integration, and challenging paradigms all lead to a cutting-edge manufacturing facility that delivers improved outcomes in terms of construction, safety, sustainability, facility productivity, and improved patient access to innovative medicines. Jeff Davis, Executive Director and Site Head, Genentech, said, “We had the opportunity to pull together the best of the best. We were challenged to go beyond what we have today to think about the future and think creatively and come up with new solutions. We can talk all we want about design considerations but the reason we’re here today is for the patients. The work we do today is bringing hope to patients for better lives in the future.”

Social Impact - Takeda SA for their project Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Manufacturing Building located in Lessines, Belgium. Takeda’s mission was to establish a manufacturing facility that would provide reliable in-house manufacturing capacity for the supply of plasma-derived therapies while minimizing the environmental impact and promoting the local community. They became the first pharmaceutical manufacturing site in the world to recycle its wastewater to drinking water standards and reuse it in the production process. Takeda's achievement in wastewater recycling and reuse has a far-reaching impact on the pharmaceutical world by addressing critical environmental challenges, inspiring innovation, and positioning Takeda as a trailblazer in sustainability within the industry. Geoffrey Pot, General Manager Operations - Site Head, Takeda, “The best way to predict the future, is to create it. The award is the result of 12,000 people dedicated to not only serving patients but to also protect and save the planet.”

Social Impact - Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. for their project "NISHWAS" The Breath of Relief located in Maharashtra, India. By delivering the much-needed COVID vaccine to a populous country like India, this project was an invaluable asset to India’s resilient fight against COVID and helped keep its cities open for business. These efforts impacted not only India but also the many other developing countries that administered Serum vaccines. Serum’s project “NISHWAS” exemplifies how to deliver in record time a robust pharmaceutical manufacturing response to serve humanity’s unmet needs in conditions of crisis. Umesh Shaligram, Executive Director and Board Member, Serum Institute of India Pvt., Ltd. thanked all of his colleagues who worked day in and day out to accomplish, “Our life-saving mission to make vaccines available and cost-effectively.” He added, “30 million lives have been saved since Serum Institute was founded.”

Honorable Mention - Nexus Pharmaceuticals for their project Tomorrow – Aseptic Manufacturing Facility located in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, USA. Their Project Tomorrow showcases Nexus Pharmaceuticals’ consistent focus on meeting patient needs for the long term. While establishing an impressive design and technology aligned with current industry standards, Project Tomorrow also includes thoughtful plans for maintaining quality standards while facility capacity and capability expand. Omair Ahmed, Chief Operating Officer, Nexus Pharmaceuticals, said, “My parents started the company 20 years ago. When they came to US in the 80s, if you’d told them then their son would be up on stage accepting an award, they would have laughed. Their dream was to supply safe, generic medications to Americans and prove that domestic manufacturing is possible.” He encouraged attendees to, “Raise a toast to my parents and all the dreamers out there.”

The evening ended with a champagne toast to all the winners and the announcement of the 2023 ISPE FOYA Overall Winner, Genentech.


Apply for a chance to join this prestigious list of innovative game-changers and let ISPE honor your organization as a 2024 FOYA program winner. Applications must be submitted by 4 December 2023.

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