Updated Friday, December 21, 2012 at 07:19 AM
Dendreon said it has sold its New Jersey manufacturing plant to drug giant Novartis for $43 million.
The Seattle biotechnology company said the deal means about 100 employees at the Morris Plains plant “will have the opportunity to retain their jobs.”
The 173,000-square-foot New Jersey plant was the first of three built by Dendreon as it planned rapid growth in sales of its pioneering Provenge immunotherapy for prostate cancer.
But sales have failed to hit the high targets set by Dendreon, and the company said earlier this year it would close the New Jersey plant as part of an effort to shed jobs and cut costs.
Dendreon completed the first phase of the plant in 2006 and used it to manufacture Provenge from individual patients’ blood for clinical trials. It began a two-phase expansion of the plant in 2009, according to regulatory filings.
The company’s total investment in New Jersey is unclear. In June 2009 it said the maximum cost of construction for the expansion would be $50 million.