B-I says Chinese JV Could Elevate Domestic Manufacturing Industry

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Boehringer ingelheim, Investment, Pharmacology, China

B-I says Chinese JV Could Elevate Domestic Manufacturing Industry
B-I says Chinese JV Could Elevate Domestic Manufacturing Industry
Boehringer Ingelheim will build a biomanufacturing facility in Shanghai in a strategic alliance designed to cater for Pharmas nervous about setting up plants in China.

The Germany-headquartered pharma company plans to invest €35m ($46m) and will partner Zhangjiang Biotech & Pharmaceutical Base Development Company in building a cGMP plant to offer a range of development and clinical services to both Chinese and multi-national customers

“China is in its infancy stage with regards to the production of affordable high-quality structure-complex biological drugs such as antibodies,”​ spokesman Steven Zhang told Outsourcing-Pharma.com. “A great deal of processing elements await significant improvements, which might make foreign companies think twice before setting up facilities in China.”

He added that the site in Pudong, Shanghai - which is is scheduled to commence operations in 2016 and will create 65 new jobs. - will be the first facility utilising mammalian cell culture technology established by a foreign biopharma manufacturer. 

According to the R&D Based Pharmaceutical Association Committee - a division of China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment - the current Chinese biopharmaceutical market is worth 18bn RMB ($2.9bn) and will continue to grow.

Local CMO Wuxi capitalised on such demand when it opened what it said was China’s first EU and US GMP biologics facility​ last October, partnering with MedImmune – AstraZeneca’s biologics unit – in a joint venture​ to develop autoimmune disorder treatment MEDI5117.

However, unlike the Wuxi venture, this deal - described as “a win-win cooperative venture”​ by Zhang - will bring Boehringer’s biological services and capital investment together with “powerful government support”​ from Zhangjiang. Furthermore, both companies spoke of the benefits the deal could have to the Chinese biopharma industry as a whole.

Zhang said: “Through the co-operation, Boehringer Ingelheim is set to introduce the most advanced biopharmaceuticals technology and top-notch talents into China to help elevate the domestic manufacturing standard, train high-caliber professionals and provide better quality medicines for Chinese patients.”

Zhangjiang's General Manager, Lanzhong Wang, said a CMO manufacturing framework would be implemented at the plant on a trial basis, adding: “This will provide an effective platform for middle and small-sized companies to industrialize their innovations. Thus, it will greatly prompt the development of China’s biopharmaceuticals manufacturing industry.”

Related topics: Bio Developments

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