China’s 3SBio enters North American market through $290m Therapure buy

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/ronniechua
Image: iStock/ronniechua

Related tags North america

3SBio will leverage Therapure’s downstream purification expertise to bolster its own biologics portfolio while expanding its contract biomanufacturing business and global presence.

The agreement to buy Canada-based Therapure for $290m (€244m) has placed 3SBio’s global expansion strategy on “fast-track,”​ a spokesman from the Chinese biopharma firm said.

“This acquisition as a strategic investment will provide us with an effective and convenient platform for launching our products in North America, for us to license new and innovative products from North America, and for our entering into the biological CDMO business in North America,”​ Steven Zhang told Biopharma-Reporter.

While the deal will allow 3SBio to “seek and negotiate exclusive licensing and collaborative business opportunities with quality biopharmaceutical companies in North America” ​with a view to further grow its international presence, it will also bolster the firm’s biomanufacturing capabilities both for its proprietary products and as a third-party offering.

“Therapure’s biomanufacturing expertise in downstream purification and transgenic, plasma-derived proteins could help 3SBio to acquire Chinese rights for certain blood products,”​ said Zhang. “In addition, we see Therapure’s [expertise] as a good supplement to our existing capabilities in China and in Europe and will contribute revenue and profit to 3SBio in the near term.”

3SBio’s Sunshine Guojian business in China offers 38,000L of production capacity, while Sirton Pharmaceuticals – an Italian CDMO acquired by 3Sbio in 2015 – offers injectable fill and finish capabilities.

“We expect significant cross selling and entirely new revenue opportunities to arise by effectively combining our leading mammalian cell culture capability with the significant expertise in downstream purification and transgenic, plasma-derived proteins that can be offered by Therapure’s CDMO Business.”

Therapure has a 130,000 sq ft facility in Toronto, Canada optimised for intraveneous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and albumin-based therapies. Its upstream offering includes 200L and 1,000L Pall Allegro stirred-tank single-use bioreactors, 50L and 500L Thermo Scientific HyClone stirred-tank single-use bioreactors, a 200L WAVE single-use bioreactor, and a series of stainless steel bioreactors with up to 2,500L capacity.

Downstream it boasts column chromatography, membrane separation, precipitation and extraction, tangential flow filtration (TFF), ultrafiltration/diafiltration (UF/DF) at scales up to 100 m2 of membrane, and virus inactivation and removal through low pH, solvent/detergent, nanofiltration, pasteurization and chemical inactivation.

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