WuXi Biologics to launch in US: Tax reform makes ‘investment thesis much stronger’ says CEO

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/lukbar)
(Image: Getty/lukbar)
WuXi Biologics has announced plans to build a $60m manufacturing facility – offering continuous manufacturing options – for clinical and commercial production in the US.

The Chinese contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) will invest $60m (€51m) in the Worcester, Massachusetts-based site and hire approximately 150 employees.

The so-called “factory of the future” will house approximately 4,500L bioreactor capacity, with two 2,000L traditional fed-batch and one perfusion-based for continuous processing.

“Based on what we understand on the competition, this is likely the first GMP [good manufacturing practice] facility offering continuous manufacturing option,” ​CEO Chris Chen told us.

The facility – which Chen said is located within two hours of a number of WuXi Biologics partners – responds to the global demand for increased manufacturing capacity.

“We have a growing portfolio of 161 molecules to be developed from global clients as of Jan 1 2018. Based on progress of the pipeline we know when we need capacity and how much we need. We then plan it in our global manufacturing network,”​ he explained.

According to Chen, the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 – which reduced the US corporate tax rate from 35% to a flat 21% - also makes the US an attractive option for investment.

“[The] lower tax rate definitely makes the investment thesis much stronger than last year​,” he told us.

The investment marks WuXi Biologics’ eleventh drug substance manufacturing facility globally and its third outside of China.  

In late April this year​, the firm said it planned to build a biologics manufacturing facility in Ireland. The following month​, WuXi Biologics announced plans to expand manufacturing to Singapore with the construction of a $60m facility.  

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