WuXi Biologics’ 2018 interim report indicates strong year-on-year growth for the contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO). Revenue was reported to be up by 61.2% on 2017 figures, with gross profit rising to 56.9% to RMB 414.7m ($60.6m).
While gross profit margin was down to 39.3% – as compared to 40.4% for the same period last year – the firm said it would have reported a figure of approximately 41.4%, when foreign currency impact was excluded.
The firm also announced greater investment into R&D, including RMB 56.2m this year to date, representing a year-on-year increase of 54.4%, which contributed to WuXi Biologics’ latest development platform, the ‘WuXiBody’.
“As a result of our R&D investment for the last three years, we are launching a new proprietary, potentially best-in-class bispecific platform, called WuXiBody, which will expedite bispecific development by 6-18 months and at the same time tremendously reduce bispecific manufacturing cost, a current limitation of most bispecific platforms,” said the firm in a statement.
Bispecific antibodies bind to two different epitopes either on the same or on a different, target.
“We are excited about the launch of our proprietary, bispecific technology platform, which can potentially transform the industry,” added CEO Chris Chen.
In addition, the CEO said WuXi Biologics plans to explore entry into “new frontiers of biotherapeutics”, such as cancer vaccines. “These new modalities will drive the future growth of WuXi Biologics,” said Chen.
Expanding beyond China
“These facilities [including investments in China] will increase our manufacturing capacity to approximately 220,000L, further expand our customer base, attract more local talent and ensure a global diversified and robust supply chain network,” said the company.
The CDMO also flagged an international development and manufacturing agreement with US-based Immune Pharmaceuticals for the production of monoclonal antibody (mAb) Bertilimumab.