The investment will see Boehringer Ingelheim add an additional bioreactor, as well as efforts to improve utility and infrastructure at the site. The facility will hold two 2,000L single-use bioreactor manufacturing lines once the expansion is complete, offering greater capacity for its contract manufacturing services in the country.
The Pudong, Shanghai, facility opened in May 2017 and Boehringer noted that its development was a ‘major milestone’ in its ‘strategic blueprint’ for its global biopharmaceuticals business.
At the beginning of 2018, Boehringer revealed that the first commercial product it would manufacture at the site would be BeiGene’s tislelizumab.
The company added that, alongside manufacturing this product, it had also been contracted to produce a ‘number of investigational drugs’ for future market launches.
Jiali Luo, general manager of Boehringer Ingelheim Bio China, said, “We see a growing demand for world-class manufacturing capacities of biologics and are eager to offer our capabilities to local and global customers according to our site supply mission ‘China-for-China’ and ‘China-for-Global’”.
The build-out of capacity in China coincides with a similar push within Europe. In June 2018, the Boehringer announced it would invest €230m ($269m) in building a ‘Biologics Development Centre’ in Biberach, Germany. The site will contain analytical, process development, and manufacturing capabilities for biologics.
At the time, a spokesperson for the company told us that this investment would allow the company to expand its contract manufacturing services, now bolstered by its investment in China.