As part of the joint venture, Celltrion will provide Vcell with exclusive rights in mainland China to its three US and European Union (EU) approved biosimilars: CT-P13 (Remsima), CT-P10 (Truxima), and CT-P6 (Herzuma).
The three biosimilars are Celltrion’s versions of Remicade (infliximab), MabThera (rituximab), and Herceptin (trastuzumab), respectively.
According to a statement, the newly established biopharma company will seek regulatory approval in China and will look to launch ‘expeditiously’. Whilst this process is ongoing, the partnership will look to establish a ‘world-class biologics manufacturing facility’ in China.
As well as providing the manufacture for Vcell’s portfolio of biosimilars, it was also suggested that the facility could be used to provide contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) capabilities.
Antony Leung, CEO of Nan Fung Group, said, “China has huge unmet medical needs for high quality drugs with affordable prices. We hope Vcell Healthcare could bring world-class biosimilar products to benefit Chinese patients and establish a state-of-the-art manufacturing base in China to serve the growing demand for high quality CDMO [services] in the country.”
Celltrion’s chairman, Seo Jung-Jin, suggested that the joint venture will serve as the ‘cornerstone’ for the company’s entry into the Chinese market.
The move is part of a wider plan the company has to rapidly expand its business moving towards 2030, which sees the South Korean company aiming to develop one million liters of capacity for the production of biologics across its global production sites.