WuXi Biologics posts global growth despite ‘geopolitical uncertainties’

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Liulolo)
(Image: Getty/Liulolo)

Related tags Wuxi biologics Shanghai Hile Bio-Pharmaceutical China US-China trade Ireland

In 1H financials, WuXi Biologics outlines positive developments across its ‘three major markets’, stressing that US growth is still strong despite US-China trade relations.

The Chinese contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) also noted that it has experienced compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 185% in the European Union (EU) during the last five years.

In its first half financial results​, WuXi Biologics called attention to its future plans to meet this demand by increasing global capacity for clinical trials and commercial drug substance supply to more than 280,000L by 2022 – an increase from current levels of 54,000L.

Such expansion plans follow on from similar public announcements made by rival CDMOs, with Celltrion announcing that it planned to expand to a capacity of 1 million liters by 2030​ and Samsung BioLogics benefiting from similar levels of investment​.

For its part, Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics, stated that the company is looking “to gain more market share from the booming biologics outsourcing market.”

In the financials, the company was able to post year-on-year revenue growth of 52.4% to ¥1.6bn ($227m), with profit increasing by 61.8% to ¥671m ($94.9m) during the same period.

WuXi Biologics also announced that the number of projects it is working on had increased from 187 as of June 2018 to 224 in June 2019.

The company is working to develop capacity for further projects through a series of facility build-outs, both domestically​ and internationally – such as by building the world’s largest single-use facility​ in Ireland.

In its financials, the company stated that the facility is on track to be good manufacturing practice (GMP)-ready by 2021, which will allow the site to provide supply to the EU and US markets.

Chen continued, “We have seen exceptional growth from three major regions, especially the US, our largest market, which maintained high growth despite geopolitical uncertainties.”

WuXi Biologics was able to announce its first commercial manufacturing agreement at the beginning of the year, which saw it sign a five-year deal with US-based biotech​, Amicus Therapeutics, for an investigational treatment for Pompe disease.

Vaccine project

WuXi Biologics also revealed further details about its joint venture vaccines project, known as WuXi Vaccines, which it had valued at $3bn (€2.7bn) for the 20-year partnership deal.

On the announcement of the deal​, WuXi Biologics had not specified the company it would partner with, but the financial release stated that its partner is Shanghai Hile Bio-Pharmaceutical, a Chinese vaccine specialist that is focused on the animal vaccine market.

According to WuXi Biologics, the deal is set to be finalized this year, with revenue from the deal expected to contribute to 2022 financials.

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