WuXi Biologics Plans Vaccines Plant

29.05.2019 -

Chinese contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) WuXi Biologics has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with a “global vaccine leader” to construct a dedicated vaccines plant. The 20-year contract is worth around $3 billion for WuXi, which did not disclose the name of its partner.

To be built by WuXi Vaccines, a joint venture between WuXi Biologics and Shanghai-based Hile Bio-Technology, the integrated facility will manufacture 100% of the global market for the unnamed vaccines company. The plant will include drug substance and product manufacturing as well as quality control labs. It is understood that WuXi is currently considering a location.

"Vaccine CDMO is one of the next growth areas for WuXi Biologics,” said CEO Chris Chen. “Once this project is initiated, our vaccine business will contribute substantially to the growth of WuXi Biologics.”

Earlier this year, Chinese media reported that WuXi was in talks with three vaccine developers to make their products in China. According to recent reports, Sanofi is not involved in the deal with WuXi, and US Merck has declined to comment.

In separate news, WuXi Biologics announced that it has started construction of a new integrated manufacturing center for innovative biologics in Chengdu, southwest China. The center, which will house the company’s 12th drug substances manufacturing plant, will include drug development and commercial manufacturing facilities with initial bioreactor capacity of 48,000 liters.

“Supported by 205 ongoing biologics projects using WuXi Biologics’ open-access and proprietary platforms as well as our unique manufacturing paradigm of ‘Global Dual Sourcing within WuXi Bio’, we will continue to expand manufacturing capacity, based on our portfolio needs, to provide a robust and premier global supply chain that can enable our partners and benefit patients worldwide,” Chen commented.

The company is also planning to build a biomanufacturing facility in Ireland, its first outside China. WuXi Biologics has selected Jacobs to provide construction management services for the plant in Dundalk, County Louth, which will produce a wide range of biologic drugs for customers around the world.