WuXi Biologics, a Hong Kong-listed, open-access biologics technology platform company offering end-to-end solutions for biologics discovery, development and manufacturing, has started the construction of a state-of-the-art integrated biologics conjugate solution center in Wuxi, a city near Shanghai in eastern province of Jiangsu, on the banks of Taihu, one of China’s largest freshwater lakes.
This $20 million 6,000 square meter facility will be operational in 2019 and provide integrated solutions from concept to commercialization for biologics conjugates including Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs) and other protein conjugates.
Antibody-drug Conjugates or ADCs are complex molecules composed of an antibody linked to a biologically active cytotoxic agent. Over the last decades these drug, 4 of which have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have emerged as targeted treatments for patients with various forms of cancer.
WuXi Biologics plans to build this site into a world-class antibody-drug conjugate research and development and manufacturing platform which will meet cGMP standards from the United States, Europe and China.
“I am very excited about this new investment in ADCs,” Dr. Chris Zhisheng Chen, Chief Executive Officer of WuXi Biologics noted.
“In collaboration with chemistry division of WuXi AppTec Group, WuXi Biologics is one of the few global companies that can provide the one-stop service to global partners for antibodies, small molecule payloads, ADCs drug substance and drug products,” he added.
“Our vision is to empower any global partners to develop any ADC to benefit patients,” Chen observed.
United States Expansion
Earlier this month, WuXi Biologics announced that it is to invest $60 million and hire approximately 150 employees to establish a state-of-the-art biologics clinical and commercial manufacturing facility in Worcester, Massachusetts in the United States.
Supported by the Government of Massachusetts, the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC) and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), this facility will be WuXi Biologics‘ 11th global drug substance manufacturing facility, the company’s first overseas site in the United States, as well as the third outside China subsequent to Ireland and Singapore.
“Metropolitan Boston is acknowledged as a leader in the biopharmaceutical industry. The new site plays a key role in WuXi Biologics’ global bio-manufacturing network to ensure that biologics are manufactured at the highest quality and within a robust supply chain to benefit patients worldwide. We are grateful for all the support local agencies and the talented people here have provided for us. We believe we can quickly push forward this exciting project,” explained Ge Li, Ph.D, Chairman of WuXi Biologics.
“The new site will undoubtedly meet WuXi Biologics’ growing need for biologics development and manufacturing in the near future. Many partners of WuXi Biologics are located within two hours of this new site,” Chen added.
“We are all very excited to initiate our first US site to enable local companies and expedite biologics development in the United States. We are committed to becoming the most comprehensive capability and technology platform in the global biologics industry to enable both local and global partners,” he concluded.
In April 2018 WuXi Biologics also confirmed that it is to build a €325 million biologics development and manufacturing plant in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. The city is located on the Castletown River, which flows into Dundalk Bay, and is near the border with Northern Ireland, halfway between Dublin and Belfast. The new facility will be built on a green field site at Mullagharlin.
The investment is expected to create 400 permanent jobs and 700 temporary construction positions.
This state-of-the-art facility of the future will be based on the novel approach WuXi Biologics has pioneered deploying multiple single-use bioreactors for commercial biomanufacturing. The facility is also designed to be able to run continuous bioprocessing, a next generation manufacturing technology to be first implemented globally in this 26-hectare campus, the company’s first site outside of China, which is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.
A total of 48,000 L fed-batch and 6,000 L perfusion bioreactor capacity will be installed, representing the world’s largest facility using single-use bioreactors.