Bushu expects to double the volume of Amgen drugs it makes under new Asia CMO pact

With operations locked up in Japan, Bushu Pharmaceuticals is expanding its contract manufacturing pact with Amgen across Asia.

Bushu will now offer Amgen its "Gateway to Asia" services in four countries across the region including massive markets in mainland China, Taiwan and South Korea, the companies said in a joint press release Wednesday.

Under the deal, Bushu expects to double the volume of Amgen products it makes and packages. It will be in charge of assembly, labeling, packaging and inspection of drugs like Repatha, Evenity, Prolia and Xgeva, with the first supply of those meds pegged to start this year.

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Outside the U.S., Amgen's cholesterol drug Repatha generated $428 million in full-year 2020 sales, the company said in its annual report (PDF). Osteoporosis meds Evenity and Prolia last year made $159 million and $933 million ex-U.S., respectively; Xgeva made $494 million abroad.

Japan-headquartered Bushu has worked with Amgen in that country since 2016. The CMO's website lists a total of four facilities there: two factories, a packaging center and a cold chain center.

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Back in 2020, Bushu said that over the next five years it would splash $100 million to beef up cold storage, packaging and fill-finish capabilities at its Misato, Japan, plant. The goal was to bring in more international pharma partners, the company said at the time. Bushu was then close to completing its 42,000-square-foot cold chain warehouse, which the CMO pegged as integral to becoming an inspection hub for multinational clients.

Further looking to carve out a niche in the Asia-Pacific region, Bushu earlier this year entered a business alliance agreement with Japanese compatriot Suzuken to provide "support for new product launches for specialty pharmaceutical manufacturers looking to enter the Japanese market."