BeiGene embarks on $330M biologics plant project in China

China's BeiGene, which is developing a portfolio of immuno-oncology drugs, has a deal to build a $330 million biologics plant to produce them.

China’s BeiGene, which is developing a portfolio of immuno-oncology drugs it expects will challenge those of Western drugmakers, has struck a deal with a Chinese development agency to build a biologics plant to manufacture them.

The Hong Kong-based company said today that a joint venture with the Guangzhou Development District will build the manufacturing facility in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China. The JV will invest a total of RMB2.2 billion ($330 million) in the project.

“It is our strategic priority to secure high-quality large-scale manufacturing capacity based on the increasing biologics opportunity we envision in China and global markets,” BeiGene co-founder John Oyler said in a statement.

The joint venture, BeiGene Biologics, will be funded with an investment of about $30 million from BeiGene HK and $150 million from the district’s Guangzhou GET Technology Development unit, which will make both a cash equity investment in the JV and a shareholder loan. The joint venture also plans to get a $150 million loan.

BeiGene has a PARP inhibitor under development that it expects will compete with AstraZeneca's Lynparza and those of several other drugmakers that have PARPs in late-stage development, including Tesaro and Pfizer's new buy Medivation.

In addition to the PARP, BeiGene has a PD-1 inhibitor, a BTK inhibitor and a BRAF inhibitor in development. Morgan Stanley analyst Matthew Harrison has said the portfolio could collectively drive more than $1 billion in sales in China alone.