BeiGene opens phase one of $320M plant with 180 workers

Guangzhou New Year's celebration
Chinese drugmaker BeiGene has opened a manufacturing plant that it refers to as its Guangzhou base in the city in the northwest of Hong Kong. (Ababsolutum/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

In 2017 China’s BeiGene undertook two big deals. It licensed rights to clinical stage PD-1 inhibitor to Celgene and it kicked off construction of a $320 million manufacturing facility. While the Celgene deal went off the tracks, phase one of the plant is now complete.

BeiGene this week said that it has opened the 100,000 square meter initial phase of its RMB 2.3 billion Guangzhou Bio-manufacturing Base, which it will use for commercial manufacturing of the oncology drugs it is developing. A spokesperson said in an email that about 180 people currently work on-site but that the company expects to have more than 200 employed there by early 2020. 

RELATED: BeiGene embarks on $330M biologics plant project in China


Veeva 2020 Unified Clinical Operations Survey

We believe you have the knowledge and expertise to make this year's Veeva 2020 Clinical Operations Report even more robust and insightful than the last. Please take a moment to share your opinion in this 10-minute survey. All qualified respondents will be entered to win a $500 Amazon gift card.

BeiGene’s other deal of 2017 has not progressed as directly to fruition. Celgene invested $150 million in BeiGene for the ex-Asia rights to Chinese company's PD-1 inhibitor tislelizumab. Beigene also got Celgene’s Chinese drug assets, which included cancer drugs Revlimid, Abraxane and Vidaza. 

Celegene, however, returned its rights to ttislelizumab after agreeing to merge with Bristol-Myers Squibb which has the highly successful PD-1 inhibitor Opdivo.

According to a BeiGene spokesperson, the company is pretty excited about the turn of events. Not only did it get back worldwide rights after the drug advanced to the registration stage, the company received $650 million over the course of the collaboration, plus $150M when it terminated, he said. 

RELATED: As Bristol-Myers merger marches ahead, what's BeiGene's plan for Celgene-partnered PD-1?

BeiGene has indicated its plans for the drug in China, where it’s under priority review for classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), are pretty straightforward. The loss of access to Celgene's commercial operations for the U.S., E.U. and Japan is the complicating matter. BeiGene Chief Adviser Eric Hedrick, told FiercePharma in an interview the impact on clinical development would be “marginal” and the financial hit would be “modest.” 

Suggested Articles

Amid Amgen's pricing war with Sanofi and Regeneron's Praluent, PCSK9 cholesterol fighter Repatha has shown a clinical benefit for HIV patients.

A month after the FDA approved it, Esperion's Nexletol showed it can lower cholesterol regardless of statin and ezitimibe treatment.

AstraZeneca's Farxiga can help prevent worsening or death in heart failure patients regardless of other therapies received, according to new data.