Boehringer Ingelheim BioXcellence adds fill-finish line to China plant

Boehringer Ingelheim biologics plant Shanghai
Boehringer Ingelheim BioXcellence has just opened a fill-finish line at its year-old contract manufacturing plant in Shanghai. (Boehringer Ingelheim)

Boehringer Ingelheim has made a significant bet that the kind of contract services it offers elsewhere will be a big draw in China, opening a $77 million contract biologics plant there last year. Now, it is expanding it.

The German company’s Boehringer Ingelheim BioXcellence this week said it has opened a new fill-finish line at its commercial manufacturing facility OASIS in Shanghai. It says the new isolator-based fill-finish line is in full compliance with GMP operations for aseptic filling of liquids in vials.

With the new line, Boehringer said it now offers manufacturing of drug substance, drug product and all corresponding quality control and assurance activities under one roof in China.

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Boehringer’s Chinese subsidiary was established in 1994 and has more than 3,500 employees, the company said. The German drugmaker decided several years ago that China, with its huge population and growing appetite for the latest medicines, was a good place to establish a biologics contract manufacturing operation. In May 2017, it opened a $77 million facility in Shanghai to capitalize on that bet. The plant has a single-use bioreactor that can handle clinical supplies or commercial production up to 2000 liters. The facility, which employs about 65, was designed so Boehringer Ingelheim could add fill-finish capabilities, as well as more 2000 L single-use bioreactors.

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The company had won a couple of clients even before the plant was operational, including a deal to produce immuno-oncology drugs for Beijing-based BeiGene.