Busy WuXi Biologics debuts new manufacturing facilities at biologics center in Shanghai

After a busy stretch planting manufacturing flags in Europe and the U.S., WuXi Biologics is returning to its spree of Asia-focused expansions.

Monday, the contract researcher, developer and manufacturer cut the ribbon on its integrated biologics center in the Fengxian District of Shanghai.

The new facility bolsters development and manufacturing capacity at WuXi's existing center, which now supports end-to-end services for biologics projects spanning process development, analytical development, drug product development and quality control, plus more, WuXi said in a release.

Work on the 1.6 million-square-foot integrated biologics center kicked off back in November 2018. The initial phase of the center revved up operations in 2020, providing a range of services such as antibody generation, complex biologics discovery and bispecific and multispecific antibody identification.

The latest phase of the project brings a drug substance facility and two drug product plants into the fold, WuXi added. These facilities are intended to help meet demand for clinical materials “at various scales and volumes,” the contractor said.

WuXi Biologics' biologics center counts more than 1,000 employees among its workforce, 70% of whom have at least a master’s degree, the company pointed out.

WuXi is touting the completed project’s potential to deliver “any biologics project with unprecedented speed … from early discovery to commercial manufacturing—all within the Center.”

The campus has also been designed with the planet’s health in mind, WuXi noted. The site applies “green designs” like heat recovery and water recycling systems meant to shrink the site’s environmental footprint. Further, the company has started a rooftop solar power program that’s expected to slash carbon emissions by “hundreds of tons every year.”

The new site is the latest in a string of expansions for WuXi Biologics.

In July, the rising manufacturing star joined the slew of biopharma outfits setting up shop in Singapore, with plans to invest $1.4 billion over the next 10 years to beef up research and development, plus large-scale drug substance and drug product manufacturing in-country.

About a year before that, WuXi Bio locked up a deal to acquire more than 90% of CMAB, a China-based CDMO whose services run the gamut from cell-line and process development through clinical manufacturing. The move was designed to net WuXi 7,000 liters more drug substance and drug product capacity for liquid and freeze-drying projects across its global manufacturing network.

Outside China, WuXi Biologics bookended 2020 with deals for a pair of Bayer facilities in Leverkusen and Wuppertal, Germany. That same year, the company also inked a 10-year lease agreement for a 66,000-square-foot clinical manufacturing facility in Cranbury, New Jersey, which followed a lease agreement in May for a 33,000-square-foot process development lab in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.