CDMO WuXi STA is building out its manufacturing site in Changzhou, China in stages. Its newest milestone is a large-scale oligonucleotide API manufacturing unit.
It says the 30,000-square-foot manufacturing facility can produce a variety of oligonucleotides including DNA, RNA, morpholino oligonucleotide (PMO) and peptide conjugates (PPMO). It can produce oligonucleotide APIs up to 1 mol per synthesis run.
“The opening of this large-scale manufacturing facility will empower more global partners to expedite the development and commercialization of oligonucleotide drugs to benefit patients worldwide," WuXi STA CEO Minzhang Chen said in a statement.
The CDMO noted that more nucleic acid drugs have become “a hot area” in the industry and more have been developed and approved in recent years.
Roche recently paid Dicerna Pharmaceuticals $200 million (€179 million) upfront for a global license to an RNAi drug targeted at hepatitis B. The deal could reach $1.5 billion in milestones as the two collaborate on other hepatitis B virus (HBV) assets. Allergan recently paid $25 million to Exicure to discover nucleic acid hair loss drugs.
WuXi STA’s Changzhou site officially opened in March 2016 with a 10,000-square-meter facility. When complete, the CDMO says it will house more than 500 scientists and 1,500 cubic meters of reactor volume.