Genovate Biotechnology of Taiwan has begun the first phase of the construction of a $55 million insulin-manufacturing facility in China. The company says it will eventually lead to a $1 billion investment that will help it win government contracts in the country.
The first phase of the project, which is called Genovate Biotechnology's Insulin Industrial Park, will be located in Changshou National Hi-tech District. The production unit will house a one-metric-ton fermentation production line and is expected to be operating in about two years, the company said in a press release.
Genovate is hoping to go head-to-head on insulin production in China with Sanofi ($SNY), Eli Lilly ($LLY) and Novo Nordisk ($NVO).
When the facility goes online "annual production is expected to reach 10 tons of insulin series products and APIs plus 1 billion bottles of preparations," the company said in a statement.
Human insulin products are becoming a key market in China with more than 100 million people in the country having either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
In early summer, the National Health and Family Planning Committee of China put out new guidelines on the quality products for tenders, and also suggested pricing would become a key factor in decisions as well. Previously, the system favored established multinationals, to some extent, with credits for both quality and pricing criteria.
- see the Genovate release