Japanese CMO Bushu plugs $100M into broad expansion plans for 'Asia hub'

Bushu Pharma
Bushu will add eight new packaging lines as part of its expansion plans. (Bushu)(Bushu Pharma)

Japanese contract manufacturer Bushu Pharmaceuticals has held a spot as the top company in its field following a big buyout six years ago. Now, with plans to become an "Asia hub" for pharmaceutical inspections, Bushu is betting big on a multiyear expansion effort.

Bushu will splash $100 million into cold storage, packaging and fill-finish capabilities at its Misato, Japan, plant over the next five years in an effort to bring in more international pharma partners, the company said late last week.

Bushu is nearing completion of a 42,000-square-foot cold-chain warehouse that will help the CMO follow through on its plan to become an inspection hub near Tokyo for its "several multi-national pharmaceutical clients," Bushu said.

The manufacturer will expand its total sterile injectable inspection stations to 12 with an additional seven stations each for liquid or lyophilized vials. Of those 26 stations, 23 will be "supported by cameras," Bushu said. All told, that capacity will make Bushu the leading inspector of sterile drugs in the Japanese market, which requires "time-consuming and complex" visual inspections of outsourced drugs in that category, according to the CMO.

Bushu isn't only adding to its warehouse space. The CMDO will install eight new packaging lines; one of those lines will be used for prefilled packaging and another will handle water-for-injection for the company's sterile fill offerings.

"The added space and additional inspection lines will allow us to bring more of our client's bulk products into the country, which will make their logistics and supply chain systems much more efficient," Bushu Chief Operating Officer Tadao Takano said in a release.

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Bushu, the largest CMO in the Japanese market, purchased the Misato plant back in February 2014 from Eisai in a move that bumped its tablet manufacturing capacity to 10 million doses per year and opened up its sterile injectables offering.

The CMO also operates a second manufacturing facility in Kawagoe, Japan, where it's based.

In November 2014, investors Baring Private Equity Asia reached a deal worth $668 million to buy out Bushu, which its new owners said at the time was "well positioned to expand through production capacity increases and expansion into new market segments."