South Korea’s Hanmi to spend $200M in China expansion

Downtown Yantai, Shandong, China
Downtown Yantai(Selmer van Alten CC BY 2.0)

South Korean drugmaker Hanmi Science is expanding its footprint in China, saying it recently bought a swath of land near Yantai where it will spend about $200 million to build a manufacturing plant and R&D center.

The 200,000-square-meter site is located in an economic development zone in the eastern province of Shandong, the company said in a release. The deal for the facility, which is expected to be completed by 2026, was reached late last month.

The company said it will produce chemosynthetic and biological drugs at the facility as well as various health foods.

“This investment should be perceived as a strategic decision for Hanmi to become a more globalized pharmaceutical company,” an unnamed Hanmi official said in a press release.

Hanmi entered the Chinese market in 1996 and currently runs a production facility and R&D center in Beijing that focuses on chemosynthetic low-molecular medicines for immune disorders and biological drugs for treating diabetes and obesity, according to an article in the Nikkei Asian Review.

The company has been on a licensing tear since 2015, signing deals with major pharma companies Eli Lilly ($LLY), Sanofi ($SNY) and Boehringer Ingelheim.

In November, Hanmi reached a deal with Shanghai-based ZAI Lab for in-licensed China rights to HM61713, a tumor-targeting EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Earlier that month, Hanmi licensed an analog diabetes and obesity candidate drug to Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

- here's the release
- here's the Nikkei story