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

Downtown Yantai, Shandong, China
Downtown Yantai

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.

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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

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