WuXi Biologics taps veteran insider to head fledgling vaccine CDMO business
CEO Jian Dong has multiple years of experience at WuXi, including heading its flagship Chinese biologics facility. (WuXi Vaccines)
Chinese CDMO WuXi Biologics has pinned its ambitious global expansion plans on a massive drug manufacturing facility in Ireland, the first outside of its home country. But WuXi is also planning to headquarter its fledgling vaccines unit at the site, and it's found the leader to get that business up and running.
WuXi has named Jian Dong, the former head of the company's flagship Chinese biologics facility, as CEO for its under-construction vaccines unit headquartered in Ireland, the CDMO said last week.
Dong will take the reins once WuXi Vaccines opens in 2021 at its 167,000-square-foot, three-story manufacturing facility in Dundalk, Ireland. In October, WuXi said the facility would produce $150 million worth of vaccines a year for 20 years as part of a $3 billion deal with an unnamed partner.
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WuXi installed the modular lab for the $240 million facility in February, the company said in a release.
Dong joined WuXi in 2014 and took the lead on manufacturing and engineering operations at the CDMO's Chinese WuXi City facility in 2015. He previously held roles at Eli Lilly, among other drugmakers, and specialized in vaccine production and facility qualification, WuXi said.
WuXi Vaccines, a joint venture with Shanghai-based Hile Bio-Technology, will reside a stone's throw from its parent company's $392 million biologics plant—its first outside China—which is also expected to open next year.