WuXi Biologics to build U.S. plant as it rapidly moves beyond its China base

China’s WuXi Biologics, which is trying to rapidly establish itself as a biologics CDMO with global reach, says it will build a manufacturing operation in the U.S. The announcement comes just two months after it said it would build a plant in Europe, that one its first outside of China.

The company today said it will invest $60 million to build a clinical and commercial scale biologics plant in in Worcester, Massachusetts, which it says will employ about 150.

“Metropolitan Boston is acknowledged as a leader in the biopharmaceutical industry. The new site plays a key role in WuXi Biologics’ global bio-manufacturing network to ensure that biologics are manufactured at the highest quality and within a robust supply chain to benefit patients worldwide,” Ge Li, WuXi Biologics chairman said in a statement.

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The project, which is getting financial support from several state and local development groups, will have approximately 4,500 L bioreactor capacity, which will include two 2,000 L traditional fed-batch and one 500 L perfusion-based continuous processing units. This facility will handle both clinical and small volume commercial production. An early-stage bioprocess development lab will also be included.

In April, Wuxi-city based WuXi Biologics said it would lay out €325 million ($392 million) to build a biologics facility in Dundalk, Ireland, and create a campus of 26 hectares (2.8 million square feet). The project, its first outside of China, has been in the works for several years and has snagged support from Ireland’s development agency. That plant will eventually employ 400.

A month later, it announced a second facility to be built outside of China, this one in Singapore. That facility is more in line in size with its U.S. endeavor. It is expected to cost about $60 million to erect the facility and eventually will employ 150. It will be its first Asian plant built outside of China.

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On top of all of that, WuXi Biologics in May said it intended to erect an R&D and clinical and commercial production center in Shijiazhuang, China, that will eventually employ 1,000 workers. The company will invest $240 million in the new facility, which will have a 48,000-liter bioreactor capacity. Work is to begin next year, and the first phase is to be completed in 2020.