WuXi's STA merges in drug development services

WuXi's small molecule CDMO STA, which is building a $140 million drug manufacturing campus in Changzhou, China, is merging in its parent company's drug development unit to be able to offer end-to-end services.

SynTheAll Pharmaceutical (STA), a part of China and U.S.-based WuXi AppTec, that is focused on small-molecule drug manufacturing, is adding a drug development services operation that will make it into an end-to-end CDMO.

STA said Monday that it is merging with WuXi AppTec’s Pharmaceutical Development Services (PDS) division. PDS offers a range of services including preformulation development, formulation development, and manufacturing of clinical trial material. 

Until now, the two companies have operated separately, with STA listed on the Chinese stock exchange and the PDS division a part of WuXi. 

“STA has been growing rapidly over the last few years,” STA CEO Minzhang Chen, Ph.D., said in a release today. “It was a natural progression for the company to add drug product to our API platform.”

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WuXi will also have two small-molecule manufacturing sites which are slated to be operational this year and next. Earlier this year, STA added a pilot plant and about 200 scientists at the company’s R&D site in Changzhou, China. The 10,000-square-meter facility officially opened in March 2016. The $140 million project is being built in stages but when complete is slated to have more than 500 scientists and 1,500 cubic meters of reactor volume.

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WuXi also has a biologics operation which also is building a plant. In 2015, WuXi said it would invest about $100 million in a two-year project to double a biologics facility there.