WuXi says it has China's largest biologics manufacturing plant up and running

China’s WuXi Biologics says its new $150 million biologics plant, which includes 30,000-liter bioreactor capacity, is up and running, a feat it accomplished in less than three years.  

The Chinese company announced plans in April 2015 to build China’s largest single use bioreactor manufacturing facility in Wuxi City and by September 2016 had completed the first phase, which included about a 2,000-liter capacity. The company now says that in the last 15 months, it has been able to add 14 more 2,000-L disposable bioreactors for fed-batch cell culture and they are now operating.

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“This new facility design with a lower capital expenditure and shorter facility timeline compared to that of traditional biologics commercial manufacturing facilities, represents a novel design for facility-of-the-future, which has been emulated by several companies globally," WuXi Biologics CEO Chris Chen said in a statement.

WuXi pointed out that not only does it have its own partners but its services will be available to domestic companies now that China is testing a program that allows Chinese companies to use contract production rather than manufacture their own products.

The 500,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will complement, its existing cell-based drug manufacturing facility, also in WuXi City. The company said in August, the U.S. FDA completed a prelicense inspection at that facility for the production of TaiMed Biologics' ibalizumab, for the treatment of multi-drug resistant HIV.  It says that inspection makes WuXi Biologics the first Chinese company to receive a U.S. FDA PLI or cGMP inspection for biopharmaceuticals.

RELATED: Samsung BioLogics nears finish line with massive biologics manufacturing project

The new Wuxi plant adds to the huge biologics capacity being developed in Asia. South Korea’s Samsung BioLogics is putting the finishing touches on its third biologics manufacturing plant in Songdo, Incheon that give it 180,000-liter capacity. The mechanical installations at the $750 million facility, which include a dozen, 15,000-liter bioreactors, should be wrapped up this quarter, the company said recently. At 118,618 square meters, (more than 1.2 million square feet) in size, the Samsung plant will be about twice the area of a standard World Cup stadium.