Manufacturing continues to boost WuXi PharmaTech sales

WuXi PharmaTech's Philadelphia facility--Courtesy of WuXi PharmaTech

More growth in its manufacturing operations helped pharma services company WuXi PharmaTech ($WX) to another strong quarter.

The company, which has operations in China and the U.S., reported an 11.3% jump in net revenue of $146.7 million, with manufacturing services growing 19.7% to $41.2 million in its last quarter. That comes after seeing a 25.8% jump in manufacturing services in 2013 to $147.2 million.

With demand growing, the small company has undertaken an expansion of its manufacturing operations. "Our largest current investment is a two-year, $100 million expansion of our manufacturing facilities in Changzhou, which will double our current capacity and meet growing demand in both research manufacturing and commercial manufacturing," WuXi PharmaTech CEO Ge Li said in a statement.

Changzhou is west of Shanghai and the new facility will be an integrated R&D and manufacturing operation built in two phases. The first, which it expects to complete by Q4 2015, will double capacity and cost about $100 million, Hui Cai, WuXi vice president of corporate alliances, said in an email. When the second phase is complete, it expects to triple manufacturing and employ more than 1,500.

The announcement comes only weeks after WuXi said it was adding 45,000 square feet of clinical and commercial manufacturing space to its cell technologies operations in Philadelphia. The new operations, which will use disposable technology, are being added to an existing 16,000-square-foot facility it has at the Philadelphia Navy Yard which is home to its cell therapy operations. In 2012, the company opened a biologics manufacturing plant in China to initially serve a joint venture it has with AstraZeneca ($AZN). The company also said Monday that it has completed work on a biologics safety testing facility in Suzhou, adding 38,000 square feet of lab space to its sprawling presence in the area. The new facility is right next to the CRO's preclinical safety testing operation, and WuXi expects it to come online this summer.

- read the full results
- and more