(Yicai Global) March 29 -- Wuxi Biologics will take possession of a drug substance facility it purchased from German drugmaker Bayer last year in the next few weeks and expects to start producing Covid-19 vaccines and other pharmaceutical products in the European nation by the end of the year, the Chinese biomedical company told Yicai Global.
The Wuppertal-based plant, bought for EUR150 million (USD176.7 million) in December, will allow Wuxi Bio to get a firmer hold on the global Covid-19 vaccine market. It is also building a production facility in Ireland with animal vaccine maker Hile Bio-Technology that is expected to start operating next year.
“These expensive acquisitions are necessary if Wuxi Bio wants to achieve its goals of global expansion and downstream expansion,” said Wu Yongsheng, partner at Dutch professional services network KPMG. The firm has sufficient capital to sufficient to support globalization, he added.
The Wuxi, eastern Jiangsu province-based firm, which provides laboratory and manufacturing services for pharma firms, is working with the UK’s AstraZeneca to produce adenovirus-vector Covid-19 jabs and is also in negotiations with other companies to make mRNA Covid-19 vaccines.
“We have already produced 200 million Covid-19 jabs and plan to produce 400 million doses of the adenovirus-vector shots by the end of this year,” Chief Executive Officer Chris Chen said recently. “We can also produce 100 million doses of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines,” he added
The pandemic has been good for Wuxi Bio. Net profit surged 66.6 percent last year from the year before to CNY1.69 billion (USD257.5 million), according to its latest earnings report. Revenue jumped 40.9 percent to CNY5.6 billion (USD856.7 million)
However, the company still accounts for only a small slice of the worldwide market, lagging far behind global giants such as Swiss chemicals firm Lonza Group, German pharma company Boehringer Ingelheim and Korea’s Samsung Biologics.
Wuxi Bio’s stock closed down 1.79 percent at HKD96.25 (USD12.38) today.
Editors: Liao Shumin, Kim Taylor