WuXi Biologics Plans First US Production Base Amid Trade Tensions
Dou Shicong
DATE:  Jun 11 2018
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
WuXi Biologics Plans First US Production Base Amid Trade Tensions WuXi Biologics Plans First US Production Base Amid Trade Tensions

(Yicai Global) June 11 -- The listed arm of WuXi AppTec, a leading Chinese biotech firm that exited the New York stock market two years ago, is planning to build its first US plant at a cost of USD60 million.

Based in Worcester, Massachusetts, in the metropolitan Boston area, the facility has the support of the state government, the Worcester Business Development Corp. and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, WuXi Biologics said in a statement today.

The plant will include a bioprocess development lab, have clinical sample and small-scale commercial production capabilities, and hire 150 employees. It will have total output capacity of 4,500 liters, with two 2,000-liter fed-batch cell culture reactors and one 500-liter perfusion process bioreactor.

The decision by WuXi Biologics comes as Chinese and US officials battle over the particulars of a deal to avert a potential trade war as a mid-June deadline fast approaches for the United States to slap tariffs worth up to USD60 billion on Chinese imports. That would likely prompt Beijing to trigger proposed retaliatory duties on American commodities and goods.

The Shanghai-based company's US partners welcomed its investment.

"WuXi Biologics brings a global biologics manufacturing expertise that will enhance our life sciences ecosystem and help Massachusetts biopharma companies develop novel therapies quickly and efficiently," said Travis McCready, president and chief executive of Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. "We look forward to continuing to work to finalize this project."

Key Role

"Metropolitan Boston is acknowledged as a leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, said Dr. Li Ge, chairman of WuXi Biologics. "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."

The facility will be WuXi Biologics' 11th production base and third overseas. The company last month announced plans to invest EUR325 million (USD384 million) to build a plant in Ireland and SGD80 million (USD60 million) to open one in Singapore.

"We believe we can quickly push forward this exciting project," said Li, a member of the prestigious Committee of 100 group of notable Chinese Americans. He is worth USD4.7 billion, according to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List.

"The new site will undoubtedly meet WuXi Biologics' growing need for biologics development and manufacturing in the near future," said Dr. Chris Chen, chief executive of the company. "Many partners of WuXi Biologics are located within two hours of this new site. We are all very excited to initiate our first US site to enable local companies and expedite biologics development in the United States."

Editor: Mevlut Katik

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Keywords:   WuXi Biologics,Boston,WuXi AppTec,Massachusetts,MLSC