Shanghai, China-based Wuxi Biologics inked a deal with Germany’s Bayer to take over the operations of Bayer’s drug manufacturing factory in Leverkusen, Germany.
It is also buying the equipment in the building and entering a long-term lease for the facility.
The deal is being implemented by WuXi Biologics Germany GmbH. The facility will be run by WuXi Biologics and act as a backup site for the manufacture of Bayer’s Kovaltry (antihemophilic factor). The primary site for Kovaltry production is Bayer’s drug substance and drug product facility in Berkeley, California.
No financial details were disclosed.
“We are excited to sign this acquisition agreement with Bayer, allowing us to have quick access to high-quality drug product manufacturing capacities and capabilities,” said Chris Chen, chief executive officer of WuXi Biologics. “Our business in EU, US and China market has experienced robust growth in the past few years. This additional drug product plant further confirms our commitment to ‘Global Dual Sourcing within WuXi Biologics’ strategy. WuXi Biologics will continue to expand our worldwide capacity, providing global partners with a robust and premier-quality supply chain network to benefit patients worldwide.”
In October 2019, WuXi Biologics chose Europe for its first manufacturing site outside of China. The location then was for WuXi Vaccines to build a 15,520-square-meter, three-story facility next to its biologics facility it is building in Dundalk, Ireland. In May of 2019, WuXi Vaccines announced plans to build a single-client manufacturing plant that would also include quality control laboratories. Although the company didn’t release financial details or who it was partnering with, it did say it planned to manufacture $150 million of vaccines each year for 20 years.
In 2018, WuXi Biologics and Shanghai Hile Bio-Technology, which focuses on veterinary vaccines, created WuXi Vaccines. At the time, WuXi indicated that it was being created mostly to make cancer vaccines.
Last week, WuXi Biologics signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Barcelona, Spain-based Almirall. This deal allows Almirall to utilize the proprietary WuXiBody platform to develop bispecific antibodies for dermatological disorders.
Almirall paid WuXi an upfront payment in addition to development, regulatory and commercial milestones for each bispecific antibody to come out of the platform. It is also eligible for royalties based on global sales of the products.
“This agreement is a big step forward for us in our objective of becoming a leader in medical dermatology,” said Bhushan Hardas, Almirall’s chief scientific officer. “With WuXi Biologics’ know-how in biologic technologies and Almirall’s expertise in Dermatology, we will be able to identify bispecific antibodies as effective next-generation therapies for helping patients suffering from dermatological disorders.”
WuXiBody allows almost any monoclonal antibody sequence pairs to be assembled into bispecific constructs. This generally provides low risk of immunogenicity and a longer in vivo half-life.
Chen said, “We are delighted to establish this collaboration with Almirall, the 12th global partnership since we launched this exciting platform in August 2018. This represents one further step in validating the power and versatile applications of WuXiBody in multiple therapeutic areas, including our leadership in next-generation biologic technologies and demonstrating our contributions to enable global partners to develop more new treatments for patients worldwide.”
By Mark Terry
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