China's WuXi bragged this year that it was building the largest biologics plant in China. WuXi PharmaTech CEO Ge Li said it was another move to muscle up its global biologics capabilities. Now the company has struck a deal to sell it to AstraZeneca.
South Korean electronics giant Samsung got into biologics production with the boast that its manufacturing expertise would allow it to produce products at half the cost of Western drugmakers. It is backing that up with plans for a new plant it says will make it the largest biologics contract manufacturer in the world.
AstraZeneca has laid out a host of new manufacturing projects in recent months, including new biologics plants in Europe and the U.S. But while those projects are in the works, it has a new tablet plant in Russia that has just gone online.
WuXi PharmaTech has been in expansion mode for its manufacturing, which of course, comes with financing pressures. To raise some cash for the expansion of its small-molecule manufacturing subsidiary, SynTheAll Pharmaceutical, WuXi intends to sell off 6% of the business in anticipation of raising $80 million.
San Diego's BioAtla has raised $30 million in equity from undisclosed Chinese investors, cash that will help push its pipeline of large-molecule treatments.
Having laid out plans last fall to expand a biologics plant in the U.S., AstraZeneca is now planning to build a new large-molecule filling facility in Sweden, adding up to 250 jobs in the process. The U.K. drugmaker says the new facility is part of a bigger plan for its biologics manufacturing, the details of which it will announce later.
Drugmakers are developing more biologic drugs and building new plants to manufacture them. And given that those plants all need filtration systems, analysts say it is no wonder that Pall would become a buyout prize. The Port Washington, NY-based company is being scooped up in $13.8 billion deal that rivals those orchestrated by some of its pharma clients.
The $335 million Merck & Co. biologics plant in Ireland that went online last year is already getting another investment. Merck said last week that it would invest €11.5 million ($12.4 million) in the Carlow facility.
With a bunch of biologic drugs in development, Roche's Genentech sees the need for more production capacity. To meet it, the biotech is expanding a fill/finish facility in Oregon, investing more than $100 million on the project and adding dozens of jobs there.
Taking a page from famed partners like Sanofi and Regeneron and Roche and Genentech, Merck has signed a sweeping R&D deal with biotech NGM Biopharmaceuticals, promising up to $450 million for 5 years of pipeline-building collaboration.