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Outsourcing

WuXi makes moves in China, Europe, and the U.S.

Big contract research firm invests in biologics and small molecules

by Jean-François Tremblay
May 2, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 19

The giant pharmaceutical services firm WuXi Apptec has announced expansions across its businesses worldwide.

WuXi Biologics, a subsidiary that trades on the Hong Kong stock exchange, will spend $390 million in Dundalk, Ireland, to build what it says will be the world’s largest facility employing single-use bioreactors. The plant will also implement for the first time a continuous process WuXi developed for biological drug manufacturing. The site, expected to provide 400 permanent jobs, will be WuXi Biologics’ first outside China.

Separately, STA Pharmaceutical, WuXi’s subsidiary for pharmaceutical chemical manufacturing, will build a huge new lab near its original location in the Jinshan district of Shanghai. Large enough for 500 scientists, the facility will provide process development services for pharmaceutical ingredients and complex intermediates. STA is already adding labs and production facilities at its newer site in Changzhou.

In Cranbury, N.J., meanwhile, WuXi just completed an expansion of its laboratory testing division that it expects will lead to 200 more jobs. The division tests medical devices and conducts in vivo and in vitro assays of drug samples.

Asian pharmaceutical service firms have been expanding aggressively of late. In September, China’s Porton Pharma Solutions announced a process development center, also in Cranbury. India’s Piramal Pharma Solutions said in October that it would invest $55 million in U.S. and Asian facilities that make active pharmaceutical ingredients. In November, Beijing-based Pharmaron opened a campus in Zhejiang, China, where it expects to employ thousands of scientists in the future.

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