Hubei Pharmaceutical of the US holds a 60 per cent controlling stake in HBBenda (short for Hubei Tongji Benda Ebei Pharmaceutical), which it acquired last month in a move expand its presence into biopharmaceutical production.
Initial production has commenced on a series of production lines acquired as part of the agreement by the minority partner, claimed to be the largest small format injection production facilities in Central China.
The facility already makes 79 generic and high-tech products that are sold domestically in over 20 provinces, cities and autonomous regions, as well as being exported to other countries in Southeast Asia.
Meanwhile, work on a new tablet and capsule production facility is well underway, and it is expected that it will be completed in the third quarter and operational as soon as GMP certification and licenses are issued.
This is expected in the third or fourth quarter and will pave the way for the introduction of several new strategic products, according to Hubei, which was
Hubei was set up in 1999 to tap into the opportunities presented by China in the wake of its entry to the World Trade Organisation in December 2001, and currently holds 120 product licenses.
China's annual per capita medical expenditure has historically been less than $10 (€8), in sharp contrast to the $250 per capita expenditure in the US and Europe. The expenditure is now growing at an annual rate of more than 15 percent and, with its population base of 1.3 billion people, China is expected to become the second largest pharmaceuticals market in the world by 2010 and then to surpass the US as the largest market in the decade following.