The deal announced this week will combine the two companies' areas of expertise. PharmEng will provide Lixin with consulting services in US cGMP standards, European GMP and other areas of North American regulatory and compliance requirements, while Lixin, with its client base, will provide PharmEng's contract manufacturing division Keata Pharma with a resource base of manufacturers and distributors for the supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). PharmaEng is confident that Lixin will provide the firm with a solid base for the expansion of consulting opportunities in China - Lixin specialises in consulting services in good manufacturing practices (GMP), validation and engineering design to Chinese manufacturers. "PharmEng, with its local partners, is in a unique position to leverage its North American relationships and knowledge into the Asia Pacific Rim and China regions," said Alan Kwong, CEO and Chairman of PharmEng International. "PharmEng has the proven international experience to be a major player in the region's health sector growth by sharing our knowledge of FDA / Health Canada regulations with the region. We've done it before - most recently in Taiwan, now China." China has recently been dubbed as the favourite destination for outsourcing stages of the drug development and there is a growing amount of preclinical and clinical studies that are being conducted in the country - especially due to the low costs involved. As a result, efforts are increasingly being made to harmonise manufacturing processes across China and North America. An important aspect is achieving valid data using processes that are acceptable to global regulatory standards. Due to the volume of the GMP support services and demand by Chinese pharmaceutical companies and the tightening up by the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) for compliance, PharmEng is expecting major growth in its consulting and manufacturing businesses through this move. "PharmEng will become a channel for two-way pharmaceutical consulting and trade between North America and China for access to cost effective APIs, formulations and technology transfers for off-patent drugs, consulting services and exclusive agency and distribution agreements in North America," the company said. Under the terms of the deal, PharmEng will own 51 per cent of the joint venture company, headquartered in Beijing and will operate under the name Beijing PharmEng BRD Lixin PharmaTech Consultation.