Wuxi AppTec to invest $120m in antibody discovery and development lab

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Biotechnology

Wuxi Apptech headquarters in Shanghai, China
Wuxi Apptech headquarters in Shanghai, China
Newly private WuXi AppTec has announced plans to invest $120m in a biopharmaceutical development laboratory and clinical-scale manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China.

The facility – which is due to be operational in 2017 – will provide discovery, development and clinical trial supply manufacturing services. 

Early development services available at the site will utilise the antibody generation OmniRat platform – which Wuxi accessed in 2012 in a deal with Open Monoclonal Technology​ – and phage display libraries developed by the Chinese contract research organisation (CRO).

Manufacturing operations at the new facility will use a proprietary Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell line. The site will house three 2,000L fed batch bioreactors and two 500L perfusion reactors.

Wuxi said that when operational the facility will employ 800 staff.

A spokesman told us "The decision to build the lab was driven by strong past, present, and expected future demand for WuXi’s integrated platform of biologics services​" adding that "WuXi’s biologics services are and will be offered to both international and Chinese companies.​"

China Biopharma

The facility is the second Wuxi has announced in less than a year.

In May 2015​, the CRO's subsidiary Wuxi Biologics started work on a biopharmaceutical manufacturing site.

The facility - in Wuxi city - will "be the largest mammalian cell culture manufacturing facility using disposable bioreactors in the world​" according Wuxi, which expects it to be fully operation in 2017.

Private CRO

News of the Shanghai laboratory investment also comes just weeks after Wuxi AppTec completed a $3.3bn (€3.04bn) transaction​ to leave the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and became a private company.

Whether ongoing volatility​ in the Chinese markets makes a relisteding more or less likely remains to be seen.

Wuxi delcined to comment when we asked about a potential relisting.

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