Scinopharm escapes Taiwan earthquake unscathed; API operations unaffected

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Scinopharm escapes Taiwan earthquake unscathed; API operations unaffected
Scinopharm has confirmed that its API manufacturing facility in Tainan was not damaged by the earthquake that struck Taiwan last week.

At least 36 people were killed and 500 injured by the 6.4-magnitude quake which hit early last Friday morning according to a US Geological Survey (USGS) report​.

The epicentre of the quake was Pingtung, a city 48 kilometres southwest of the Tainan Science Park where Scinopharm manufacturers active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and employs 570 people.

According to Scinopharm the quake “did not cause any personnel injuries or any structural or facility damage​” and the facility is “operating normally without any impact on business​.”

February is normally​ a strong month for Scinopharm.

According to published figures, revenue from APIs – including key the cancer drug ingredients docetaxel and paclitaxel it supplies to European and US firms - has increased year-on-year for the past five years.


Feb. sales in NT$











Inappropriate buildings

Scinopharm may have escaped unscathed, but the same cannot be said of neighbouring city Tainan. According to official reports a number of tower blocks have collapsed – including a 17 storey residential building - and 117 people are still listed as missing.

Officials running ongoing relief efforts told Reuters the death toll in the city is expected to reach 100​.

The USGS said the quake – which was followed by at least five 3.4-magnitude aftershocks – occurred at a depth of just 10km below the earth’s surface, which it said would amplify its effects.

Nevertheless, experts have raised questions about construction practices in Tainan.

Dr Carmen Solana, from the University of Portsmouth in the UK, said: "The devastation caused by an earthquake of magnitude 6.4, can only be attributed to inappropriate building design or the reaction of the ground to the seismic waves.

With the fast growth of cities in seismically active areas the planning and management for these events become vital​."

Scinopharm did not respond to a request for comment.

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