Shangpharma plans to merge API and research units and list in China

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Kohlberg kravis roberts Active ingredient

Shangpharma plans to merge its API unit with its research arm as Shanghai Chempartner, which it will list on the Shanghai or Shenzhen stock exchange.

The firm will combine its China Gateway businesses – which make active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for small and large molecule drug developers - with its various Chemparter contract research units in China, the US and Europe.  

Shangpharma said restructuring wil allow it to “better serve its clients, expand its global presence and access new markets.”

The firm plans to float Shanghai Chempartner by merging it with a company that is already listed, but did not provide further information when contacted by

Public history

Shangpharma was last a public company in 2010​ when it listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

However, it went private in 2013​ after its share price halved​ and it was acquired by CEO Michael Xin Hui and private equity firm TPG Star Charisma.

ShangPharma employs more than 2,000 people and is China’s third biggest contract research organisation (CRO) behind WuXi Apptec - which recently announced plans to list its biologics​ and contract research​ units in China - and Pharmaron.

The firm's manufacturing business comproses China Gateway Pharmaceutical development - which makes APIs for small molecule drug developers - and China Gateway Biologics, which provides large molecule drug production services.

Last year Shangpharma added peptide chemistry to its offering, buying production technology and investing in discovery firm Circle Pharma​.

All-in-one vs split

Shangpharma's plan to combine its manufacturing and research businesses prior to taking them public contrasts with the approach taken by rival Wuxi.

Wuxi listed its small molecule API and drug manufacturing business - STA​ - in 2015​ and as stated above is poised to float its biologics and CRO businesses seperately.

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