32 tonnes, 8,500km, 18 months: JHL says off-the-shelf mAb plant to open in June

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

JHL completes installation of GE Healthcare built mAb plant
JHL completes installation of GE Healthcare built mAb plant

Related tags Biotechnology Monoclonal antibodies

A mAb plant fabricated in Germany and shipped to China last year will be operational this summer according to Wuhan-based JHL Biotech. 

JHL announced the completion of “mechanical construction” of the facility – known as KuBio - this week​ and predicted that it will be validated in June, which is less than 18 months after the project began.

The plant was made by GE Healthcare and partner M+W Group in Stuttgart, Germany and transporting the is 2,500 m2, two story building to JHL’s base in Wuhan – a distance of some 8,492km - was a complex multistep process according to CFO, Max Chan.

He told us “the 62 modules from which it [the facility] was constructed weighed up to 32 tonnes and required specialist over-sized road transport and sea shipping to reach China from Germany​.”

Assembly was comparatively straightforward Chan continued.

February 25th marked completion of the mechanical installations - central utilities such as chiller, steam, softened water, building air conditioning, plus all of the critical utilities​.”

The facility houses single-use bioreactors and chromatography equipment that was shipped to Wuhan separately at the end of last year.

It will produce JHL’s candidate biosimilars and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for late stage clinical trials and commercial supply. The plant will also be the base of cell line and process development activities.

JHL also intends to offer use of the Wuhan facility to its contract manufacturing customers and has previously spoken about offering it to the Chinese Government in the event of a pandemic.

GE Healthcare has worked with JHL before.

In 2013, the General Electric division supplied the Chinese biotech's clinical supply manufacturing facility in Hsinchu, Taiwan with processing technology made at its plant in Marlborough, US.

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