WuXi Biologics, supplier of cutting-edge pharmaceutical ingredients, is on the move. In January 2020, the Hong Kong-listed company bought a drug product production plant in Leverkusen, Germany from Bayer. This was followed by a deal with Bayer in December the same year to acquire a site in Wuppertal where, among other things, WuXi says they plan to carry out research on Covid vaccines. Back on home turf, in March this year, WuXi acquired a plant built by Pfizer in Hangzhou, China. The factory is designed to manufacture affordable biologics for the Chinese market.
Demand for these products is growing in China, with the regulation process recently reformed to accelerate the review of product candidates. Biologics are biological products such as vaccines, blood, allergenics and tissues that are isolated from natural sources and manufactured using biotechnology. Biologics hold promise for a number of medical conditions for which no treatment currently exists.
Li Ge, the 54-year-old CEO and founder of WuXi Biologics is a self-made billionaire and a key figure in the US-China biotechnology landscape. He received his PhD from Columbia University and is a US citizen resident in Shanghai.
WuXi Biologics is building capacity not just in China and Germany but also in Ireland, the United States and Singapore. Within the context of the fight against Covid-19, buying up production plants from Bayer and Pfizer might be seen as part of a push to ramp up national vaccination efforts.
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