AstraZeneca plans $200m manufacturing plant in China

pharmafile | October 11, 2011 | News story | Manufacturing and Production AstraZeneca, China, pharma manufacturing news 

AstraZeneca has announced plans to set up a manufacturing facility in north-eastern China, backed by a record investment by the company of $200 million.

The plant will be located in China Medical City in Taizhou, Jiangsu province, and will start producing intravenous and oral solid dose medicines from the end of 2013.

AstraZeneca said the facility would enable it to “meet the growing demand for its products in China while expanding availability to people in the urban and rural communities who traditionally have had limited access to established medicines”.

Pharma companies have been steadily building manufacturing capacity in China in recent years in order to tap into not only lower-cost production, but also China’s fast-growing domestic market for pharmaceuticals, which is predicted to increase from a current value of around $40 billion to $100 billion by 2015, according to Citi predictions.

AstraZeneca already operates a 96,000 sq.m. manufacturing facility in Wuxi, Jiangsu, which opened in 2001 and at the time represented the company largest manufacturing investment (at around $150m) in Asia. Since then it has added an adjoining packaging plant at Wuxi with a capacity of around 40 million packs a year.

In 2009, AstraZeneca announced a $100 million investment in a Chinese headquarters and R&D facility at Zhangjiang, near Shanghai, which is due to be completed by the end of next year and will become one of the company’s largest R&D centres outside the UK.

Mark Mallon, AstraZeneca China president, said: “AstraZeneca has been putting down deep and broad roots in China for many years, which will be further strengthened by this $200m investment.

“Our new manufacturing facility will complement our efforts to meet the medical needs of Chinese patients with medicines that are locally produced”.

AstraZeneca has been present in the Chinese market since 1993, and last year posted a turnover there of more than $1 billion. Its Chinese operations currently employ around 5,000 staff.

Phil Taylor

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