China's pharmaceutical major, WuXi Biologics, has purchased another manufacturing plant in Germany from Bayer, stating that it will support its global expansion network for supplying COVID-19 vaccines and other biologics.

Wuxi agreed to pay 150 million euro ($183 million) for Bayer's drug product manufacturing plant in Wuppertal. This is WuXi's second European plant and the second one it has purchased from Bayer in Germany in the past year. In January Industrial Info reported that that Wuxi had bought one of Bayer's final drug product manufacturing plants at the company's headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany. For additional information, see December 30, 2020, article--WuXi Snaps Up Bayer's Final Drug Manufacturing Plant in Germany.

The Drug Substance (DS) facility at Wuppertal is a 30,000-square-meter DS facility (MFG19), that includes 3x1000L perfusion and 6x2000L fed-batch capacity with independent downstream suites. The companies also plan to enter into a long-term sublease agreement and a transition service contract. The two German plants form the cornerstone of WuXi Biologics' European network, and they are expected to be ready for drug substance and drug product manufacturing by 2021.

Dr. Chris Chen, chief executive officer of WuXi Biologics, commented, "This new facility will be a key component of our 'Global Dual Sourcing' strategy, demonstrating great synergy with our existing network. We will continue to provide high-quality and efficient manufacturing services to enable our global partners to benefit patients worldwide."

Bayer said that it will provide services and contribute its own resources as WuXi Biologics ramps up the plant for the production of vaccines and other biologics. "This also marks an additional contribution by Bayer in the fight against the pandemic," said Bayer site manager Timo Flessner.

WuXi Biologics is China's leading biologics services company, with 63.5% market share in terms of revenue in 2017. It is aiming for a total estimated capacity for biopharmaceutical production in China, Ireland, Singapore, and the U.S. in excess of 280,000 litres by 2022. Last November, WuXi Biologics announced that its subsidiary WuXi Vaccines, engaged in the human vaccine contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) business, was investing $240 million to build a new vaccine manufacturing facility in Dundalk, Ireland. The investment followed a 20-year manufacturing Letter of Intent (LOI) signed by WuXi Vaccines earlier that year.

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