Swiss-based third-party biopharma research and development service provider Lonza is expanding its operations in southern Guangdong Province to add a new drug product "fill and finish" manufacturing line.
The leading contract development and manufacturing organization is stepping up local capacity as domestic biopharma enters a new stage and the number of innovative therapeutics rise quickly.
Biopharma is at the core of China's fast-growing health-care market in line with booming research and development in recent years.
Qianzhan Industry Research Institute estimated China's biopharma industry will surpass 500 billion yuan (US$732 billion) in value by 2025, with an annual growth rate between 10 percent and 15 percent.
The newly-unveiled Guangzhou facility, which began operations in the second quarter, will enhance Lonza's production capacity for both clinical and commercial production stages.
Installation of the new production line is expected to be completed in 2022 and will create more than 150 new positions at the Guangzhou site.
The sterile, multi-product "fill and finish" line will support the filling of liquid and lyophilized products, according to a Lonza statement released on Monday.
"Through the expansion of our services at Lonza Guangzhou, we will have the capability to support our customers with the late-stage clinical trial and commercial development of potentially life-saving treatments," said Pan Hong, general manager of Lonza China.
"It not only demonstrates our commitment to the Chinese market but also marks an important milestone in achieving our long-term ambition of increasing drug product capacity to address growing customer demand," he added.
Both multinationals and Chinese originated biopharma are ramping up their drug development efforts and clinical trials, a boost to third party service providers.
Various measures have been put in place by China to support clinical and commercial production of biotherapeutics and to hasten the transformation from lab research results into new treatments.