2021-08-04| Manufacturing

China’s BeiGene to Build a Biologics Manufacturing Site in the US

by Tyler Chen
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The need for oncology medicines has increased substantially in the past decade, making production capacity one of the indicators in evaluating competitiveness.


First Production Site Outside of China

On August 3rd, China’s oncology drug firm, BeiGene, launched the plan to build an R&D and manufacturing site in Hopewell, New Jersey. The goal is to produce biologics or potentially small molecule cancer therapies and utilize its location to expand BeiGene’s global market reach and boost manufacturing capabilities.

Besides the Suzhou and Guangzhou sites, the one in New Jersey is the first production facility BeiGene would own outside of China.


Bringing Hundreds of Job Opportunities

The plant will be placed on a 42-acre field with around 100,000 square meters of developable real estate. It will include commercial-stage biologic pharmaceutical manufacturing, clinical R&D, and the BeiGene Center for Pharmacovigilance Innovation.

BeiGene said that the site is expected to bring in hundreds of job opportunities to the area. While the construction won’t be finished until mid-2023, BeiGene will rent some space around the area and start hiring immediately.

“We are excited to begin the planned construction of our buildings to house colleagues in a variety of disciplines as well as the manufacturing portion of the campus, which is expected to initially produce biologics and potentially small molecule cancer treatments,” said Michael Garvey, Global Head of Technical Operations at BeiGene.


BeiGene’s Drug Production Strategies

BeiGene’s two production sites in China include the one in Suzhou, which is for small molecule drug candidates, and the one in Guangzhou that focuses on biologics manufacturing.

In April 2021, the Guangzhou site received approval from the China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) to manufacture tislelizumab, an approved anti-PD-1 antibody. The plant is over 100,000 square meters and has over 8,000 liters of biologics capacity, and the next phase of construction is in progress to bring the total capacity to 64,000 liters.

As for manufacturing collaboration, BeiGene worked with Boehringer Ingelheim in 2013 to produce tislelizumab using the latter’s facility in Shanghai. In addition, it signed a supply deal with Catalent in 2016 to produce zanubrutinib, a small molecule inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase. Catalent will produce the drug with its site in Kansas.

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