ScinoPharm inaugurates new API plant in Changshu
By Kathryn Chiu, The China Post
December 13, 2013, 12:13 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- ScinoPharm (神隆) on Thursday announced it has completed construction of its plant in Changshu, Jiangsu province, mainland China, which is set to serve as a base for the company to develop its active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) business in China.
ScinoPharm is Taiwan's largest API manufacturer, with well over 60 percent of its shares in the hands of Uni-President Group (統一集團). At yesterday's grand opening ceremony of the second phase of SinoPharm's Changshu plant, Uni-President Chairman Alex C. Lo (羅智先) and his wife and Uni-President Director of the Board Kao Shiu-ling (高秀玲) paid a personal visit to extend their congratulations.
The biotechnology investments of Uni-President Group encompass Pharmaceutical Corp. (統一藥品), Uni-President Biotech (統欣生技) and Uni-President Organics Corp. (統一生機), the last of which mostly sells consumer-oriented health supplements and organic products.
ScinoPharm's Changshu plant sits on a 16-acre lot in the Changshu Economic & Technological Development Zone. With the completion of Phase II of the plant come two additional API production lines plus an R & D process development center.
ScinoPharm yesterday said in a company statement that a total of US$113 million was invested in the facility. ScinoPharm President and CEO Jo Shen (馬海怡) stated that China would become the second largest pharmaceutical market in 2015, adding that ScinoPharm Changshu will work together with ScinoPharm Taiwan in the production of new international and generic drugs and to respond to domestic demand in the Chinese market.
Uni-President to Continue Building Biotech Empire: Lo
Shen said the Changshu plant will also serve as the base for ScinoPharm to develop its API business in China. She said the plant has already received drug production licenses from the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) for four API products. Moreover, ScinoPharm has already developed nine of the top 20 oncological products used in China, Shen added.
During the inauguration ceremony, Shen also signed an agreement with the Changshu Economic Development Zone administration to purchase an additional 108 acres of adjoining property to be used for the development of future API production lines and for the construction of future production plants.
Alex Lo said during the ceremony that Uni-President will continue expanding its investment in the biotechnology business. He lauded ScinoPharm's technological prowess in oncology, indicating that the initiative will assist Uni-President Group in seizing business opportunities created by an aging population.
According to a statement by ScinoPharm, its Changshu plant is the first API production plant to be built in accordance with the latest GMP requirements announced by the CFDA and is expected to benefit from reduced competition resulting from many existing companies' inability to comply with these much more stringent compliance requirements.