Taiwanese generic and contract manufacturer ScinoPharm has seen its sales almost double for the last three years, from $5 m in 2002 to $31m in 2005, fuelled by its booming active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) business.
As the global pharma industry becomes more diverse, many drug makers are outsourcing the production of bulk pharmaceuticals to save money and resources.
This has created a lucrative subcontracting market, particularly in Asia, for the production of about 50 main raw chemicals, which form the building blocks for drug compounds.
Most of the leading global brands and generic companies are now clients of >ScinoPharm, an arrangement that is likely to continue, as once a contract supplier of a material is established and incorporated into the validation of any particular drug it is very difficult for a company to change suppliers later on.
ScinoPharm now has plans to expand and strengthen its market presence both globally and in Taiwan by tying up with large local pharmaceutical companies.
With the Taiwanese government owning a quarter of the company, ScinoPharm is assured of continued financial backing by the government to help it become a major global supplier of API services and products.
In particular, the company is well positioned to capitalise on the generic drug market, which promises to be one of the biggest continuing areas of industry growth in 2006, with more than $11.3 bn in sales of branded drugs going generic.
To date, ScinoPharm has received 20 drug master files (DMFs) to produce generics drugs from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and a combined total of 40 DMFs from Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. ScinoPharm's scientists have already developed manufacturing processes for more than 30 APIs, with six of them being commercialised so far and sold in the US and Europe.
Meanwhile, a number of biotech companies are now collaborating with ScinoPharm on new drug development. So far, more than 40 new chemical entity (NCE) projects have started, with five of them in the Phase III stage of clinical trials.
Among the NCE projects, one has been commercialised and one customer listed ScinoPharm as the only supplier in its new drug application (NDA). In addition, ScinoPharm offers a wide array of services including R&D, process development and cGMP manufacturing and is already providing such services for seven of the top 10 brand companies.
In recognition of its process research and development services and API manufacturing capabilities, ScinoPharm was the awarded the 2005 Entrepreneurial Company Award from Frost & Sullivan.
The award is given each year to a small company that has demonstrated superior entrepreneurial ability in its industry and signifies the company's identification of a unique and revolutionary product solution with significant market potential. Additionally, it certifies that the company's marketing strategy is sound and poised for success.
And poised it is. The company is growing consistently through its current business pursuits and has also now developed the capabilities to produce several generic biopharmaceuticals in anticipation of capitalising on the upcoming biotech boom.