AstraZeneca has broken ground on a $200m (€147m) manufacturing facility in China to meet soaring demand in the country.
Set for completion in 2013, the plant in China Medical City (CMC), Taizhou, Jiangsu province, will manufacture the company’s own products as well as branded generics exclusively for the Chinese market.
It will have the capacity to make both intravenous and oral solid medicines.
The investment – AstraZeneca’s largest in a single manufacturing facility – is part of the firm’s strategy to expand in what it says is one of the most rapidly growing markets.
Isabelle Jouin, part of the global media relations team at AstraZeneca, told in-PharmaTechnologist: “There’s a massive demand for medication in the Chinese market, and our recent expansions are a bid to meet that demand.
“It’s a bit early to say exactly which products we will be producing there at the moment.
“However what I can say is that we are establishing the facility in China so that we can better serve the local community. This is an investment in China for Chinese patients.”
Expansions in China
The news is the latest in a string of developments in China for the UK-based business.
One of the largest of the new investments came in 2009, when the company broke ground on a $100m headquarters and research and development (R&D) facility at Zhangjiang, near Shanghai.
The plant, set to be completed by the end of next year, will become one of the company’s largest R&D centres outside the UK.
Mark Mallon, president of AstraZeneca, China, said that the company is now in prime position to grow in the country. IMS predicts the market will be worth $100bn by 2015, as the government invests in improving healthcare infrastructure and expanding insurance coverage.
He said of the latest advancement: “AstraZeneca has been putting down deep and broad roots in China for many years, which will be further strengthened by this $200m investment.
“Our new manufacturing facility will complement our efforts to meet the medical needs of Chinese patients with medicines that are locally produced.
“In particular, it will help us to reach out to more of the estimated 900m people in urban and rural communities who have had less access to high quality medicines.”