Novozymes begins work on Chinese bHA plant

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmaceutical drug, Medicine, China

Novozymes Biopharma is building a new Bacillus-based hyaluronic acid (bHA) production facility in China to meet “increasing demand” for the substance that has drug delivery applications.

The facility is being built at Novozymes’ existing site in Tianjin in eastern China, which Novozymes says may become a cluster housing plants producing bulk active pharmaceuticals and other ingredients for the industry.

Preparatory steps for these potential expansions are incorporated into the current $35-50m construction, which when complete in Q1 2011 will provide pharmaceutical grade (Q7) bHA to the industry.

Thomas Videbæk, executive vice president of Novozymes, said: “Regulators are ever more cautious with regard to the safety of products and so a facility that is capable of delivering pharmaceutical-grade bHA is an essential part of our strategy in bringing HyaCare forward for use in medical device and pharmaceutical applications​.

China was an obvious choice as we already have a world-class manufacturing operation there with more than 20 years experience. This site will also facilitate expansion as business opportunities develop​.”

Production and uses of bHA

bHA has been traditionally derived from rooster combs or strains of streptococcal ​bacteria but these methods are known to be pathogenic.

Consequently Novozymes has developed an animal-free bHA using non-pathogenic fermentation method, which produces a high quality product without using organic solvents, according to the company.

The bHA produced ay the site will go towards meeting rising demand for the substance, which is widely used in medical device applications and in research into drug delivery methods, including anticancer therapeutics, tissue engineering, and bone regeneration treatments.

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