Contrary to some reports, WuXi Biologics is not building a second facility for its recently formed vaccines joint venture but has merely secured the $3 billion contract announced last May.
Nine months ago, WuXi Biologics and Shanghai-based Hile Bio-Technology formed WuXi Vaccines, a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) to service a Letter of Intent (LOI) inked with an undisclosed multinational vaccine company.
In November, plans were laid to build a $240 million (€222 million) three-story dedicated manufacturing facility in Dundalk, Ireland to support the project. The site is located within the WuXi Biologics Campus, will create 300 jobs, and when operational – expected in 2022 – will produce 40-60 million vials per year using single-use bioreactors.
This is old and well-documented news.
But yesterday, WuXi Vaccines published a press release saying it “has entered into a strategic partnership with a global vaccine leader and signed a 20-year vaccine manufacturing contract valued approximately $3 billion USD, pursuant to which WuXi Vaccines will build a dedicated facility and supply a commercial vaccine products for the global market.”
A case of déjà vu for Insider readers, perhaps, but some areas of the media have pounced on this as evidence of this being ‘news’ in a literal sense and even that WuXi Biologics/Vaccines is building another manufacturing plant.
To confirm, we spoke with WuXi Biologics and CEO Chris Chen told us the $3 billion contract in the latest press release is indeed the same as that cited in May. The ‘new’ element is that a “strategic partnership” has now been formed with the undisclosed vaccine developer, a progression from the letter of intent (LOI) signed in May.