BeiGene sets sights on US with NJ manufacturing facility

BeiGene plans to build an R&D and biomanufacturing facility at a 42-acre site in Hopewell, New Jersey.

The deal, of which financial details have not been disclosed, sees BeiGene enter into a purchase agreement to acquire a site at the Princeton West Innovation Campus where it will construct a commercial-stage biologic manufacturing and clinical R&D facility.

Hopewell’s central location and closeness to a pharmaceutical research, development, and manufacturing talent pool were cited by the firm as reasons to expand its footprint in this region.

Image: iStock/dk_photos

“After an extensive search, we selected the Princeton West Innovation site in Hopewell as the location for our new BeiGene Campus. The Hopewell site allows us to build for our current needs while also giving us the space we need to build for the future,” a spokesperson for BeiGene told BioProcess Insider.

“Hopewell and the surrounding areas have much to offer us in terms of high-quality talent, which is crucial for any company, but certainly for us as a growing biotech. We need and want the best and brightest to help us succeed globally.”

BeiGene is a global firm founded in China that has developed a pipeline of small and large molecule drugs. Its lead monoclonal antibody (mAb) Tisleizumab has been approved in China for various indications including relapsed/refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (R/R cHL).

The firm has a small molecule manufacturing plant in Suzhou, China and a biologics production facility in Guangzhou, China. Although BeiGene already has a partnership with Catalent based in Kansas City, this is their first inhouse US facility.

The firm also received investment from Amgen who purchased 145 million shares for $412 million in June 2020 after acquiring a 20.5% Stake in BeiGene for approximately $2.7 billion in November 2019.

New jobs in NJ

The firm anticipates hiring hundreds of new employees but is not able to share a specific number with this publication.

However, the spokesperson said “BeiGene plans to rent space nearby and begin to hire immediately. Construction jobs should total 300-500 reflecting a wide variety of trades needed to complete Phase I of the project. We will continue to evaluate and plan to recruit additional colleagues at the campus based on our long-range planning.”

According to BeiGene, the development of the campus is subject to closing the purchase agreement with Lincoln Equities Group and planning approval by the Hopewell Township Planning Board.

If accepted, Phase I of construction is expected to be completed in mid-2023.