COVID-19: Chinese biomanufacturer CMAB returns to full operations

As doors close in Europe and the US, there is some hope in China with CMAB Biopharma returning to full operations following the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to close down normal life in Europe, there are signs that normality is beginning to return in China, the country where the outbreak was first reported.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, daily increases in coronavirus cases in China have dropped to fewer than a hundred compared to the peak of more than 15,000 cases on February 13. The US, in comparison, is only just seeing cases ramp up with nearly 8,000 new incidents being reported yesterday.

Image: iStock/Naeblys

As such, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) CMAB Biopharma announced Sunday it has resumed full operations at its site at the Suzhou Industrial Park in China.

The site houses 3,700m² of laboratory space and a 3,000m² GMP manufacturing unit, and has capacity for pilot-scale development projects and commercial production with reactor capacities ranging from 20 L to 2,000 L. The manufacturing facility was established in 2018 after CMAB secured $34 million in a series B fundraising round.

“With careful management and a proactive response to the recent pandemic, we have been able to mitigate major negative effects to the business of CMAB,” Wang Yongzhong, CEO of CMAB said.

According to the firm, the return to full operations was due to the pandemic prevention and control measures it put in place. These included formulation of guidelines and management measures, implementation of personal health registration for all staff and visitors, establishment of health check points for daily temperature monitoring, provision of personal protective equipment (medical masks, protective goggles, protective gloves), and alcohol disinfection every two hours.

The Chinese firm has also strictly regulated employees, visitors and third-party personnel at the site to reduce unnecessary business trips and visits, while also implementing remote working and teleconferences where possible

“We continue to evaluate the potential impact of the pandemic on the global supply chain of key raw materials and are actively take corresponding measures,” said Yongzhong. “At the same time, we are maintaining one-on-one communication with customers to ensure the rapid progress of projects and maximize the benefits of customers.”

CMAB’s customers include BJ Bioscience. The CDMO is conducting CMC development and manufacturing to support the planned submission of an IND for a bi-functional antibody candidate in China and the US.

And in December, CMAB inked a deal to develop and make an undisclosed biologic drug project for Fapon Biopharma.

Leave a Reply