GE Healthcare Life Sciences, Akeso Pharmaceuticals to Accelerate Novel Therapy Manufacturing in China

November 7, 2019

GE Healthcare Life Sciences will supply Akeso Pharmaceuticals with the FlexFactory platform to accelerate production of antibody drugs in the Guangzhou region.

On Nov. 6, 2019, Akeso Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company specializing in the development and commercialization of novel biologics, announced that it will open a new facility in Guangzhou, China, based on GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ FlexFactory platform. The facility will be designed for efficient and cost-effective manufacture of recombinant biologics.

The new facility, to be located on Akeso’s manufacturing site in Guangzhou Knowledge City, is expected to be operational by the end of 2020 and to create up to 150 jobs upon opening. The FlexFactory platform is configured to have a capacity for 4 x 2000-L bioreactors in support of clinical and commercial production of therapeutic antibodies. It is also cGMP compliant.

In addition, Akeso will have accelerated access to antibody production through GE Healthcare Life Sciences to support its biopharmaceuticals pipeline, including therapies in development for treating cancer, auto-immune diseases, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease. The initial focus will be on bispecific antibodies.

“We strive to provide affordable and high-quality therapeutics to patients. In 2016, we were the first user of FlexFactory for monoclonal antibody-manufacturing in South China. Once again, we chose to collaborate with GE to deploy new product lines and boost the production of next-generation immunotherapy drugs in China,” said Dr. Michelle Xia, chairman and CEO of Akeso Biopharma, in a company press release.

“Akeso is one of China’s most innovative manufacturers of next-generation therapies. Rapid access to proven biomanufacturing technologies, and cost-efficient capabilities-supplied by trusted and seasoned industry partners-are key to realize the potential of the industry. We are supporting the growth of Guangzhou’s biotech with flexible and scalable technologies, like FlexFactory and KUBio, as we recognize the needs of biomanufacturers to succeed in this highly competitive environment,” said Olivier Loeillot, general manager of BioProcess at GE Healthcare Life Sciences, in the press release.

According to the companies, China’s biopharmaceutical service sector has been growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% and is poised to reach $1.4 billion by 2021. The monoclonal antibody market size in China is projected to reach RMB 120.7 billion (US$17 billion) by 2025.

This installation marks the 15th automation-integrated FlexFactory platform provided by GE Healthcare Life Sciences in China and the 64th FlexFactory supplied globally to biopharmaceutical manufacturers.

Source: GE Healthcare