Ahead of Hong Kong listing changes, WuXi preps for a biotech boom with a new R&D center in Shanghai

Betting on the biotech boom that’s now focusing considerable attention on China, WuXi AppTec has doubled down on its investment in one of its Shanghai complexes.

Minzhang Chen

The global CRO is building a new R&D center next to an existing drug substance manufacturing site in the Jinshan district — one of five owned by WuXi’s STA subsidiary — with 30,000 square meters of lab space. Planning on a team of 500 scientists, WuXi is touting the center as a one-stop shop for biopharma partners to push APIs and advanced intermediates from preclinical stage through commercial launch.

“The new R&D center is a reflection of our commitment to better serve customers worldwide and support growth in the local economy, as well as the biopharmaceutical ecosystem in Jinshan,” said Minzhang Chen, CEO of WuXi STA.

WuXi made the announcement as the industry vigilantly anticipates a surge of biotech IPOs in Hong Kong, taking advantage of a rule change that makes it possible for pre-revenue biotechs to list on its stock exchange. In fact, just yesterday, Reuters reported that two big Chinese upstarts — Innovent Biologics and Ascentage Pharma — have switched focus from New York to the Hong Kong bourse, looking to raise about $800 million.

Ge Li

The new rule takes effect on Monday. An influx of capital can be expect to impact the entire ecosystem — WuXi certainly thinks so.

Under the leadership of CEO Ge Li, WuXi has gained a strong foothold around the world since it was founded in 2000. Now, it is well positioned to capitalize on a new boom at home.

Image: WuXi STA’s Jinshan site. WUXI STA

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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