AstraZeneca continues to build out its presence in China with new COPD drug manufacturing site
AstraZeneca has been growing its presence in China over the past several years, and the pharma’s latest venture in the country will see it establish a manufacturing process for COPD treatments.
According to a press release, translated from Chinese, AstraZeneca officially announced it will expand its investment in China and plans to spend some cash to construct a production and supply base as well, as a regional headquarters in the port city of Qingdao, Shandong in eastern China. Qingdao will also be home to an innovation center focused on rare diseases, a life science innovation park and an industrial fund.
The company additionally said that the planned manufacturing and supply base in Qingdao will produce the ingredients for Breztri, a therapeutic that treats COPD. AstraZeneca declined to comment on the cost, size or timelines on the manufacturing space and innovation center.
“AstraZeneca’s investment in the Qingdao production and supply base aims to better meet the huge demand of patients for Breztri inhalation aerosols. To further promote the development of Qingdao’s biopharmaceutical industry and contribute to the National Health Vision 2030, AstraZeneca will continue to strengthen its confidence in increasing investment in China,” said Wang Lei, the China president of AstraZeneca, in a statement.
Breztri, which gained approval in China in 2019, had a rocky journey with US regulators. In 2019, the triple-drug combination treatment was originally shot down with a CRL, but it finally received the green light in 2020.
And while AstraZeneca has a solid presence in China with supply bases in Wuxi and Taizhou, Jiangsu, China, some staffers recently found themselves in trouble.
In January, multiple suspects were arrested in connection with an alleged medical insurance fraud scheme organized by AstraZeneca China employees, the country’s National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA) said. The arrests occurred after an investigation found evidence that staff members tampered with the genetic testing results of tumor patients to defraud medical insurance funds.