AstraZeneca will invest $200 million in a new manufacturing facility in China that will produce both intravenous and solid medicines. The facility will be located in China Medical City (CMC) in Taizhou (Jiangsu province) and construction is due to finish at the end of 2013.
According to a press statement, the facility will help the company to meet China’s growing demand for its products. In addition, the investment will help AstraZeneca to expand the availability of its medicines to people in both urban and rural communities who traditionally have had limited access to established medicines.
“AstraZeneca has been putting down deep and broad roots in China for many years,” said Mark Mallon, President of AstraZeneca China, in the statement. “Our new manufacturing facility will complement our efforts to meet the medical needs of Chinese patients with medicines that are locally produced. In particular, it will help us to reach out to more of the estimated 900 million people in urban and rural communities who have had less access to high quality medicines.”
China is an important market for AstraZeneca. The company first established its presence in the country in 1993 and in 2010 had a turnover in excess of $1 billion. Its facilities in China include a manufacturing and supply site in Wuxi New District, the Innovation Centre China, which is a translational science centre targeting biomarker research into cancer therapies, and an extensive network of collaborations with academic and medical institutions. In addition, AstraZeneca has an established sales and marketing operation as well as large-scale clinical development capabilities.
According to the press statement, China’s pharmaceutical market grew from $10 billion in 2004 to $41 billion in 2010 and is expected to grow to more than $100 billion by 2015 as the government invests in improving healthcare infrastructure and expanding insurance coverage.