United BioPharma Selects GE Healthcare’s FlexFactory for Manufacturing Facility in Taiwan

Apr 27, 2017
By Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

United BioPharma Inc (UBP) has selected GE Healthcare’s FlexFactory manufacturing platform for its new facility focusing on late-stage clinical and commercial production capacity of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies in Hsinchu Industrial Park, Taiwan, the company announced on April 25, 2017. With this added capacity, UBP will support local healthcare needs by bringing biopharmaceuticals to the Taiwanese and surrounding markets faster.

The project received support from the Taiwanese government to help improve access to biopharmaceuticals and boost the bioprocess market in the region. This is a key priority for the Taiwanese government, which has introduced several policies to create a favorable environment for the development of the biotech, pharma, and medical devices industry in the country.

The new facility, including GE’s FlexFactory based on integrated single-use technologies, will be dedicated to late-stage clinical and commercial production capacity of biopharmaceuticals, especially a monoclonal antibody, UB-421, which will be used for HIV treatment. GE will also continue to work closely with UBP on the establishment of its contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) business.

“The completion of this state-of-the-art facility equipped with two of GE’s 2000-L single-use bioreactors and integrated manufacturing process is a much-anticipated achievement for UBP to enter into commercial-scale current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP)-production with international standards. It also resolves the manufacturing bottleneck for UBP’s rich pipeline. With the potential expansion to twelve 2000-L production lines within this eight-story building, UBP is and will continue to be the largest protein drug manufacturer in Taiwan in the foreseeable future,” said Chang Yi Wang, PhD, chairperson of UBP, in a press release.     

“UBP’s Flex Factory will help deliver increased capacity as well as supporting Taiwan’s growing pharma industry requirements more rapidly. Taiwan’s desire to boost its manufacturing capacity is an industry need we are hearing echoed across the globe,” said Sven Henrichwark, general manager, Global Commercial BioProcess, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, in the press release. “Local production capability is a crucial element in providing national healthcare systems with the vital medicines to address growing patient needs. We are excited to contribute to UBP’s development by delivering a robust and flexible biomanufacturing solution, that includes final qualification and training.”

UBP’s partnership with GE started as a Fast Trak collaboration. GE Healthcare’s Fast Trak centers, with their advanced laboratories, provided large-scale equipment and process related support for UBP’s R&D team members in developing new biopharmaceuticals. The collaboration, under the Industrial Cooperation Program, helped manufacture clinical material and transferred the manufacturing process back to the UBP team in Taiwan while their facility was being built.

Source: GE Healthcare

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