- Fast-growing biotech BeiGene Ltd. delivered one of the industry's first big manufacturing projects of 2017 earlier this week, announcing plans for a new biologics facility located in Guangdong Province, China.
- The company expects $330 million worth of direct funding for construction of the plant. The Guangzhou Development District — one of China's 54 national Economic and Technological Development Zones which aim to strengthen regional economies and work with foreign investors — has agreed to provide $150 million through its affiliate, Guangzhou GET Technology Development (GET).
- Hong Kong-based BeiGene Co., BeiGene's subsidiary focused on immuno-oncology drug creation, will contribute $30 million to the endeavor, while a manufacturing subsidiary of one of the company's other businesses, BeiGene Biologics, will front the remaining $150 million through commercial loans.
BeiGene Biologics will be in charge of R&D at the new facility. BeiGene Ltd. did not disclose when it expected to complete the project in a March 7 statement, though it did say the plant would be "state-of-the-art" and "commercial-scale."
Expanding R&D operations is a logical step for any biotech growing as quickly as BeiGene. The company has a diverse portfolio of cancer medications, including BGB-A317, a PD-1 inhibitor like Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo (nivolumab) and Merck's Keytruda (pembrolizumab), and BGB-290, a PARP inhibitor à la AstraZeneca's Lynparza (olaparib).
It also has a few deals on the books. In 2013, for example, BeiGene extended a collaboration with a subsidiary of Germany's Merck KGaA to encompass BGB-290.
As for money, Beigene has plenty. The biotech followed a $97 million round of funding in 2015 with an initial public offering the next year that brought in about $158 million. It reported nearly $204 million in cash, equivalents and short term investments as of Sept. 30, according to its most quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
And to add fuel to the fire, the company completed a follow-on public offering in November that raked in $200 million more.
“We attach great importance to this project and believe that the successful introduction of BeiGene Biologics will transform Guangzhou Development District into a center for the innovative biopharmaceutical industry, promote the development of the biotechnology industry in the region, and provide a powerful driving force for economic transformation and upgrade," the administrative committee of the GDD said in the March 7 statement.