Zoetis doubles down on animal vaccines
- Zoetis announced on April 26 that it began construction on two facilities to be co-located in Suzhou, China. The focus of one location will be the production and manufacturing of vaccines for companion animals and food-production animals such as pigs, cattle and fish. Whereas the other location, under the name PHARMAQ, will be a dedicated R&D center for vaccines used in the farmed fish industry in mainland China.
- The new build will include 43,000 square meters of GMP-certified vaccine manufacturing operations and laboratory space, which the company forecasts will be up and running by 2021. The company plans to add 100 new jobs in R&D and manufacturing in the area over the course of the next two years.
- "Our future vaccine manufacturing [in Suzhou] will be devoted to Zoetis vaccines tailored to the needs of the animal health sector in China," Zoetis spokesperson Elinore White said in an email to BioPharma Dive. "In China for China."
Vaccines are the largest growth driver for China's animal health market, said Zoetis in a statement, and China is the world's second largest animal health market.
The new capacity created from its construction efforts could help the company increase its revenue, which in China was $174 million in 2017 (China is the fifth largest market for Zoetis). That same year, operations outside the U.S. accounted for 50% of the company's total revenue.
Revenue from vaccines just edge out revenue from Zoetis' anti-infectives business ($1.4 billion versus $1.3 billion in 2017, respectively).
The specific focus of the first research that will be conducted at the PHARMAQ lab will be the development of vaccines against disease threats found within the Chinese aquaculture sector. As soon as the new R&D site is up and running, the R&D operations currently conducted at the company's Beijing site will move to the new facility.
Zoetis' new manufacturing and supply facility will be the company's second of its kind in Suzhou. Its first manufacturing location in the area commenced production in 2015; it is the production site for many of its antimicrobials.
In addition to its anti-infectives, the company already produces vaccines, parasiticides, and medicated additives indicated for various animals — but beefing up its offering in the vaccine space, specifically, will help the area's farmers meet "increasing demand for a safe and abundant supply of pork, milk, beef and fish," the company said.
While Zoetis already produces vaccines for swine — and has since 2011 at its manufacturing site in Jilin — it will now drill down on vaccines for other animals, with a heavy focus on the aquaculture market.
The value of the animal vaccines market in China alone exceeded $1.8 billion in 2017, according to a Vetnosis STORM report cited by the company.