Akeso Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company specialising in the development and commercialisation of novel biologics, will open a new facility in Guangzhou, China, based on GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ FlexFactory platform.
It will be designed for efficient and cost-effective manufacture of recombinant biologics. GE Healthcare Life Sciences will speed up Akeso’s access to antibody production in support of Akeso’s pipeline of biopharmaceuticals, including therapies for the treatment of cancer, auto-immune diseases, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease.
The FlexFactory will be located on Akeso’s manufacturing site in Guangzhou Knowledge City. It is configured with capacity of 4 x 2000L bioreactors to support the clinical and commercial production of therapeutic antibodies.
This becomes the 21st automation-integrated FlexFactory platform provided by GE Healthcare Life Sciences in China (five of which are in Guangzhou), and the 64th FlexFactory supplied globally to manufacturers of biopharmaceuticals. India currently has one FlexFactory installed at Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in Hyderabad.
In 2018, Lonza announced an agreement with GE Healthcare, under which GE Healthcare will develop a biologics centre featuring a KUBio biomanufacturing facility in Guangzhou, China. The centre is expected to be operational in 2020. In 2019, BeiGene opened a KUBio biomanufacturing facility in Guangzhou, China.
Akeso Pharmaceuticals is a joint venture between Akeso Biopharma and the Guangzhou Development District. The FlexFactory will support the company’s aim to expand its operations to large-scale manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals, with an initial focus on bispecific antibodies. Akeso’s plant is expected to be operational by end of 2020 and create up to 150 jobs upon opening.
Dr Michelle Xia, Chairman and CEO, Akeso Biopharma, said, “We strive to provide affordable and high-quality therapeutics to patients. In 2016, we were the first user of FlexFactory for monoclonal antibody-manufacturing in South China. Once again, we chose to collaborate with GE to deploy new product lines and boost the production of next-generation immunotherapy drugs in China.”
Olivier Loeillot, General Manager–BioProcess, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, said, “Akeso is one of China’s most innovative manufacturers of next-generation therapies. Rapid access to proven biomanufacturing technologies, and cost-efficient capabilities – supplied by trusted and seasoned industry partners, are key to realise the potential of the industry. We are supporting the growth of Guangzhou’s biotech with flexible and scalable technologies, like FlexFactory and KUBio, as we recognise the needs of biomanufacturers to succeed in this highly competitive environment.”