China’s so-called ‘one site’ rule which dictates that drug product manufacturing should be manufactured at the same site as the drug substance limits what CDMOs can currently do in the country. However, the Chinese market is very much open for international CDMOs looking to offer their expertise to Chinese pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies keen on bringing their products to the global market where pricing levels are often more attractive than domestic ones.
The CDMO Vetter operates in the aseptic manufacturing arena, providing sterile injectables services later in the value chain such as fill and finish process development, clinical manufacturing, assistance with regulatory filing strategies, followed by commercial filling and secondary packaging. Headquartered in Ravensburg, Germany, the company operates production facilities in Germany, Austria and the US, and employs a workforce of around 5,500.
Vetter announced in March 2021 that it had opened a sales office in Shanghai, China with the remit of tapping into a steadily growing market, rich with domestic science firms keen on gaining access to overseas markets.
Oskar Gold, Senior Vice President Asia Pacific/Emerging Global Markets at Vetter Pharma International GmbH explains that the CDMO’s move was embedded in a multiyear strategy to develop its business in biotech hubs around the world.
“As for Asia, we started a couple of years ago in Singapore, then we opened offices in Tokyo and Seoul and now we have as a logical next step an office in Shanghai for business development purposes,” he says. “The prime reason behind that was because the life science sector not only in Asia but also in China particularly, is evolving quite significantly. We monitor the socio-macro trends from all over the world including China, we look at factors such as investment levels in the life sciences, pharma and biopharma sectors. We look at the number of clinical projects in different phases, we look at the funding and all these key factors have been very positive over the last few years.”