Celltrion announced July 19 that it has established the joint venture Vcell Healthcare in Shanghai with Hong Kong-based conglomerate Nan Fung Group to make a foray into China.
Established in 1954, Nan Fung Group’s businesses range from real estate development to life sciences.
“We are now one step closer to entering the Chinese market,” Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin said in a statement. “We will work hard to provide Celltrion’s biosimilar products, which are recognized by the global market including Korea, Europe and the US, as fast as possible.”
According to the South Korean company, it has injected $20 million to establish the JV through its unit in Hong Kong.
“Currently, we are considering injecting around 500 billion won ($426.35 million) in total into the JV. More detailed information about our stake in the JV and the total amount of investment will be disclosed around September,” a Celltrion spokesperson told The Investor.
The JV also signed a contract with Celltrion for exclusive rights to develop, produce and commercialize three of the Korean firm’s biosimilar products -- Remsima, Truxima and Herzuma -- in China.
In addition, Celltrion and Nan Fung Group plan to discuss establishing a biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility together in China in the first quarter of next year.
According to a report by the Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization, China has the second-biggest biopharmaceutical market, with average growth rate of around 18 percent in the past few years. This market is expected to be worth around 56 trillion won by 2020.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)