Eisai’s Chinese subsidiary has completed a new oral solid dose (OSD) production facility and an administration building in China at the site of its new Suzhou plant located within the Suzhou Industrial Park.

The facility—whose value was not disclosed—occupies a new industrial site more than five times the size of its current Suzhou plant (OSD production facility), which opened in November 2014 and oversees the subsidiary’s manufacturing of the injection formulation of the anemia treatment Methycobal® (methylcobalamin).

Eisai said it sought to strengthen its in-house domestic production system in China, and expand its stable supply chain of pharmaceuticals, through the completion of the OSD production facility at the new Suzhou plant. Eisai has expanded its Chinese operations in recent years. A year after opening the current plant, Eisai shelled out RMB 500 million ($77.7 million) to acquire Liaoning TianYi Biological Pharmaceutical, a Chinese manufacturer whose portfolio includes approximately 90 pharmaceutical products.

The new OSD production facility stands three stories above ground and contains an area of approximately 20,240 square meters (217,861.55 square feet). The new facility’s production capacity allows for formulation of approximately 3 billion tablets and packaging for approximately 5 billion tablets per year—approximately double the capacity of the current Suzhou plant, according to Eisai.

Eisai said the new facility is expected to begin operations in the second half of the company’s 2018 fiscal year—between October 2018 and March 2019. The new OSD facility will handle the formulation and packaging of Methycobal and other oral solid dose products for the domestic Chinese market, including the Alzheimer’s disease treatment Aricept® (donepezil hydrochloride) and the gastroenterological treatment Pariet® (rabeprazole sodium) .

The current two-story plant is approximately 5,690 square meters (61,246.65 square feet) in area. It will close after operations fully commence at the new Suzhou plant's OSD production facility, Eisai said Thursday.

Eisai’s operations in China are the Japanese drug developer’s third-largest in scale after Japan and the U.S. and are considered a core business.

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