UBI-Asia acquires Glaxo SmithKline’s Hsinchu plant

By Richard Pearson, The China Post

United Biomedical Inc.’s (UBI) Asian Operation Center (UBI-Asia) recently acquired a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant located in Hsinchu from Glaxo SmithKline plc. (GSK), placing the company in the lead among local drug manufacturers and significantly elevating its presence in the East Asia region. According to statements from the N.Y.-based UBI, the company has entered into a series of agreements through which UBI-Asia will acquire from GSK a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant located in Hsinchu. The companies have also said that UBI-Asia will manufacture pharmaceutical products to fulfill the needs of GSK’s local consumers.

The new arrangement will establish UBI-Asia as the leading producer of pharmaceutical products in Taiwan and further its development into a top regional drug manufacturer. Parent company UBI has a 60 percent stake in the Taiwan-based UBI-Asia and the Executive Yuan’s Development Fund holds the rest 40 percent stake, according to official statements released by UBI.

Local Chinese-language media reported that the new merged operation will have the capacity to produce a large range of pharmaceuticals and related products such as injectables, sustained release capsules, tablets, liquids, and topical creams. UBI-Asia said that it plans to export products made at the newly acquired Hsinchu facility to markets overseas, focusing especially on the East Asia region.

According to UBI-Asia officials, the new arrangement with GSK will serve as a springboard for parent UBI’s expansions into the region. Company officials also said that production and research capabilities will increase significantly as a result of the acquisition. UBI statements said that the combined operation will have roughly 200,000 square feet of pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities and will be operated in accordance with international guidelines for pharmaceutical production. UBI-Asia already runs one plant in Hsinchu that it acquired through similar acquisition and contract manufacturing arrangements with F. Hoffman La-Roche Ltd. in 1999 and where it manufactures pharmaceutical products for the regional market for that firm as well as Novartis AB and other multinational corporations. UBI was founded by Taiwan native Chang Yi Wang. The company founded UBI-Asia in 1998 through a strategic alliance with the Ministry of Economic Affairs. UBI also maintains manufacturing facilities in mainland China and an operational division there called UBI-China.