A vaccine subsidiary of drugmaker Medigen Biotechnology Corp (基亞) yesterday started preliminary construction on a NT$1 billion (US$33.26 million) factory in Hsinchu County, aiming to produce vaccines for enterovirus and influenza starting in 2016.
The planned factory in Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park (新竹生物醫學園區) is to have two production lines to make 10 million vials of vaccines a year after it becomes operational in 2016, according to Medigen Vaccinology Corp (基亞疫苗).
The company developed vaccines for H1N1 influenza and or H5N1 influenza in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and acquired the know-how to produce a vaccine for EV71 enterovirus in 2012.
The company’s H5N1 and EV71 vaccines are expected to enter phase two clinical trails this year and are likely to hit the market in 2016, Medigen Vaccinology said.
The firm is also in talks with the National Health Research Institutes to acquire technology to make the vaccine for H7N9 influenza virus, with plans for pneumonia and cancer vaccines in the long term.
Meanwhile, Ho Shou-chuan (何壽川), chairman of SinoPac Financial Holding Co (永豐金控), which has invested in local biotechnology firms, said yesterday that the market value of local biotechnology companies has reached NT$820 billion (US$27.2 billion) and is likely to exceed NT$1 trillion by the middle of the year.
“Biotechnology will definitely be one of the nation’s most important industries in the next 50 years,” he said at the opening ceremony of a new office for Taiwan Research-Based Biopharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (TRPMA).