Taiwanese vaccine manufacturer Adimmune Corp (國光生技) yesterday signed a cooperation pact with China-based Shenzhen Techdow Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (天道醫藥) to produce enoxaparin sodium injections, which are used to prevent and treat blood clots.
The cooperation would unite Adimmune’s aseptic ampoule-filling technology with Techdow Pharmaceutical’s enoxaparin sodium manufacturing technology, allowing the firms to produce injections that can pass the high standards set in Europe and the US.
The patent for the original blood clot prevention drug has expired, but it would be difficult to develop a new drug that is as effective, Techdow Pharmaceutical general manager Jake Li (李建科) said yesterday.
Each year, 100 million units of enoxaparin sodium injections are sold in the US market and 360 million in Europe. Sales are estimated to be about US$2 billion per year in both regions, Li said.
Adimmune will manufacture the product in local factories starting next year and is expected to be certified by the European Medicines Agency as a manufacturer of the injections by next year, chief financial officer Vic Chang (張哲瑋) said.
The two companies plan to manufacture 10 million units a year at first, and increase production volume to 50 million units within three to five years, he said.
Adimmune reported consolidated losses of NT$603.68 million (US$20.24 million) last year, 28 percent more than the NT$471.32 million loss it posted a year ago, which the company attributed to lower profit margins for flu vaccines.
The Greater Taichung-based company expects a better outlook for this year once another of its partnerts, Dutch biotech firm Crucell NV, receives more approvals to distribute Adimmune’s flu vaccines in Europe.
The company’s flu vaccines were approved for sale in Germany, the UK and Italy last year, and received the green light in Switzerland last month. The vaccines are currently being reviewed by other European countries, as well as the Pan-American Health Organization, Adimmune said.
“We are striving to swing to the black this year,” Chang said.
Adimmune chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) said the company is capable of producing between 5 million and 10 million units of a preliminary vaccine for H7N9 — a subtype of the avian influenza virus — within two months if the strain spreads beyond control, citing its extensive experience producing the vaccine for avian flu subtype H1N1.
Preliminary vaccines are used when a vaccine cannot be developed or manufactured in time to stop a sudden outbreak, Chan said, adding that there is currently no specific vaccine for H7N9.
Adimmune’s shares rose 6.97 percent to NT$40.65 yesterday, outperforming the TAIEX, which was up 0.18 percent.