United BioPharma building NT$1bn factory in Hsinchu

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Jan 17, 2014 - Page 13

United BioPharma (聯合生技), a monoclonal antibody drugmaker spun off from United Biomedical Inc Asia (聯亞生技), yesterday announced plans to invest about NT$1 billion (US$33.25 million) to build a factory in Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park (新竹生物醫學園區).

Construction of the factory is expected to be completed at the end of next year, Wang Chang-yi (王長怡), who chairs both companies, told a press conference in Taipei.

The factory will have reactors of 4,000 to 8,000 liters, she said.

United BioPharma aims to launch at least one new drug in Taiwan and hopes to earn revenue of NT$20 billion and profit of NT$10 billion in 10 years through the launch of five new drugs, she said.

“We hope to swing to the black in three to five years,” she said.

United BioPharma has paid-in capital of NT$1.17 billion after Formosa Biomedical Technology Co (台塑生醫), part of Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團) invested NT$800 million last quarter to secure a 20 percent stake.

Chang Gung Medical Foundation (長庚醫療), one of FPG’s nonprofit organizations and its investment arm, owns a 5 percent stake, while United Biomedical holds the remaining 75 percent of shares, United BioPharma said.

“By cooperating with Formosa Plastics Group, we can enjoy Chang Gung’s resources for conducting clinical trials,” Wang said.

The company’s new drug to treat HIV/AIDS is under phase two clinical trials in Taiwan, and another drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease has completed phase one trials, Wang said.

Wang said United Biomedical Asia has plans to spin off four other divisions, which make animal vaccines, medical devices and other medical products, within the next three years.

“We will turn our divisions into companies when we find other partners to invest, and when these divisions’ products are mature enough to enter the market,” she said.

Sandy Wang (王瑞瑜), vice chairperson of United BioPharma and chairperson of Formosa Biomedical Technology, said FPG and United Biomedical Asia will cooperate in other areas as well, including producing chemical drugs and diagnostic reagents.

United BioPharma plans to debut on the Emerging Stock Market in November, before shifting to trade its shares on the Taiwan Stock Exchange or the GRETAI Securities Market in October to November next year, it said.

United Biomedical Inc Asia is 60 percent held by the US-based United Biomedical Inc, with the other 40 percent shares owned by the National Development Fund (NDF), state-run Taiwan Sugar Corp (台糖) and government-affiliated Yao Hua Glass Co (耀華玻璃).