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United BioPharma touts planned plant ahead of Emerging Stock Market debut(TAIPEI TIMES)
By Camaron Kao / Staff reporter 2014/9/17
 

Monoclonal antibody drugmaker United BioPharma Inc (聯合生技) yesterday said that its NT$1 billion (US$33.17 million) new plant in Hsinchu County would be able to produce 100kg of antibodies a year and satisfy the need for phase-three clinical trials and early market demand of a new drug.

The new plant will have two production lines, each with a 2,000-liter reactor, company executive director Shugene Lynn (林淑菁) said at an investors’ conference.

“We also reserved the space to build another 10 production lines for the new factory. With the extra lines, United Biopharma will be able to make 600kg of antibodies per year in the future and satisfy the demand of a new drug for the global market,” she added.

Construction is to begin by the end of this year and the factory is expected to be operational in 2016, Lynn said.

The company is developing three monoclonal antibody drug treatments and four monoclonal antibodies for use as biosimilars, company president Liao Mei-june (廖美君) said.

Among these antibodies, UB-421, which is used to treat AIDS, has completed phase-two clinical trials, while the company is to file an investigational new drug application for UB-621, which targets the Herpes simplex virus, by early next year, Liao said.

Other drugs made by the company are still in preclinical trials, she added. United BioPharma plans to debut on the local Emerging Stock Market (興櫃市場) on Friday, with shares set at NT$85, the company said.

The debut is earlier than the time the company set in November last year. The company will not release additional shares in its debut, said Victor Sun (孫潤本), the company’s special assistant to the chairperson.

The company’s capital is set at NT$1.15 billion, it said.

United Biomedical Inc Asia (聯亞生技), which manufactures and sells multiple medical products, owns 65 percent of United BioPharma’s shares, while Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團), the nation’s largest industrial group, owns 25 percent, it added.

In the first half of this year, United Biopharma posted losses of NT$68.41 million, or NT$0.58 per share, because of R&D expenditures of NT$61.48 million, according to the company’s filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

The company does not have comparable data for a year ago, as it was founded on Jan. 16.

Company chairperson Wang Chang-yi (王長怡) said United Biopharma plans to spend less than NT$200 million this year on R&D.

Although it has not yet reported revenue, the company expects to book licensing income next year, Wang said, without offering further information.