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Taiwan’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors join hands in the post-COVID economy
2021-08-02

Biotech and drug developers in Taiwan ally to expand their global footprint in healthcare, the most recent alliances have been TCI Bio and Formosa Biomedical Technology for medical devices, Medigen Vaccine Biologics, EirGenix and TTY Biopharm for COVID-19 vaccine, GrapeKing and Uni-President for health food and supplements, Medtecs and Mytrex Health Technologies for PPEs, as well as Standard Chem & Pharm with Easywell Biomedicals for new drugs.

Buying shares and integrating upstream-downstream operations, amongst strategic partnerships alike, drew most attention. Being the case of buying shares, Taiwan-based Standard Chem & Pharm now has 5% stake in Easywell that provide the company with direct access to the US market for generic and OTC drugs. The market is expected to be fuelled by the government policy to onshore drug manufacturing.

Earlier this year, Syngen Biotech, a subsidiary of Standard Chem & Pharm, has become the largest shareholder (30.08%) to GeneFerm- a company in Taiwan specialising in microbial fermentation. Both parties are looking to scope out global markets in the said field.  

GrapeKing and Uni-President partnered through a TWD$2bn private equity capital raise, both parties will be working on manufacturing, sales and production line expansion in and outside of Taiwan. Uni-President will likely contract GrapeKing in Shanghai to make health food and supplements for a big market in China.

Medigen Vaccine Biologics (‘MVC’) adopted the integrating upstream-downstream operations approach to maximise its manufacturing capacity. Having been authorised the emergency use of a self-developed COVID-19 vaccine by Taiwan’s FDA, MVC aims to provide the first batch of one million doses in August, another 10 million later and ramp up to 100 million in 2022. The vaccine developer now works closely with EirGenix for making antigens and TTY Biopharm for aseptic filling.

With 100 million doses that MVC commits, Formosa Laboratories and international CMOs are allegedly to be manufacturing partners of MVC.

More buying of shares to follow, TCI bio has recently completed its TWD$600m buying of a 30% stake at Maxigen Biotech (‘MBI’), the deal also drew Formosa Biomedical Technology in with TWD$250m for a 9.78% shareholding. MBI has medical devices and skincare products developed with its collagen-based technologies. 

“TCI and Formosa, through our MBI partnership and resources, will push forward Taiwan’s biotechnology alliance, continually seek for targets that worth investing, and reach out to the world“, said Vincent Lin, Chairman at TCI Bio.

News compiled by IBMI; Source in Chinese by Commercial Times

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