Jiuzhou Pharma readying USD 16m purchase of US CDMO PharmAgra

China’s Zhejiang Jiuzhou Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, (603456.SH) is set to fully acquire US-based PharmAgra Labs Inc., and the affiliated PharmAgra HoldingCompany LLC for USD 16 million (RMB 114 million). The purchase will be carried out by subsidiary Raybow Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd's wholly owned unit in the US. The aim is to bolster the firm's capabilities in novel drug pre-clinical research and Phase I clinical active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) process development and manufacturing.

PharmAgra Labs is a Contract Research Organization (CRO) and Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) that was founded in 1998. It provides biotech start-ups, large pharmaceutical companies, and medical device firms and others with R&D, clinical development, and high-value, small-volume commercial API manufacturing and other services. The deal comes shortly after Jiuzhou Pharma’s full acquisition of Suzhou Novartis Pharma Technology Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of Swiss giant Novartis that also carries out API manufacturing.

The global CMO/CDMO market is forecast to reach USD 102.5 billion (RMB729.4 billion) by 2021, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.73%, according to the announcement. Jiuzhou Pharma’s mainstay CDMO business, generated RMB 537 million (USD 75.5 million) in 2018 sales, growing at 22.87% year-on-year (YOY) and making up 28.84% of the firm's total revenues.


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