Bay Area biotech blueprints $100M China biologics hub

Santa Clara, CA-based AutekBio says it has joined a pair of venture capital firms to hatch plans to invest $100 million into a new R&D and contract manufacturing operation for biologics in southern Beijing.

AutekBio signed up with SUMA Ventures and Beijing E-Town Harvest International Capital Management Corporation, a venture capital group operated by the Beijing Municipal Government, in orchestrating the research and manufacturing project. AutekBio has kept a low profile, at least in the U.S. Li's resume includes stints at Hoffmann La-Roche and Asterand. Back in 2007 the Beijing/Bay Area hybrid reported raising $1.1 million to help build its business growing cell lines for drug companies. China has become a hotbed of biopharma activity in recent years, with some of the world's biggest players making ambitious plans to develop and manufacture therapeutics in the country.

"I am extremely pleased with this joint investment. This will allow us to build one of the largest biologic CMOs in Asia," said Julius Li, the CEO of AutekBio, in a statement. "The newly established facility and company will provide, for the first time, manufacturing services in China fully conforming to the FDA,EMEA (and) cGMP standards for the global biopharmaceutical needs."

- check out the AutekBio release