WuXi looks to Japan for manufacturing growth

WuXi PharmaTech CEO Ge Li

WuXi PharmaTech's ($WX) small-molecule business won approval to produce drugs in Japan, extending the CRO's reach as it looks to beef up its manufacturing revenue.

SynTheAll Pharmaceutical, WuXi's chemical manufacturing subsidiary, won Japanese approval to produce an unnamed branded drug, marking the company's first nod in the country. SynTheAll is now cleared to operate on four continents, making it China's most expansive contract manufacturing organization, according to WuXi.

"This favorable outcome further demonstrates that STA's facilities, processes, and people are world-class and of the highest quality," WuXi CEO Ge Li said in a statement.

Manufacturing has been key to the CRO's recent string of growth. Last quarter, WuXi's small-molecule manufacturing revenue increased 10%, and sales of biologics services soared nearly 50%.

Meanwhile, after months of speculation, WuXi has finally made a decision on an offer from Li and a group of investors to take the company private, last month agreeing to a $3.3 billion deal that would take the company off of the New York Stock Exchange by year's end. Pending shareholder approval, WuXi will become part of a newly formed parent company through an all-cash transaction that trades $46 for each of WuXi's American-traded securities. The total represents a 16.5% premium over WuXi's closing price before the potential deal came to light.

- read the statement