Green Cross Corp. has started building a plasma derivative plant in Canada.
The company announced on June 2 that it held a groundbreaking ceremony at its Green Cross Biotherapeutics plant (GCBT) to manufacture plasma derivatives in Montreal, Quebec, on June 1 (local time).
At the cost of CA$210 million (US$167.96 million or 187 billion won), the 6,300 m2 plant is to be built in a technopark in the province of Quebec outside Montreal. It will produce 1 million liters of plasma derivatives annually, like IV immunoglobulin and albumin.
This is the first time for a Korean drug maker to build a biopharmaceutical plant in North America. It is meaningful to secure a production base to target the world’s largest North American plasma derivative market. It is also noteworthy that the domestic pharmaceutical company is to build the first blood product plant in Canada to produce IV immunoglobulin and albumin.
In a bid to construct the plant, GCBT received about CA$25 million (US$20 million or 22.26 billion won) in subsidies from the Quebec provincial government, with an investment of CA$70 million (US$55.99 million or 62.34 billion won) from the Korean National Pension Service.
GCBT also signed a contract in May to supply a minimum of 6.24 tons of IV immunoglobulin and albumin products to Héma-Québec, which generalizes blood supply for the whole Canadian province, for eight years after commercial production begins. The annual IV immunoglobulin supply is at least 0.78 tons, which accounts for 15 percent of the whole IVIG market in Canada. The annual sales from this deal are estimated at 40 billion won (US$35.93 million).
With the deal, it is possible to secure plasma, the raw material of blood derivatives. GCBT is to receive a certain amount of plasma from Héma-Québec, and Green Cross is to secure plasma through its local subsidiary GCAM in time for commercial production in the GCBT plant. By 2020, GCAM will increase the number of blood banks in the U.S. by 30 so that it can supply more than 1 million liters of plasma raw materials a year.
GCBT's CEO Kim Young-Ho said, “The Canada’s plant is the cornerstone of Green Cross’ global businesses, and its products will be supplied to the U.S. and China as well as Canada. We are expecting to see the blood derivatives sales growth worth 300 billion won [US$269.44 million] a year in the North American market in the future.”
Meanwhile, GCBT will complete the construction by next year and start commercial production from 2019 at the latest.