Jiuzhitang involved in stem cell drugs development - R&D and production facility expected to start operation in 2019
Jiuzhitang entered the field of stem cell drugs production, clinical development and industrialization. Recently, Qihang Fund initiated by Jiuzhitang signed an investment agreement with US company Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc. Under the agreement, Jiuzhitang will introduce stem cells manufacturing technologies and platform developed by Stemedica into China, and build an FDA and EU cGMP-compliant commercial-grade stem cells production base in Beijing Daxing Biomedicine Industry Park within 3-5 years.
As noted by Li Zhenguo, President of Jiuzhitang, the intrinsic value of traditional Chinese medicine needs to be tapped. Jumping into stem cells industry is an effort made based on strengths the company has accumulated as a TCM enterprise and proven stem cell technologies from abroad. Jiuzhitang will strive to pioneer a road of innovation for Chinese time-honored pharmaceutical companies by combining traditional Chinese medicine with cutting-edge stem cell technologies. "We are positioned to enter the stem cells field with the prerequisite of making stem cells into drugs. Once we identified our position in the market, we started to screen qualified partners around the world."
According to Li Zhenguo, Stemedica is the first US clinical research agency with approval to treat Alzheimer’s using stem cells, one of the few US biomedical companies approved by FDA to conduct studies on stem cell drugs, and one of the world’s few corporations that are capable of manufacturing both human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and human neural stem cells.
In order to shorten the research and development process and seize initiatives of China's stem cell pharmaceutical market, Yonghe Qihang Fund established by Jiuzhitang is reported to have invested in Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc. and found Jiuzhitang Maker (Beijing) Cell Technology Co., Ltd. as the sole recipient of stem cell technologies developed by Stemedica.
By bringing in Stemedica’s world leading technologies and platform, Jiuzhitang Maker is positioned to realize the large-scale expansion of stem cells, thus solving key technical obstacles to the development of stem cell drugs. Maker is now building a US FDA and EU cGMP-compliant facility of allogeneic stem cells in Daxing District of Beijing. This facility will be used for manufacturing of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and neural stem cells. With a total area of 4,500 square meters, the facility is anticipated to be put into use in 2019.
Data shows market value of stem cell stocks is over 30 billion dollars among companies listed on NASDAQ. It is estimated that by 2020, the global stem cell market value will hit 400 billion dollars, while size of the Chinese stem cell market will reach as big as 120 billion RMB.