Aoxing Moves Closer to Commercial Production of Narcotic Drug

Includes: AOBI, AXN
by: ChinaBio Today

Aoxing Pharmaceutical (AMEX: AXN) announced the SFDA granted a Manufacturing License to its joint venture, Hebei Aoxing API Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd. Aoxing expects to begin commercial production at the JV next year. The JV’s first product will be the API for naloxone hydrochloride, an opioid antagonist administered to counteract the effects of narcotic drug overdose.

The JV, owned 51% by Aoxing, is a partnership with Macfarlan Smith Ltd, the Hong Kong subsidiary of Johnson Matthey Plc., a specialty chemical company headquartered in Great Britain.

The two parent companies will contribute $15 million in capital to the JV over five years. Macfarlan will supply technology expertise and an unspecified portion of the capital to the joint venture. Hebei Aoxing Pharma will add capital, fixed assets and its API manufacturing licenses. The JV was announced in October of 2009.

Aoxing has a license to produce narcotic drugs in the PRC, one of a very few such licenses in China. To take advantage of its ability to produce narcotics, Aoxing has established a number of ventures with other life science enterprises, including QRxPharma, Phoenix PharmaLabs, Inc. and American Oriental Bioengineering (NYSE: AOB), as well as Macfarlan. American Oriental owns 35% of Aoxing.

Hebei Aoxing has submitted a Business License application to manufacture the naloxone hydrochloride API. Previously, the JV’s chemical synthesis laboratories and pilot-manufacturing plant passed GMP inspection.

The joint venture is located on Hebei Aoxing’s campus in Xinle City, 200 kilometers southwest of Beijing. It will develop eight narcotic API products in the near term for the China market, though it has the long-term potential to commercialize over 30 products.

Disclosure: None