World-level biomedicine industrial cluster taking shape in Waigaoqiao

Waigaoqiao Group is witnessing the rise of a world-level biomedicine industrial cluster in the Pudong New Area.

The site at 51 Rijing Road in the Waigaoqiao Bonded Area used to be a bank. Now it is the second global research  of Beigene, an innovative pharmaceutical company.

Construction on the second phase of the research  was completed a couple of days ago and it has since then engaged a host of young scientists and overseas talent in early stage research projects.

In addition to Beigene’s new research , quite a few old factory houses in the bonded area have been revamped and now accommodate firms in the area’s burgeoning biomedicine industry.

“We may even find our upstream and downstream industrial partners in our neighborhood in Waigaoqiao,” said Shen Zhirong, deputy chief of Beigene.

“The entire Waigaoqiao Bonded Area is building up an innovative ecology for life and health industry that features special customs administration. It is cultivating a world-level biomedicine industrial cluster in Pudong,” said Yu Yong, chairman of the board of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Development Co.

Starting from import and export of biomedicine products and medical appliances, the Waigaoqiao Bonded Area is also exploring professional third-party logistics on biomedicine products and medical appliances, and biomedicine research and testing.

Hillhouse Capital Group, a leading fund company in China, was invited to launch the region’s biomedicine industrial chain two years ago. The area is now a cluster of biomedicine firms with multiple links to the industrial chain, including upstream research and commercialized production enterprises Beigene and IASO Biotherapeutics, downstream clinical research and application firm Shanghai Artmon Hospital, and contract research organization companies like WuXi App Tech and Runnuo Biotechnology.

Now, more fund houses, including Eli Lilly and Co, IDG and Sequoia Capital, are following suit in investing in the area’s biomedicine industry.

“We’ve chosen Waigaoqiao due to its talent resources and biomedicine industrial ecology,” said Shen.

So far, the bonded area has gathered 838 domestic and foreign biomedicine and medical appliances firms, in sectors including research and development, testing, production, storage, trading, medical services and clinical research.

Recently, another batch of key biomedicine projects – headquarters, research and commercial facilities of IASO Biotherapeutics, Forecyte Bio’s CDMO commercial facilities, Gaoyue Life Science Park, Innovel’s application research , SinoOrganoid research base and Northeast Pharmaceutical Group’s research  – were delivered to their owners.

In the 2023-2025 Pudong New Area Cell and Gene Industry Development Promotion Plan that was issued at the end of last year, the Waigaoqiao Biomedicine Industry Park is set to be a pilot area of cross-border cell and gene therapeutic industry research and production, Yu revealed.