Monday, February 27, 2012

C&EN's video of a Chinese R&D facility

Also in today's Chemical and Engineering News, an article by Jean-Francois Tremblay on a Chinese R&D facility:
At the rate it is hiring people and investing in its R&D infrastructure, it shouldn’t be long before China’s HEC Pharm becomes as well-known as India’s Ranbaxy Laboratories or Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories. This obscure generic drug maker, with headquarters in the gritty industrial city of Dongguan in southern China, aims to launch innovative new drugs in China and, eventually, in the U.S., Europe, and other developed markets. 
At its R&D complex, the company has more than doubled its technical workforce during the past year to 1,200 researchers, most of whom live in company-provided housing. It is completing construction of two new buildings that will house biology labs and research facilities for clean energy materials that will be developed mostly by the firm’s chemists. And within a few months, it will break ground on a 21-floor apartment complex to house new hires and on a 12-floor research lab for new-drug R&D. In May 2011 HEC completed construction of its generic drug labs. 
[snip] Hiring qualified researchers is a big part of HEC’s strategy. To fill its technical positions, it recruits by offering competitive salaries, family housing, subsidized meals, and other benefits. Fresh Ph.D. graduates get a starting salary of $24,000 and regular raises—a good wage by Chinese standards, says Tommy Lin, HEC’s director of intellectual property. The company hopes to employ 2,500 researchers within three years.
Be sure to watch the video to see the "HPLC forest" at 41 seconds in. I'm pretty skeptical that they're all running (where are the associated computers? Why is it so clean?) But it's a pretty impressive collection, for sure. The labs look like labs, FWIW.


  1. That many ventilation arms in that kind of space can't be functionally effective either. Just think of the air flow controller system that would be required.

  2. Have you seen their parent company webpage?

    This is only a small part of the company, which spun off from a massive conglomerate in 1992. According to its website, they produce up to 40 APIs at the process facility (Yidu), and the Sunshine Lake Pharma operation ("located in the beautiful Industrial Park of Songshan Lake in Dongguan") states that they hoped to have US FDA approval on 15 generics by 2011 year's end, most under EU / US GMP.

  3. The CSO of HEC pharma is Peng Cho Tang, formerly boss of chemistry from SUGEN. This is a guy whom I would be happy to work for again. Too bad it is in mainland China.
    I noticed that Cho Tang was quite active in patent busting - does anybody know what has become of their improved Sutent analogue?

  4. wow, impressive facilities. I guess all the pharmaceutical jobs in the US are not coming back anytime soon.

  5. That's frightening...


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