13 May 2010 14:17

China Biologic to add plasma collection stations in Shandong

Shanghai. May 13. INTERFAX-CHINA - China Biologic Products Inc., the country's largest private blood products manufacturer, announced on May 12 that it will soon set up new blood plasma collection stations in Shandong Province.

According to the announcement, the company's subsidiary Shandong Taibang Biologic Products Co. Ltd. has obtained approval from Shandong Provincial Health Department to build two new blood plasma stations. This is the first time Shandong Provincial Health Department has granted approval for the construction of such stations since 2006.

China Biologic plans to complete the construction of the new stations by the end of the year. Construction costs are estimated at between RMB 16 million ($2.34 million) and RMB 20 million ($2.93 million).

The two additional facilities will raise the number of China Biologic's plasma collection stations to 18 nationwide, increasing the company's overall plasma collection capacity by as much as 80 tons annually, to reach 660 tons per year.

Blood plasma has been in short supply in China over the past several years because of government orders for local health authorities to transfer ownership of blood plasma collection stations to private companies in 2006. The order led to the closing of many stations. Furthermore, a regulation introduced in July 2008 made it mandatory for blood plasma to be quarantined for 90 days before it can be used to manufacture blood products.

According to industry statistics, Chinese blood product manufacturers processed 2,500 tons of blood plasma in 2008, as compared to 4,687 tons in 2006. China's demand for blood plasma stands at approximately 5,000 tons each year. Human albumin is extracted from blood plasma and is used in the treatment of liver diseases, burns, hypoproteinemia, cerebral edema and ascites.

In January this year, another leading blood products maker Hualan Biological Engineering Inc. obtained approval to set up a new blood plasma collection station in Kai Xian county, Chongqing Municipality.

"China will face a shortage of blood plasma over the next three years because less people are willing to donate blood these days," Tan Xiaobing, a pharmaceutical analyst from Dongguan Securities, told Interfax on May 13.

However, Tan pointed out that North China Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. will start to produce recombinant human albumin by the end of this year. Recombinant human albumin is an alternative to human albumin and is likely to help relieve the blood plasma shortage in China.

- KZ