Pharmaceutical Industry The Best of Both Worlds: GEA Looks Back on Successful Business in China's Pharmaceutical Industry

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Nearly two years after the acquisition of Beijing–based Sino-German Tianhe Technology, GEA Pharma Systems takes stock of its Chinese subsidiary: Since 2010, the newly created GEA Lyophil (Beijing) has quadrupled turnover and enhanced its customer service by blending German quality and Chinese economy for Asia's emerging pharmaceutical industry.

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One product that is proving very popular in China is the GEA Lyophil range of price competitive pharmaceutical freeze dryers Smart Lyo.
One product that is proving very popular in China is the GEA Lyophil range of price competitive pharmaceutical freeze dryers Smart Lyo.
(Picture: GEA)

Beijing/PR China – Especially the introduction of GMP requirements for pharmaceutical productions have brught a change on China's pharma market, Jinbin Tang, MD of GEA Lyophil believes. This development has heated up the demand for pharmaceutical freeze drying lines, especially in combination with automatic load and unload systems (ALUS), a speciality of GEA Lyophil.

“The key for us is to make sure we use the facilities and talents of the Chinese and German manufacturing centres fully,” he explained.

The Best of Both Worlds

Heinrich Meintrup, Managing Director of GEA Lyophil in Germany agreed. “Having this combined option allows us to blend the benefits of German quality with a more cost-effective approach. We have never been willing to play the ‘low cost’ game, it just doesn’t work, but this quality/price performance model makes our offering unique.”

Customers Among Emerging Pharma Industry

GEA Lyophil's biggest customers in China are pharmaceutical companies who recognise that they need to use recognised, top-quality equipment to compete on their local market as well as on a world export stage.

“Most of our customers are making anti-cancer drugs, antibiotics or expensive biological products where top quality, security of outcome and reliable containment are essential,” said Jinbin Tang. “They consider our lines to represent the image of their companies.”

Since 2010, the company could quadruple its turnover and expand its customer base to include the top-end customers that require leading technology and also provide the economy necessary for those that do not have such critical requirements.

Although the Chinese boom has recently slowed down, both Jinbin Tang and Heinrich Meintrup are optimistic about the outlook in China. “We expect another big jump this and next year because of the new GMP regulations,” said Jinbin Tang. “Beyond that we still expect above average growth from the pharmaceutical sector.”

Modular Freeze Dryers for Pharmaceutical Industry

Especially GEA Lyophil's range of price competitive pharmaceutical freeze dryers Smart Lyo proved to be popular in China, the company says. Smart Lyo is based on modular units that have been made using proven technology and our excellent China manufacturing skills and techniques. This approach can help to keep costs down without compromising quality, performance or system architecture, makes validation and documentation easier and can reduce delivery times, the manufacturer belives.