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Shaanxi Meili Omni-Honesty Animal Health Co., Ltd., China’s world-class vaccine company targeting foot-and-mouth disease in swine, was launched on Saturday with a groundbreaking ceremony held at the Airport New City in Xi’an, capital city of Shaanxi province.
Meili Omni-Honesty is a joint venture between Boehringer Ingelheim, a leading global pharmaceutical company and the world’s second-largest animal health company, Beijing KangMu Omni-Honesty Animal Health Products Co., Ltd. (KMOH), and China Agricultural Vet. Bio. Science and Technology Co., Ltd.(ZNWT). The total investment amounts to 840 million yuan (around €108 million). The venture will focus on research, development and manufacture of vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease on a site that will answer the latest BSL3+ biosafety standards. Production is expected to start in 2021. (The venture is subject to regulatory approval.)
"China plays a key role in Boehringer Ingelheim’s global business. With the establishment of Meili Omni-Honesty, we will bring world-class vaccine technology to China and join hands with our partners to foster local R&D and production so as to serve the Chinese market. It again demonstrates our commitment of being ‘in China, for China’," shared Hubertus von Baumbach, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors at Boehringer Ingelheim. "Over a thousand years ago, the ancient Silk Road connected Xi’an to Lyon.
Today, Lyon, where Boehringer Ingelheim’s R&D hub for state-of-the-art technology in vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease is located, and Xi’an are connected again in the Meili Omni-Honesty project" According to Hubertus von Baumbach, Boehringer Ingelheim, as a global leader in animal health, hopes to help facilitate the growth of China’s animal health industry and develop its talents. The company is committed to contributing to the country’s animal health and food safety sectors.
In January 2017, with the acquisition of Merial, Boehringer Ingelheim further strengthened its position as a global leader in animal health. The three companies involved in the Meili Omni-Honesty project all bring unique expertise to help fight foot-and-mouth disease in China. Boehringer Ingelheim is the world’s leader in Veterinary Public Health, with state-of-the-art technology for vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease. ZNWT is approved by the Ministry of Agriculture to produce the full set of vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease. KMOH has extensive market channels across the country, as well as rich marketing experience.
Foot-and-mouth disease is a highly infectious disease that currently threatens and hinders the development of the Chinese livestock industry. It poses a big threat to the health of cloven-hoofed animals such as pigs, cattle and sheep. China National Foot and Mouth Disease Reference Laboratory under Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute is the authorized agency to identify and confirm foot-and-mouth disease. Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute is also an authorized research institute in China to develop vaccines against foot-and-mouth virus.
"ZNWT is relying on Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute for technical support and is playing a leading role in prevention and control of animal diseases in China," said Zhang Yunde, Chairman and General Manager of ZNWT. He concluded that the collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim and KMOH will lead to unprecedented advance and breakthrough in disease prevention and control, vaccine technology and market growth. The new joint venture will tap into advantages and cooperation of the three companies to shape the swine vaccine market for foot-and-mouth disease in China.
"Foot-and-mouth disease in swine is an epidemic that has a significant impact on animal husbandry and food safety. It is highly contagious and has a high mortality rate. The market is in urgent need of vaccines featuring the world’s top-level technology," said Yuan Ximin, Chairman of Shaanxi Meili Omni-Honesty Animal Health Co., Ltd. "I believe this project will drive transformation and upgrading of China’s animal vaccine industry, and it will also help improve economic benefits for Chinese farmers." Yuan also shared that the Airport New City in Xi’an was chosen for the Meili Omni-Honesty project because of its policy and location advantages. The Shaanxi Pilot Free Trade Zone was formally approved in 2017, bringing new opportunities for the Airport New City. This is the only free trade zone approved in northwest China, and the core area to lead Xi’an growth. The Meili Omni-Honesty project will promote development of the bio-pharmaceutical industry chain at the Airport New City and attract more healthcare players to settle there.