Bryan-based iBio announces Chinese partnership

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - A major business agreement between a local company and a Chinese company was announced Tuesday right here in Bryan.

The two companies are working to create cheaper drugs to treat auto-immune diseases like non-hodgkin's lymphoma.

The deal between Bryan based iBio and CC Pharming Limited out of Beijing, China will bring the two companies together.

The announcement was made at the Stella Hotel in Bryan.

To start out development and manufacturing will happen locally.

Tuesday afternoon the media got a tour of the facility in the BioCorridor.

iBio will be growing an Australian weed that’s used in the manufacturing process for plant-derived drugs.

The plan is to eventually help the Chinese design their own factory overseas.

With some much controversy right now over trade and tariffs , local leaders tell KBTX this is a significant deal.

"So were look at it as an entirely advantageous opportunity for both parties, which is the best way to do business. But we're certainly reaching out to countries that haven't met medical needs and they're reaching towards us. so it's a good business relationship. this is not disadvantaging anybody," said Barry Holtz, Ph.D., iBio President.

Company representatives say this will not only benefit the Chinese people but also the American people with these lower cost manufacturing methods.

iBio also tells us they plan to expand their workforce here.

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Bryan-based biomedical company iBio announced Tuesday they were forming a partnership with China-based CC-Pharming Ltd.

The two companies are working to develop a plant-based alternative to rituximab. Rituximab was approved by the FDA in 1997 and the World Health Organization added the drug to it's list of essential medicines. Still, the two companies claim the drug is still too expensive for most patients to afford. They're looking to create a stronger and cheaper version of the medicine designed to fight non-Hodgkin Lymphomas and other auto-immune diseases.

Development and manufacturing will start at iBio's facility in Bryan. iBio will develop a manufacturing facility for CC-Pharming to build in China. According to a press release, CC-Pharming will manage all operations from China with iBio being a joint owner in the business.

The two companies are planning an announcement at 5:00 p.m. at the Stella Hotel. KBTX will be at the announcement and update this story with more information.

“We are excited to begin the operational aspects of our collaboration with CC-Pharming,” said Robert Kay, iBio’s Chairman and CEO. “We have a shared vision to bring significant product benefits of iBio’s technology and capabilities, combined with those of CC-Pharming, to the people of China and to expand our work with CC-Pharming to achieve solid commercial success for both companies.”