The Jakarta Post
PT Kalbe Farma has inaugurated its first biotechnology-based drug factory in what has been hailed as a milestone in the industry.
The publicly listed pharmaceutical company invested Rp 500 billion (US$35 million) to build the factory in Cikarang, West Java, and another Rp 200 billion for research and development, including technology transfer.
"The inauguration of this drug ingredient and biological product factory is part of Kalbe's commitment to take the initiative and help create an integrated pharmaceutical industry," Kalbe Farma president director Vidjongtius said in his speech at the factory's inauguration ceremony on Tuesday.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Health Minister Nila Moeloek, who also attended the event, said the factory marked significant progress for Indonesia's pharmaceutical industry.
"What Kalbe has constructed here is a great leap," Jokowi said after touring the factory. "Everything uses biotechnology and everything is automated with robotics. I think this is the kind of investment and technological innovation we need."
Nila echoed Jokowi's sentiment, saying the factory was a "transformation" and a "leap from chemical ingredients to biotechnological ones."
"This is an extraordinary technological achievement," she said.
The factory, which has a production capacity of 9 million units, has already started the production of erythropoietin (EPO), a protein that stimulates red blood cell production and is used in dialysis and other treatments. Kalbe Farma also plans to produce insulin, cancer-treating monoclonal antibodies and three other drugs within five years. (kmt/bbn).