AstraZeneca is reported to be spending $26.5 million to build a new production line in Taizhou, China, to bolster supply of its diabetes drugs. (China News Service/Getty Images)

Pharma giant AstraZeneca will spend $26.5 million to build a new production line for its diabetes treatments dapagliflozin and metformin hydrochloride at the Taizhou National Medical High-tech Development Zone in Jiangsu, China Daily reports.

The facility is forecast to have an annual output value of $1.4 billion and is expected to become a global manufacturing outpost for the company’s diabetes therapies, according to the publication.

Marketed in the U.S. as Farxiga, dapagliflozin helps prevent absorption of glucose in the kidneys to help lower blood sugar. Metformin, meanwhile, reduces the absorption of sugar from the stomach. As a combination therapy, the medicines are marketed as Xigduo.

Fierce Pharma Manufacturing has reached out to AstraZeneca for additional details on the project.

AstraZeneca’s operations in China were the focus of market speculation last summer when the Financial Times reported that the company had explored separating its business in the country amid increasing geopolitical tensions in the region. However, the company’s international and China president, Leon Wang, quickly rebutted the report.

Elsewhere, AstraZeneca in November said it would exit a production plant in Bangalore, India, “in due course.” AstraZeneca said it would auction off the site to a buyer who can serve as a contract manufacturer for the products made there.

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