China's big data draws pharmaceutical companies around the world
Aug 01, 2019 (China Knowledge) - Pharmaceutical companies around the world are setting up research and development (R&D) hubs in China to take advantage of the country's big data. China's large population makes it easier to find enough human candidates for clinical trials targeting rare diseases. Meanwhile, pharmaceuticals have been kept out of the U.S.-China trade war, which has also encouraged such investment.
France's Sanofi (SAN) (SNY) has opened its first Asian R&D center in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. The company will spend USD 73.6 mln in conducting research on a host of ailments such as diabetes and immunological diseases.
Upjohn, the off-patent drug unit of U.S.-based Pfizer（PEE) (500680）, established its global headquarters in Shanghai in May. The company aims to build a database that tracks drugs' effect on patient.
China's effort in courting global drug developers is paying off. China joined an international body that determines quality specifications for the U.S., Europe and Japan in 2017 in order to implement strict standards on par with advanced countries.
China has relaxed restrictions to allow clinical trial data from abroad to be used. The number of state drug screeners has been increased, and a fast-track system for approving innovative medicines was enacted. This accelerated the approval process by as much as one or two years.
According to contract researcher IQVIA, the pharmaceutical market in China hit USD 137 bln last year, up by 240% from 2008. The Chinese pharmaceutical market, the second-largest one follow the U.S., is expected to reach USD 170 bln by 2023.
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