Under the agreement with Pfizer, NovaMed will serve as the drug giant's sole distributional and promotional partner for six of its oncology products - Adriamycin, Daunoblastina, Leucovorin, Methotrexate, Estracyt and Farlutal - throughout mainland China. The arrangement, which has already come into force, is the first alliance of its kind for Pfizer China's oncology portfolio. NovaMed said it offers international pharma companies a "unique outsourcing model", offering them a "window of opportunity" in China's health care environment in which they can strategically outsource established drugs to companies with "wide and well-established distribution networks" across the country. Through the deal, NovaMed said it expects to create a 30-40 per cent increase in hospital coverage of Pfizer's oncology drugs in China. Cancer is the leading cause of mortality in China, with 4.5m oncology patients and an annual increase of 1.6-1.7m cancer patients expected. With a total market value of RMB 40bn, the oncology therapeutic area is the second largest in China, after the antibiotic market. Since September 2007 NovaMed has already had a similar outsourcing oncology deal in place with Baxter China for three of its oncology products - are Holoxan, Mesna and Endoxan. Commenting on its experience in China so far, Thomas Zan, director of Baxter China's Critical Care Business Unit said: "NovaMed's in-depth knowledge and understanding of China's oncology environment is the key to its success. We have been very impressed with NovaMed's strong and dedicated management team and the uniquely sustainable business model it offers to China's oncology market". The company said it will also "continue to pursue the licensing of oncology products from international companies", including products that have been launched in international markets (but are not yet available in China), as well as those which are currently still in the development cycle. Mark Lotter, CEO and co-founder of NovaMed said: "NovaMed is committed to partnering with global pharmaceutical companies to help international drug brands achieve their full potential in an emerging market such as China and to allow a wider population of patients in China to gain access to best-in-class drugs". "NovaMed has established a solid foundation for building an oncology portfolio which positions the company well in terms of its immediate, medium and long term presence in the oncology market in China".