The plan is to create an integrated offering that covers everything from discovery, through clinical trials and on to commercial manufacturing by combing the contractors’ respective offerings.
For active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) maker Scinopharm this will involve the China-based division –ScinoPharm Changsu – which it set up in 2009 as a centre for R&D, contract manufacturing and custom synthesis services.
Jo Shen, CEO of Taiwan-based ScinoPharm, explained that: “Resources from our Changshu site in Jiangsu province, China, and the Shanghai-based CRO Sundia will be combined to establish a robust collaboration with single-source solutions to address the increasing number of multinational companies shifting their drug development research and clinical trials in China.”
This was echoed by Sundia CEO Chen Chen who added that his firm will leverage relationships with companies in the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea to help customers “bring drugs to the market efficiently.”
The firms also hinted that ScinoPharm’s oncology API business would be a focus the new collaboration.
The formation of alliance with Sundia follows just a month after SinoPharm announced its intention to invest $37.6m in a manufacturing plant for high potency cytotoxic compounds – including cancer drug APIs - at a site in the Taiwanese city Tainan.
Big Pharma driven drug development in China has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons in recent months with allegations of faked data, widespread bribery and corruption all tarnishing the country’s reputation.
In such a climate the ability to deal with a single source from discovery to manufacturing may well prove to be an attractive option for drugmakers still keen to reduce cost by developing their products in China.