In terms of cross-border collaboration in the pharmaceutical business, Francis L. Tse, PhD, CSO, Lab Testing Division, WuXi AppTec, said collaboration between the West and emerging markets, specifically India and China, is most noteworthy.
The China-based contract research outsourcing provider led a discussion on collaboration at the AAPS Annual Meeting, taking place this week in San Diego, California.
“China is determined to be a major player,” said Tse, noting the country’s new set of drug approval policies which were published last month.
Additionally, the Chinese government and the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) are starting an advisory committee, following American example, Tse explained. China was also admitted as a full regulatory member of the ICH in June.
“In every way, it shows signs that China is determined to become a bigger player,” he said – and WuXi hopes to become the world’s largest platform for drug research and development, he explained.
“We are determined to fulfill our dream, which is every drug can be made and every disease can be treated,” said Tse. “That’s why we’re here.”
The company also introduced WIND, the WuXi Investigational New Drug (IND) program, at AAPS, which Eugene Gong, Ph.D., VP of WuXi AppTec and head of the program said the company is looking to trademark.
Turning to China
“I think the West began to engage China probably around the turn of the century,” explained Tse, adding that few in the West considered China to be a serious drug discovery and development partner at that time. “Those days it was quite chaotic,” he said.
However, since then, many companies in the West have turned to China for its low cost of labor, talent pool, and market potential.
“Fast forward to today, China is the second largest market, and in three or five years I think it is entirely possible that China will surpass the US and become the largest market,” Tse explained.
Harri Jarvelainen – an independent biotech consultant who moved to China in 2012 and session panelist – said he is impressed with the country’s progress. “Just in a few years, there will be more and more opportunities for collaborating with China and the rest of the world,” he explained.