BIO Poised to Partner with Chinese Leaders to Grow Biotech

Jim's Corner

This month, BIO is leading a delegation of biopharma CEOs to China for meetings with members of the Chinese biotech community and government leaders. The mission illustrates a strong commitment on behalf of the western biotechnology industry to encourage China to strengthen its support for biotech innovation and take steps to enhance greater investment and collaboration with companies in China. The series of meetings between China’s local industry and government leaders and biotech CEOs will lay the foundation for increased cooperation to help biotech flourish in China.

The meetings will begin in Beijing with the State Food and Drug Administration, the Chinese State Intellectual Property Organization, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Commerce. The purpose of these meetings will be to demonstrate BIO members’ continued deep interest in China’s market.

Next, CEOs will visit Shanghai to learn more about the business aspects of the Chinese life sciences business and network with key players in the Chinese marketplace.

Through these meetings, we aim to encourage China to remain open to foreign medical technology, to promote innovation in the industry and to deliver the broadest possible range of products to patients.

China is at the forefront of significant growth within the biotech industry and biopharmaceutical leaders increasingly look to China for business development opportunities. Partnering and deal making discussions will begin to open up opportunities for companies to expand into China.

China has set the stage for strong growth of biotech within its borders and made growing the biotech industry one of its top national priorities. Its biotech sector is growing at a steady pace, with double digit growth in sales revenues and profits. But China’s greatest contribution to the industry may be as a center of biotech innovation.  It can and will become a hub of innovation if it remains committed to putting into place an innovation-friendly ecosystem.

BIO’s mission is to promote biotech around the globe and we are well-positioned to foster collaboration, partnerships and business deals between western companies and Chinese companies through partnering meetings and conferences. BIO supports China’s healthcare reform to provide better care to more citizens in China. Our member companies are exporting more products and technology to China than ever and want to contribute to a strong and positive U.S.-China commercial relationship.

Respecting that each country is unique, there are several factors that may contribute to growth in the biotech industry in any country.

This much we know is true about growing biotech globally:

1. Intellectual property laws are the driving force for innovation and biotech progress. Furthermore, the ability to enforce those patents is critical. Investors and innovators will do business where they have confidence that their intellectual property will be protected. The greater assurances countries can offer through laws and the consistent enforcement of those laws to protect patents, the more biotech innovation will flourish within their borders.

2. Emerging companies are particularly dependent on government laws and regulations that encourage and reward innovation. Biotechnology products must receive timely and high quality reviews that ensure the safety and efficacy of the products while expediting the delivery of new therapies and technologies to patients and into the marketplace.

3. A reimbursement system that ensures timely and consistent coverage decisions and reflects the value that products provide to patients. Reimbursement policies should provide sufficient incentive for the development of new therapies.

4. Innovative ideas become reality when companies make a strong commitment to invest in research and development. Countries can support R&D through incentives for private companies to develop and commercialize basic research into useful products.

The mission to China will set the stage for the BIO China International Partnering Conference, debuting in October 2011 in Shanghai. The BIO China meeting will coalesce industry leaders for partnering discussions and potential collaborations. The meeting will present a unique opportunity for western and Chinese life sciences companies to come together for networking, partnering and deal making. Life sciences executives from North America, Europe and Asia will attend to explore business opportunities with China’s emerging biotech sector.

BIO member companies stand ready to work with leaders in China to create an environment that will support and encourage innovation, and enable boundless growth in biotech.

We will continue to urge the Chinese government to welcome foreign investment and competition in China’s biopharmaceutical sector.

For more information on the BIO China International Partnering Conference, please visit http://www.bio.org/biochina/.

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