More than 600 executives from biotech and pharmaceutical companies, along with investment firms from North America, Europe and Asia, are expected this week at BIO’s third annual BIO Convention in China, which kicked off today in Beijing. With over 650 partnering meetings scheduled, the event illustrates just how important China’s biotechnology and life science industry has become, and why building lasting relationships with companies, universities, scientists and government leaders here benefits biotech innovation across the globe.
Three keynote speakers provided insights on the business opportunities surrounding the biotech sector in China, including Gary F. Locke, Ambassador of the United States of America to the People’s Republic of China; Bian Zhenjia, Assistant Minister, China Food and Drug Administration; and Zhao Yajun, Director General, China Center for Pharmaceutical Exchange.
This year, China’s pharmaceutical market reached $70 billion, making it the number two market in the world. It is expected to grow to $100 billion by 2015, and become the number one market by 2020. While today biologics and biosimilars account for about 10 percent of China’s overall pharmaceutical market, the sector is growing more than 32 percent year-over-year.
BioWorld Today spoke with several attendees in advance of the conference, including BIO’s President and CEO Jim Greenwood:
“What everyone knows is that 1.4 billion people represent an irresistible market for almost anything you want to sell, and that certainly includes drugs and biologics,” Jim Greenwood, BIO’s president and CEO, told BioWorld Today. The bigger issue is whether to penetrate that market through partnering, acquiring, putting boots on the ground or combining those strategies.
“The handful of companies who are there with a significant presence have been able to decipher the Chinese distribution system and develop relationships to accomplish that,” Greenwood said. “For a lot of other companies, it’s a question of going in and finding someone who can handle that for them.”
In short, that’s the appeal of BIO China.
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