Pharma giants leverage CIIE for innovative solutions, good health
The 5th China International Import Expo is hosting healthcare companies from a wide range of sectors and they're showcasing cutting-edge treatment options.
Innovative drugs, surgery solutions and devices have become the spotlight as health and medical services gain increasing attention.
The reform of China's drug evaluation system and the review and approval procedures have provided pharmaceutical businesses with a considerable opportunity to deliver innovative products and medical solutions to the Chinese market.
Johnson & Johnson's drug unit Janssen Pharma has brought Teclistamab, its newest multiple myeloma treatment therapy, to the CIIE.
Its medical device unit is displaying the total stroke solution consisting of advanced surgical devices and thrombectomy equipment.
The instruments are designed to remove blood clots from blood vessels as cerebrovascular diseases become one of the top causes for fatalities.
A latest survey by the R&D-based Pharmaceutical Association Committee pointed out that over 90 percent of multinational pharma companies regard China as a strategic market, and the country's position in the committee's global blue paper remains high in the next three to five years.
About 70 percent of them acknowledged that China has a strategic research and development priority in their development plans.
The latest blue paper by the RDPAC released during the 5th CIIE called for expanded and broader access for the introduction of innovative drugs and research activities in China.
Exploring multi-layer medical insurance systems is also crucial for innovative treatment and therapies to be delivered to cover a bigger group and benefit more patients, it noted.
China's new fast-track drug approval mechanism is quickly shortening its gap with developed nations, driving more overseas players to introduce new treatment options in the country, the report said.
Co-chief executive officer of Fosun International Chen Qiyu noted that although China has the second largest pharma market in the world, it's portion in the innovative medicine segment remains limited.
But the domestic landscape is blossoming at a much faster speed, with close to 20 percent compound annual growth expected in the next 10 years, much faster than the global average level of around 5 percent.
The booming industry provides much momentum for overseas companies to import innovative medicines.
Abbvie's rheumatoid arthritis treatment Rinvoq and Venetoclax for treating certain types of blood cancer, which appeared at previous editions of the CIIE, gained commercial launch approval in China.
By 2030, the American drug firm is expected to have more than 30 new products or indications approved in China in the field of specialty drugs, covering immunology, hematology-oncology and solid tumors, neuroscience, and ophthalmology.
It has around 65 clinical research projects currently ongoing or planned in China to speed up its business growth in the country.
Bristol Myers Squibb, another American giant, has brought 12 global innovative medicines and indications in core therapeutic areas such as oncology, hematology and immunology.
Currently, its 30 some clinical studies for cancer immunology are being carried out in China, targeting the most common cancer types domestically.
According to a latest life science industry report released at the CIIE by Ernst & Young (EY), a series of policies to speed up the review and approval of innovative drugs has helped companies to quickly commercialize new drugs, so they can now speed up and continue the next cycle of drug development, thereby forming a virtuous cycle.
Last year, a policy guideline was introduced to include patient perspectives in the clinical evaluations of new treatments, which is also beneficial to improve the R&D capability of the whole industry.
Boehringer Ingelheim's first prescription drug in the animal health field in China, GastroGard, for treating ulcers in the gastric region for horses, was launched earlier this year.
At the CIIE, the German drug firm reached a collaboration with the Shanghai Equestrian team to offer health solution, diagnosis and treatment for racing horses.
Hua Tian, Chinese equestrian sportsman and a member of the Shanghai Equestrian team, spoke highly of the collaboration and said the awareness of equine health could be further elevated through events like this and further contributions from other industry players.
Cindy Lau, head of Boehringer Ingelheim China Animal Health Business, believes other animal health offerings such as pet health are set to pick up in the coming years.
The firm already has plans to introduce many imported products and solutions, including treatment for farm animals, into China.
Novo Nordisk's smart insulin pens that automatically record insulin dose information and a whole suit of digital solutions to help chronic disease management are the latest solutions brought to the CIIE.
The Danish multinational drug firm announced a 400-million yuan (US$58 million) investment to set up Novo Nordisk (Shanghai) Holding Co Ltd in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone Lingang Special Area to further drive local innovation.
It is also working with Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding Co to launch warehouse facilities to better facilitate import and export operations.
Backed by Shanghai's status as a major trade hub, it will streamline its operation procedures for higher efficiency.
In the medical device field, industry giants have spared no effort to bring their latest models to the 5th CIIE after encouraging results from previous fairs.
Medtronic's leadless pacemakers Micra VR and Micra AV have been introduced under the pilot scheme in the Hainan Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone in Hainan Province one year after its debut at the CIIE. Micra AV officially gained market approval in May this year.
At the ongoing CIIE, the American company is featuring advanced computing and smallest-size solutions which reflects the latest trend of personalization on medical technology.
Abbott's exhibits include minimally invasive surgical devices, laboratory automation solutions and FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system.
The US giant pointed out that more people in China are now aware of the life-changing health tech thanks to the great exposure at the CIIE and it has therefore returned for the third time.
It's also extending a training program for physicians to use percutaneous coronary intervention solution and help them establish standardized procedure.
American medical surgery provider Stryker announced a strategic partnership with local medical imaging device manufacturer NovelBeam to work on a specialized endoscopic camera system.
The collaboration eyes market-appropriate portfolios to address demand for advanced endoscopy technology solutions by combining Stryker's medtech capabilities and NovelBeam's agile R&D strengths.