AstraZeneca committed to a Health China
Leading biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said it will continue to seek new partners and new solutions as well as showcase its latest innovative achievements in China by leveraging the second China International Import Expo.
Several global innovative drugs, dozens of new holistic disease management solutions that integrate both diagnosis and treatment, various medical simulation scenarios, and global innovation projects introduced through the newly-established Wuxi International Life Science Innovation Campus will be the major offerings at this year’s CIIE.
“We will present our 26 years of development history in China, showing our significant accomplishments here achieved by connecting global wisdom with China against the backdrop of globalization which champions openness, integration and development,” General Manager of AstraZeneca China Michael Lai said in an interview in Shanghai.
This year, AstraZeneca’s booth covers 800 square meters at the hall of Medical Equipment and Healthcare Products after seeing fruitful results from the expo last year.
It will present more than 30 innovative drugs introduced since it entered China and will continue to bring in global blockbusters.
Last year, Italian pharma and fine-chemical company Zambon signed a partnership deal with AstraZeneca during the CIIE, giving the latter exclusive rights to import, distribute and promote the respiratory drug Fluimucil in China by fully leveraging of AstraZeneca’s market penetration and promotion capabilities.
Lai also spoke highly of the product’s prospects in China as its local teams have been quickly and efficiently deploying the new drug at nebulizing stations at city and county level hospitals.
AstraZeneca has been dedicated to improving the overall treatment level of respiratory diseases across China by systematically working with healthcare authorities to improve the lives of millions of people.
Distribution of Fluimucil ampoules has been expanded to in almost all provinces, cities and autonomous regions.
Fluimucil imports are expected to be worth US$100 million this year and will help an estimated 7 million patients by the end of this year.
In the context of global connectivity, AstraZeneca is also working with partners from several sectors including the government, industry, academia, research institutes and medical institutions, and has achieved innovative results that have a far-reaching impact on the health care industry of China and other parts of the world. AstraZeneca continues to invest in building domestic-oriented R&D platforms to accelerate scientific innovation in China.
Promoting Chinese-developed drugs
Through in-house R&D and external cooperation, AstraZeneca has been promoting the R&D and incubation of 11 new China-originated drugs, covering areas such as oncology and respiratory and renal diseases. It’s also pushing for the expedited launch of innovative drugs.
Roxadustat, one of the key products to be showcased by AstraZeneca at the CIIE, is co-developed by FibroGen and AstraZeneca, marking the first international brand name drug to be approved in China ahead of other countries. Generally, there’s a lag of three to five years for new drugs to reach the Chinese market.
The drug is also the first to have been incubated locally in China and was approved by the National Medical Products Administration in December 2018.
“We’ve seen through the bulk purchasing scheme and the overall medical regulation updates that China clearly hopes to allocate more budget for innovative drugs so the latest offerings in other parts of the world can also be brought to Chinese patients,” Lai said.
Based on rich experience and excellent R&D capabilities on respiratory, cardiovascular, metabolic, oncology, gastrointestinal and renal diseases in China, AstraZeneca aims for holistic disease management solutions integrating diagnosis and treatment.
It will also focus on the whole life cycle of drug development by integrating R&D capabilities of drug discovery, early R&D and late-stage development with the help of science innovation institutions.
This year, AstraZeneca will strengthen its presence as a leading provider of holistic disease management. In addition to the integrated diagnosis and treatment in six disease areas which were showcased last year, new disease solutions covering cardiovascular, renal and respiratory diseases, pharmaceuticals, women’s oncology, and medical treatment at county level will be added to its booth.
These disease treatment solutions also leverage the latest technologies such as virtual reality, offering immersive and interactive experiences to learn smart care that brings together the Internet of Things, big data, 5G, AI and other technologies.
One of the examples is its non-invasive hemoglobin tester, which can greatly improve the hemoglobin test rate of patients with chronic kidney disease to realize the goal of regular testing. Once clinical symptoms or other medical indicators suggest anemia, it can be quickly corrected.
Another tool called IT Bra is cutting-edge technology approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Its sensors can gather users’ metabolic information to predict breast cancer risk.
Models of the company’s simulated Mobile Vehicles for Screening Oncology and Chronic Diseases will also be showcased. These vehicles are intended for community level clinics and areas that lack testing equipment or professionals. The vehicles, with low-dose spiral computed tomography and 5G, will be able to generate test reports and treatment solutions to realize early screening, diagnosis and treatment of people at high-risk of cancer and chronic diseases. Building up an ecosystem for medical services, products and solutions is a major strategy for AstraZeneca in China. In September, it launched the Wuxi International Life Science Innovation Campus in the Wuxi National High-Tech District.
Belt and Road innovation
As the next strategic innovative move following the China Healthcare IoT Innovation Center, Wuxi International Life Science Innovation Campus (I•Campus) co-built by AstraZeneca and Wuxi city will also be presented at this year’s CIIE as a special exhibit. This project is AstraZeneca’s first move to realize the idea of incubating global innovations in China. It aims to be an innovation incubation covering the whole life cycle of drug discovery, development and launch.
In the next three years, the “I•Campus” expects to attract more than 50 companies and become the most influential international innovation campus along the Belt and Road.
“We hope to use our global industrial resources, business operation capabilities, deep knowledge of the Chinese market, and rich experience in innovation incubation to build a world-class life sciences ecosystem,” Lai said.
It has already attracted the first-batch of 10 resident companies from different countries and regions around the world with different focuses on early diagnosis of cancers, oncogene testing, AI-facilitated. At this CIIE, there will be more overseas innovation companies and institutes signing cooperation agreements with I•Campus.