Pharmaceutical companies highlight digital innovation at this year's CIIE

Ding Yining
Multinational pharmaceutical companies will be focusing on digital innovation at this year's CIIE, featuring new tech to enhance diagnosis, treatment and disease monitoring.
Ding Yining

Digital innovation will be the highlight for large multinational pharmaceutical companies during this year's China International Import Expo.

China's digital landscape continues to be attractive for pharmaceutical companies, offering a wide range of solutions, services and holistic health-care programs through local partnership.

Ramona Sequeira, president of Takeda's Global Portfolio Division, said with over 10 new medicines and indications gaining China's approval over the past three years, it has strong confidence that China will become the second-largest global market.

Its Data, Digital & Technology division is also the centerpiece for the localization of health-care services in China.

Takeda's open-innovation incubator Takeda Spark has attracted over 200 domestic startups, and 12 pilot projects are currently underway in disease areas such as oncology and digestive diseases.

"The latest policies and measures have inspired Takeda to strive to bring an innovative and rich product portfolio to patients, and our focus is aligned with the Chinese government's blueprint," Sequeira noted.

The latest version of its pharmacokinetic dosing software and patient app for hemophilia A patients is also a highlight at the expo, and the software application has been accepted by the National Medical Products Administration.

It allows patients and health-care professionals to tailor the treatment regimen to their needs based on their latest blood measurement levels.

Pharmaceutical companies highlight digital innovation at this year's CIIE
Ti Gong

The continuous glucose monitoring service caters to diabetes patients' demands for real-time tracking.

As the company's latest effort to localize its digital ecosystem, Abbott will unveil the official WeChat mini program for its FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring technology at this year's CIIE.

By scanning the monitoring sensor with a smartphone, users can read their glucose level from WeChat, which is a new design for Chinese consumers to allow easier diabetes management in a setting which they are more familiar with.

It enables patients, family members, and medical professionals to jointly monitor glucose data and manage the disease either remotely or at home.

Pharmaceutical companies highlight digital innovation at this year's CIIE
Ti Gong

With the main theme of "Miracles of Science," Sanofi participates in the CIIE for six consecutive years.

A number of pharma companies have made steady progress in terms of local research and development for new medicines.

Vicky Tse, general manager of Sanofi Specialty Care China, explained that the company expects to launch 25 new medicines and indications in China by 2025.

Since 2019, Sanofi has made China a crucial option for synchronized global R&D and now, by 2023, China has participated in over 90 percent of its global R&D projects.

At this CIIE Dupixent, which has been well recognized as an effective treatment for atopic dermatitis, is also presenting the potential to be used to treat respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.

Boehringer Ingelheim's latest R&D efforts have been focused on areas including oncology, metabolic diseases and cognitive symptoms, and is already working with local biopharma company Triastek to use the 3D printing to explore new chemical entity discovery and development.

To extend local partnership, a deal has been inked between the German pharma company and Burning Rock Biotech to jointly develop companion diagnostic products for certain types of rare cancer, for a potential new oncology treatment in China.

It hopes more than two dozens new medicines and indications will be approved in China in the next six years.

Teva which already signed up for the seventh expo scheduled for next year, said its medicine for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis officially received market approval in June this year, after its appearance during last year's CIIE.

Theodor Wee, general manager of Teva China, finds the expo to be a platform to exchange ideas and potential collaboration with provincial level governments, a meaningful initiative for long-term development in China.

Austedo, which treats involuntary movements caused by tardive dyskinesia or Huntington's disease, both rare diseases, was successfully included in the updated National Reimbursement Drug List earlier this year.

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