Multinationals banking on local research and development

Ding Yining
The latest investments by foreign businesses are expected to further enhance China's capabilities in accelerating research in the medical services and pharma development sector.
Ding Yining

China's bustling biomedical and health-care market has invited more visitors from multinational companies in recent weeks.

The business charm compounded with the easing of visa requirements for US travelers and visa free travel of up to 15 days for EU citizens, which has resulted in a huge batch of multinational executives coming to the city in person.

Over 30 visitors flew from Siemens Healthineers' headquarters in Germany to Shanghai for the China International Medical Equipment Fair over the weekend.

Latest medical imaging models from Shanghai Electric Kanda Medical Equipment co-developed with Siemens Healthineers were launched during the fair.

The two parties' partnership, initiated in July 2022, aimed at localizing the supply of medical equipment, especially at grassroots medical institutions.

Jerry Wang, president of Siemens Healthineers China and a member of the Global Leadership Committee of Siemens Healthineers, said its localization process would take a further step in the near future, with almost all major medical imaging and lab diagnostics materials, including one of the most advanced magnetic resonance scanners, to be locally produced.

It is also branching out beyond component suppliers to include startups and academic institutions to better tap their capabilities, creativity and resources.

"Through close ties with local stakeholders we seek to advance the local supply chain competency in the global market through smart technologies upgrade," Wang added.

Multinationals banking on local research and development
Ti Gong

Siemens Healthineers expects almost all of its major medical imaging device and lab diagnostics materials to be locally produced.

Shanghai continues to capture the attention of foreign businesses with life science and biopharma companies betting on new investments and partnerships at the major innovation hub.

The state of China's biopharmaceutical innovation and vibrancy of the local pharmaceutical ecosystem left a deep impression on Chris Arendt, Takeda's chief scientific officer and head of research, who was visiting the country for the first time.

He flew to China with colleagues from the Cambridge research campus in early April, when he got the chance to become fully aware of the pace and speed of the local industry development.

"I'm deeply impressed by the local industry scene as well as the pace and speed local players are embracing innovation," he said.

"We hope to harness China's speed to support global R&D efforts, and join forces to accelerate the pace of global drug innovation," he added.

All of the late-stage global trials by the Japanese pharmaceutical company have involved Chinese patients and clinical studies and China is participating in approximately half of its early-stage trials worldwide.

"By integrating global innovation with regional innovation we hope to fully realize the global value of Chinese innovation," said Wang Lin, head of the Takeda Development Center Asia.

Multinationals banking on local research and development

Shanghai is capturing the attention of foreign businesses with life science and biopharma companies betting on new investment.

Existing investors have also returned with new initiatives.

Merck last month completed the expansion of its Shanghai Technical Application Testing Center with 14 million euros (US$14.9 million) of additional investment at the facility.

The M Lab Collaboration Center opened in Shanghai in 2020, and the latest addition of application labs, training spaces, and testing centers further solidifies its position as the biggest of 10 such collaboration sites around the globe.

It is expected to help enhance biomedicine competence for locals as well as overseas players, especially at the research and development stage.

Located in Zhangjiang Science City in the Pudong New Area, it aims to provide tailor-made solutions for drug development and learning opportunities for pharmaceutical process innovation and manufacturing.

Multinationals banking on local research and development
Ti Gong

The M Lab Collaboration Center in Shanghai is the biggest of 10 such collaboration sites around the globe.

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