Biomedical firms from home and abroad to work on novel therapies together

Cai Wenjun
Domestic and global biomedical giants partnered on R&D at the 5th China International Import Expo to offer breakthrough treatments and solutions for China and the world.
Cai Wenjun
Biomedical firms from home and abroad to work on novel therapies together
Ti Gong

Visitors at the 5th China International Import Expo check an immunochemistry analytical unit produced by Roche Diagnostics.

Biomedical research and development collaborations between domestic business and global giants to jointly produce innovative drugs and solutions are constantly seen at the site of the China International Import Expo.

Precise screening, diagnosis, and treatment were highlighted by pharmaceutical collaborations to benefit China as well as the rest of the world.

On molecular diagnosis for cancer and respiratory illness testing and screening, Roche Diagnostics has signed an agreement with a number of creative enterprises in China.

The secret to cancer prevention, management, and ultimately cure is early detection.

The 2030 Healthy China vision places a strong emphasis on the value of early cancer diagnosis and treatment in order to decrease incidence and mortality and ultimately lower personal and societal costs.

A non-invasive molecular screening tool for colon cancer will be launched by Roche Diagnostics in partnership with Wuhan-based Ammunition Life Technology, according to an announcement made at CIIE.

Colorectal cancer is now China's second most common cancer due to dietary and lifestyle changes. About 83 percent of colon cancer patients in China don't receive a diagnosis until the disease is advanced or deadly since there are no symptoms in the early stages.

It typically takes five to 10 years from pre-cancer alterations to cancer. The disease can be stopped if it is discovered during pre-cancer transformation. When treated promptly and effectively, the five-year survival rate, which represents clinical recovery, is greater than 90 percent in cases of early detection.

Biomedical firms from home and abroad to work on novel therapies together
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Advanced diagnostic tools on display at CIIE.

Despite being the gold standard for diagnosing colorectal cancer, colonoscopy has significant drawbacks. A basic, practical, non-invasive tool is required by both the medical community and the general people.

A technology that shows promise is molecular diagnostics. Ammunition Life Technology has created a number of non-invasive screening solutions for urological, gynecological, and digestive system cancers.

It developed a testing method that checks exfoliated cells in human faeces and has two targets for colorectal cancer screening. Clinical testing conducted so far in numerous hospitals around the nation have established the sensitivity of the technology to be 95.3 percent.

The testing will be more precise and reliable when using Roche Diagnostics' PCR screening platform.

In order to more effectively and precisely prevent and control infectious diseases, Roche Diagnostics and Zhejiang-based Orient Gene Biotech have partnered to co-develop testing tools for respiratory infectious disease, covering the most common targets like the flu virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and adenovirus.

Early pathogen recognition by molecular diagnostics can enhance the effects of and shorten the duration of treatment for respiratory diseases. This, according to scientists, is a crucial weapon in the COVID-19 epidemic.

Biomedical firms from home and abroad to work on novel therapies together
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A tissue staining system, which enables pathologists to provide high-quality, time-critical results to doctors and patients, is debuting in CIIE.

The company has entered into a partnership with Changchun-based Sunostik Medical Technology to create custom laboratory solutions that target local clinical needs.

Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company based in the US, also announced plans to collaborate with two of China's top diagnostic firms, AmoyDx in Xiamen and Burning Rock Dx in Guangzhou, to jointly develop and market testing kits for patients with thyroid cancer and lung cancer who have the RET mutation for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

The first highly selective and effective RET inhibitor in the world selpercatinib, developed by Eli Lilly, received approval for the treatment of thyroid and lung cancers in China in September.

China wants to increase cancer patients' five-year survival rate by 15 percent by 2030, according to Dr Zhou Caicun of the Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital. Accurate diagnosis and treatment are essential to achieving this objective, he added.

"More and more patients, particularly those with uncommon genetic mutations, are benefiting from targeted therapy for lung cancer. To advance China's medical expertise in treating lung cancer, we hope that more accurate, effective medicines will be made available in clinical settings," he said.

Biomedical firms from home and abroad to work on novel therapies together
Ti Gong

The first highly selective and effective RET inhibitor in the world selpercatinib, made by Eli Lilly, was approved in China in September.

Lung cancer is a popular area of cooperation between multinational corporations and domestic firms.

During CIIE, Roche Pharma and Roche Diagnostics announced a partnership with seven leading Chinese genetic testing companies to establish a union of rare targets of lung cancer in an effort to improve individualized lung cancer diagnosis and treatment by offering pathological diagnostic products and services on rare genetic targets.

In China, lung cancer is the most prevalent and lethal cancer, with 815,000 new cases and 713,000 deaths annually.

Non-small cell lung cancer is the most prevalent kind of lung cancer, accounting for 85 to 90 percent of all occurrences. Among them, 3 to 7 percent of patients have anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK+) advanced NSCLC, a category whose patients are typically young, have a high relapse rate, a high risk of brain metastases, and poor treatment outcomes. Thus, the mutation is known as the "diamond mutation."

"With the advent of new targeted medications, the efficacy of treatment for such patients has vastly improved. Lung cancer may become a chronic condition in the future," Zhou warned.

Testing is the initial stage in the development of accurate medication. A pathological diagnosis that unambiguously identifies the fraction of distinct lung tumors is a prerequisite for focused treatment. An accurate, reliable, and speedy method for identifying these patients would be of great use.

Therefore, the union was created to govern the diagnosis and treatment of these rare targets and to improve patient education in search of more innovative solutions that will benefit a greater number of patients.

Yao Guoliang, general manager of Roche Diagnostics China, said, "Through this union, we hope to increase our innovation capacity and pool our resources in order to increase the availability of high-quality diagnostic solutions in China and to improve lung cancer diagnosis and treatment capabilities in China for the benefit of more Chinese patients."

Biomedical firms from home and abroad to work on novel therapies together
Ti Gong

Seven leading domestic genetic testing companies sign up to join the union on CIIE.

Medical facilities also frequently collaborate with industry leaders.

Medtronic, based in the United States, entered into a strategic partnership with Jiahui International Hospital, the only international hospital designated to provide health support for the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, to advance the development and application of innovative products and services.

Ge Feng, CEO of Jiahui Health, said that "We want our hospital to be able to not only attract exceptional doctors and experts, but also have a collection of leading products and technology to deliver better healthcare for our patients."

"Through cooperation with industry leaders such as Medtronic, we hope to establish an innovative and comprehensive health ecosystem to explore innovative technology and develop an international-standard health model to provide comprehensive health management and service to patients and their families."

Biomedical firms from home and abroad to work on novel therapies together
Ti Gong

Medtronic has reached a strategic collaboration agreement with Jiahui International Hospital on CIIE.

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