Country Report: China - Pharmaceutical Executive


Country Report: China
The Long March Marches Onward

Pharmaceutical Executive


Liu Rongyao, CEO of Zhongguancun Biomedical Garden
This lack of ease is one of the reasons why specialization, rather than integration, is the name of many entrepreneurs' games. Enters Professor Piu Chan, founder and president of Wincon. Professor Chan grew the company out of his expertise and desire to conduct translational research, which he felt was a limiting environment in the US. In that environment he was a leading researcher before returning as early as 2000 to China as a spearhead "sea-turtle," the affectionate term given to overseas returnees.

Zhongguancun Biomedical Garden facilities
"China," Dr. Chan says, "offers several advantages for conducting translational research: chief among these are the Chinese culture, large population and management infrastructure. For example, it is often easier to integrate and utilize clinical resources because most of the hospitals, universities and staffs are already supported by the government." With this in mind, he returned to China with two colleagues, a neurosurgeon specializing in surgery on Parkinson's disease, and a stem cell researcher, at a time when far fewer people were coming back. "Our main goal was to pursue translational research, with a dream of really developing something new for our patients." This resulted in China's first AAALAC (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International) accreditation for facilities of non-human primates in 2006, and leading collaborations investigating stem cells, neuron growth factor and new drug alongside with scientists from the Parkinson Institute, Stanford, Wisconsin, and UCSF in the US, funded by the Kinetics Foundation of Andy Grove, the former Chairman of Intel.

Piu Chan, Founder & President of Wincon
Zhongguancun Biomedical Garden, on the other hand, has focused on attracting local innovative companies concerned with new drug discovery. The entity, which began as a subsidiary to the Haidian sub-park of Zhongguancun Science and Technology Park, now counts all services and supports concentrated on the commercialization of new products, including drugs, diagnostics and medical devices. CEO Liu Rongyao says this focus has paid off: "Based on 8 years of joint efforts, among our members, there are two companies which have gone public, one in China and the other in Singapore. Two medical device companies have earned three registration certificates from the SFDA (The State Food and Drug Administration) and six members have successfully completed new drug clinical approvals from the SFDA."


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