China investing heavily to reshape their biotech industry to create new drugs

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It’s been more than a decade since Samantha Du returned to China to build one of its first biotechnology companies focused on developing drugs for a global market. Back then, she trained scientists, had perplexing discussions with regulators new to the field and worked hard to persuade people it was worthwhile to back Chinese science.

Times have changed. Now, Du says she has a “cherry pick” of talented and experienced scientists. She’s advising China’s government on accelerating approvals of complex pharmaceutical products, and the world’s most prolific investors are actively hunting promising Chinese biotechnology companies to pump money into (including hers).

Du is among an emerging group of ambitious entrepreneurs and scientists seeking to make their mark by producing China’s first blockbuster innovative drugs — and taking them around the world. They’re attempting to reshape the Chinese biotechnology industry, which is also getting a boost from government efforts to drive innovation through incentives like biotech zones and preferential regulations for locally developed drugs. China’s pharmaceutical companies have traditionally focused on making cheap, generic medicines, and so far they’ve had limited success in creating novel drugs.

“The Chinese people deserve better medicines,” said Du. “China is transitioning from a developing to developed country and a huge part of that process hinges on ramping up progress in its health-care sector.”

Read full, original post: China Is on a Quest to Develop New Billion Dollar Drugs

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