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China May Prove a Hard Pill for India to Swallow (China)

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

In light of the recent rejection of a Novartis cancer patent by India's Chennai High Court, pharmaceutical representatives are claiming that China holds the most promise for the future of the drug industry. "India has a longer tradition and a greater skillset but China has such huge resources and lower costs it is becoming a focus for biotech," says Fintan Walton of PharmaVentures. AstraZeneca's Bruno Angelici predicts that China will be the fifth largest global drug industry in three years. At Shanghai's Zhang-jiang Hi-Tech park, Novartis is funding a $100 million biomedical research center; last year, AstraZeneca pledged the same amount of funds for a Shanghai oncology research center. GlaxoSmithKline head of government relations Robert Jones says both India and China have intellectual property roadblocks, yet there has been an upsurge of investment in global pharmaceutical developments following the 2005 World Trade Organization membership. India remains a viable target for companies seeking partnerships and acquisitions due to its status as touting the greatest number of U.S. Food and Drug Administration-certified facilities apart from the U.S. In India, clinical trials are up to 60 percent cheaper than in the U.S., while reinforced patent protection has promoted interest in conducting such trials. Though Novartis' failure to receive approval of the cancer drug Glivec resulted in the pharmaceutical's chief executive Daniel Vasella stating that other countries would be recipients of future funding, Ajit Dangi of Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India says the judgment will not be a likely factor in reducing investments in the subcontinent. (Click here for more - May Require Paid Subscription
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