Embracing China 2.0: AZ, Merck KGaA Set Up Funds, J&J Steps Up Digital Push
AstraZeneca has pledged $1bn to a healthcare fund to support local innovation in China, joining big pharma peers J&J and Merck KGaA in fresh moves to embrace this market, where a new wave of digital technology transformation and fast-shifting trends now favor novel new therapies and the rise of local health start-ups
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Thinking all about scale, China opens the world’s longest sea bridge linking the Pearl River Delta area with Hong Kong and Macao, and the newly-formed 'Bay Area' is already attracting drug makers to look further afield than the traditional Beijing and Shanghai locations.
China has signaled that it will offer a more level playing field to foreign players as part of a bid to join a major regional trade pact but some see the gesture as offering little real relief and high hurdles remain.
Despite administering a total of 2.2 billion COVID-19 shots, China as the first country to experience the coronavirus outbreak has yet to open its borders, while more effective mRNA vaccines are still nowhere to be found amid apparent delays for the licensed-in lead candidate.