AstraZeneca to Invest $100 Million in China

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On May 26, AstraZeneca (Wilmington, DE) announced it would invest $100 million in research and development in China over the next three years.

On May 26, AstraZeneca (Wilmington, DE, it would invest $100 million in research and development inChina over the next three years. Approximately $60 million is earmarkedto establish the AstraZeneca Innovation Center China (ICC), which willdevelop new medicines for Chinese patients. In addition, the companywill expand its clinical research capabilities by increasing itsscientific collaborations with local Chinese organizations.

The ICC will seek to identify, develop, and validate new biomarkers forcancer, a major cause of death in China, and will employ more than 70preclinical scientists and physicians to undertake both early- andlate-stage drug-research projects. Researchers will perform activitiessuch as the analysis of human biological samples from clinical andexperimental settings. The facility will feature state-of-the-artbiomedical informatics capabilities and advanced information-technologysupport. AstraZeneca is searching for a suitable location for the ICC,which should be operational by the end of 2009.
AstraZeneca recently signed a $14-million deal with Wuxi Pharmatech forcompound collection synthesis as part of its efforts to increasecollaborations with Chinese scientists. The company already isresearching the genetics of schizophrenia with Shanghai Jiao TongUniversity.

Steve Brown, media relations manager at AstraZeneca, says that China is"an important emerging market for us" and that the country has "anunmet medical need for better [cancer] treatment." Brown acknowledgesthat other pharmaceutical companies have established manufacturingsites in China, but he believes that AstraZeneca is making "thehighest-value [research and development] investment" by a Westerncompany in China.