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China's biotech industry: An Asian dragon is growing
Date:1/7/2008

in-house R&D programs.

Other barriers to growth include a lack of trust among potential international partners, particularly in discussions that involve intellectual property protection. Other barriers to international partnerships involve language, travel, culture, and differences in project management styles.

Slow-moving policy and regulatory processes hinder progress in a fast-paced research environment. Among the major issues China will need to address soon is the need to expand its capabilities in protecting intellectual property by refining civil procedures, developing a body of jurists, and accumulating a body of precedent and custom for assessment of damages.

Sales and distribution are problematic for small Chinese companies; as a result the needs of the large domestic market are unmet. The countrys health system is weak and in many cases clinicians, facilities and products are not reaching rural or isolated regions. Another challenge is the disparity between the high cost of developing an innovative health product and the price the domestic market can pay.

Other lessons learned

The governments efforts to expand Chinas innovative capacity in biotechnology are bearing fruit. According to the countrys Institute of Science and Technology Information, China in 2006 became the worlds second largest scientific research publisher (after only the U.S.), indicating improved research and innovation capacity and deeper involvement of Chinese scientists in the international academic community.

The researchers say Chinese companies need global health organizations to help them increase global access to their products.

As well, in addition to incentives to develop domestically novel products that address local health needs, more government-sponsored incentives and procurement programs are needed to ensure that innovative products reach their intended end users.

Recommendations for biotec
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
Program on Life Sciences, Ethics and Policy,McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
Source:Eurekalert

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