Chinese/Western partnership to promote indigenous drugs

Chinese biopharma companies are eyeing strategic collaborations with Western counterparts to leverage their networks and commercial capabilities to promote indigenously developed drugs in China, says GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

China-based Luye Pharma Group’s holding subsidiary Boan Biotech signed an agreement with AstraZeneca China in May 2021 regarding the promotion rights to the anticancer drug Boyounuo (biosimilar of Roche’s Bevacizumab Injection), under which Boan will grant exclusive promotion rights to AstraZeneca across 21 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions of China.

Earlier in 2021, Shanghai-based Junshi Biosciences entered into exclusive agreement with AstraZeneca China for the promotion rights of toripalimab in mainland China for urothelial carcinoma.

Bhavani Nelavelly, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, said: “China has the largest number of cancer patients globally and the country’s policy reforms foster innovative oncology drug development. However, domestic companies lack experience in marketing the branded drugs because of historical experience in marketing generic drugs. The strategic collaborations with western companies will enable them in using their strong commercial capabilities in promoting and establishing the China indigenous medicines.”

Chinese products have strong advantage in terms of pricing as the local products are promoted through the NRDL in China, which is in turn driving the R&D investment and subsequently leading to innovative drug development.

According to GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Centre, the oncology pipeline for innovative drugs, currently developed by Chinese companies, includes 580 drugs across pre-registration, Phases III, II and I stages.

Image credit: Isaac Quesada

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