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Along with China’s booming general economy, their Pharmaceutical market has considerably outperformed other geographic regions growing at about 27% a year since 2000, compared to the 9.7% average annual growth rate for the industry as a whole.
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China’s developing capability to perform studies for the global market, while striving to meet international standards, has made it a growing presence in preclinical development.
As China competes with other emerging countries for the global market, the Chinese government has substantially increased its R&D budget for their local Pharmaceutical industry. China’s total annual R&D spend is estimated to reach $10.2b in 2010, with the government directly operating and funding over 30 preclinical research institutes, with 90% of them intent on meeting GLP standards. China has invested heavily in new infrastructure to support the development of novel medicines, including building new high-tech parks clustered with biotech companies offering close cooperation between inter-related healthcare organizations.
The Chinese government is also strongly encouraging foreign companies to develop their products in the country, stimulating significant inward investment. Western pharma is not just investing directly; it’s also encouraging their preferred PreClinical CRO partners to establish facilities, with the three biggest, Covance, CRL, and MPI all heavily committed in the region. For a time at least, there will be an opportunity for western pharma to outsource R&D work to China, where the overall research costs are currently noticeably lower.
China leads the world in the number of graduating scientific students, and with the majority of study-related processes currently being manual; the additional resources in early drug development inevitably increase the risk of laboratory error. Consequently, there has been significantly increased demand over the last 24 months for western automation and regulatory compliance. Although automated laboratory systems are still considered to be rare, you can certainly find Instem solutions hard at work.
Instem entered the Chinese market in 2006 announcing that Bridge Laboratories had purchased a full Provantis system. Bridge operates one of the largest and most advanced vivariums in China and as the exclusive preclinical technology; Provantis is supporting their US-level GLP compliant preclinical development of pharmaceutical and biotech drugs.
Provantis, the overwhelming standard in western GLP and non-GLP facilities, offers Chinese laboratories: