- AstraZeneca (AZ) is expanding its presence in China through a series of deals, including hiring 50 scientists for facilities in Shanghai and Wuxi City and expanding its manufacturing partnership with WuXi AppTec.
- AZ also announced an investment of $50 million to build a R&D facility in Wuxi City to support small-molecule development.
- For context, IMS has predicted that drug spending in China could reach $185 billion by 2018.
For Pascal Soriot, CEO of AZ, the goal is to expand R&D facilities and manufacturing capabilities throughout the E.U. and Asia. Towards that end, AZ is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in China. Developing partnerships, with partners such as WuXi, an international CRO, could help AZ steer clear of the types of scandals that GSK was involved in last year in China.
In addition, AZ and WuXi AppTec agreed to an option allowing AZ to buy out their manufacturing facilities for $100 million.
It's not just about manufacturing—AZ is going after new drugs with a new R&D hub designed to focus on development of small molecules and biologics. Ultimately, AZ hopes to benefit from being part of the Chinese market and fostering more innovation in the local biopharma landscape.