AstraZeneca, along with MedImmune, its global biologics research and development arm, has announced a range of strategic initiatives to accelerate the delivery of innovative biologics and targeted medicines to patients in China, the company’s second largest market globally and a key growth platform.
The initiatives and investments include:
* A strategic alliance with WuXi AppTec, a leading Chinese biologics manufacturer and contract research organisation, to produce innovative biologics locally in China. Under the agreement, AstraZeneca has the option to acquire WuXi AppTec’s biologics manufacturing capacity in Wuxi City in the next few years through an overall investment approximating $100 million. Prior to that, Wuxi AppTec remains the company’s exclusive partner for R&D manufacturing for innovative biologics in China.
This strategic alliance will bring cutting-edge research and technical capability for biologics to China with the aim of addressing unmet patient needs in AstraZeneca’s main therapy areas of respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and oncology. The alliance builds on the existing joint venture between MedImmune and WuXi AppTec to develop and commercialise MEDI5117, a novel biologic for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, in China.
* An investment of $50 million to build an additional development and launch facility alongside our existing manufacturing site in Wuxi City to support the development and manufacture of innovative small molecules discovered in China and our global R&D sites.
* Additional investments include the creation of a new global hub for Pharmaceutical Development – alongside those in the UK and Sweden – with up to 50 scientists based in Shanghai and Wuxi City, to support both China and global needs. AstraZeneca is also establishing an integrated China medicines development organisation, bringing together early and late-stage medicines development across small molecules and biologics.
These investments and dedicated R&D capabilities are aimed at accelerating Chinese patients’ access to innovative medicines to address significant unmet need in AstraZeneca’s main therapy areas – respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic diseases; and oncology. AstraZeneca’s commitment to bring cutting-edge biopharmaceutical science to China and to partner with the local science community is aligned with the Chinese Government’s focus on increasing innovation to support economic development and access to healthcare.
Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President, MedImmune, said: “We are delighted to broaden our collaboration with WuXi AppTec, a company with strong leadership in the Chinese biopharmaceutical sector, to address the healthcare needs of local patients. This strategic alliance, alongside our accelerated investments will create a sustainable and strategic innovation platform in China and strengthen our leadership in developing next-generation biologics for both local needs and patients around the world.”
Mark Mallon, Executive Vice President, International, AstraZeneca, said: “Our increased investment reinforces our commitment to bring innovative medicines from our exciting pipeline of targeted and biological medicines to patients in China faster and supports our continued strong growth in the country. These initiatives will allow us to better integrate the needs of this important market into our global portfolio decisions and make us the first multinational biopharmaceutical company to create a dedicated R&D platform and manufacturing capabilities in China for local development from research through to commercialisation.”