Monday, 19 December 2011 06:14
Kun Tuo to be a one-stop shop for biopharma R&D.
Quintiles aims to stay in the forefront of the global shift that is bringing clinical development work eastward to Asia. The global contract research and services company has launched Kun Tuo, a China-based contract research organization to provide services to the domestic biopharmaceutical industry and multinationals operating in the country.
Kun Tuo deepens Quintiles commitment to China where it has been operating since 1997 and has a staff of more than 300 employees. The new CRO will focus on developing customized solutions for local and global biopharmas, and medical device and diagnostic companies to help them get their products developed and approved in China.
The company has an aggressive growth plan for China, where it anticipates doubling Quintiles’ total staff during 2012, says Ling Zhen, general manager of Quintiles China.
Almost all of the top multinational pharmaceutical companies have set up or are in the process of setting up R&D facilities in China. The most recent announcement came from Merck, which plans to set up an R&D site in the country, and has committed to spend up to $1.5 billion over five years. Many multinational pharmaceutical companies are partnering with domestic Chinese companies to develop drugs for the Chinese market, where they are seeing revenue growth of more than 22 percent a year, offsetting stagnant growth in the developed markets of the United States and Europe.
These services may very well include manufacturing the drugs needed for clinical trials and expanded research in biologics. Multi-national clinical trials are being initiated at a rapid pace in China, up four-fold since 2004 according to analysis by consulting firm ChinaBio. Contract manufacturers are ramping up their facilities to be able to meet the increased demand that will come from multinationals increasing their clinical trial activity in the country as the Chinese government has a policy of restricting the export of clincial material out of the country.
In November, leading Chinese CRO WuXi Pharmatech reported a 24 percent increase in its third quarter 2011 sales mainly thanks to manufacturing revenues that grew 184 percent in the quarter, driven by increased demand for both research manufacturing and commercial manufacturing. WuXi is making advanced commercial intermediates for Vertex’s hepatitis C drug Incivek, which is sold in Europe by Johnson & Johnson.
By MARIE DAGHLIAN