Pharmaceutical firm puts innovation up front at second expo
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is exhibiting at this year's China International Import Expo, showcasing its latest products and commitment to China's healthcare for the second year running at the global event.
"This year, we present our 26 years of development in China, showing the considerable accomplishments achieved by connecting global wisdom with China against the backdrop of globalization, openness, integration and development," said Leon Wang, executive vice-president, international and China president of AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca, headquartered in Cambridge in the United Kingdom, is taking part in the 2019 CIIE with a booth covering 800 square meters. The booth is one of the largest in the CIIE's Hall of Medical Equipment and Healthcare Products this year. That's 300 sq m more than last year's exhibit, Wang said.
"Through our exhibition, we want to show that, in the context of global connectivity, AstraZeneca is collaborating with cross-sector partners from the government, industry, academia, research institutes and medical institutions," Wang said. "We have achieved innovative results with a far-reaching impact on healthcare industry of China and the entire world."
AstraZeneca has long been committed to promoting "domestically-driven innovation" and making constant investment to build research and development platforms in the Chinese market. During the second CIIE, a total of 11 drugs developed in China through in-house R&D and external cooperation are on display. The company said it will also promote the launch of those drugs in the Chinese market.
Apart from drugs developed in China for the global markets, Astra-Zeneca is also showcasing a range of innovative drugs developed outside the country during the CIIE.
"AstraZeneca introduced more than 30 innovative drugs into China during the past 26 years and will continue to introduce global blockbuster drugs urgently needed by Chinese patients through the CIIE," Wang said.
Last year, AstraZeneca signed a memorandum for a strategic partnership with Italian pharmaceutical company Zambon during the CIIE to introduce a drug to China. This year, AstraZeneca said it will launch another new imported drug in the Chinese market during the CIIE.
During the six-day event, visitors are welcome to AstraZeneca's booth to experience six new holistic disease management solutions of integrated diagnosis and treatment. Several medical simulation scenarios are also being displayed in the exhibition hall to give visitors a better understanding of how AstraZeneca's latest products function.
"By means of VR and scenario simulation, people will enjoy immersive and interactive experiences to learn the latest innovative practices of smart healthcare leveraging internet of things, big data, 5G, artificial intelligence and other technologies," Wang said.
Apart from drugs and technological solutions, AstraZeneca's scientific capabilities, pipelines and production network are on display to global visitors.
"Inspired by the science-led company value, AstraZeneca focuses on the whole life cycle of drug development. We integrate our R&D capabilities of drug discovery, early R&D and late-stage development to find many groundbreaking innovative drugs," Wang said. "Based on our global R&D centers and manufacturing plants, we continuously provide global patients with innovative drugs."
As the next strategic innovative move following the China Healthcare IoT Innovation Center, launched in 2017, AstraZeneca joined hands with the Wuxi government to develop the Wuxi International Life Science Innovation Campus, also known as I-Campus, in September.
It's another attempt by AstraZeneca to build an incubation platform for early research and development, the industrialization of research achievements, displaying of intelligent products and professional services in the life sciences sector. This platform covers four areas in the pharmaceutical industry: drug, device, diagnosis and digital, according to the company.
"We expect to attract more than 50 innovative companies in three years, gathering global talent and resources in cutting-edge technology to build an international life sciences industry cluster," Wang said.
At the ongoing CIIE, the first batch of resident companies, from China's Hong Kong and Taiwan, and countries such as the UK and India, will display their latest cutting-edge scientific achievements. In addition, there will be more overseas innovative companies and institutes signing cooperation agreements with I-Campus during the CIIE.
So far in China, AstraZeneca has invested more than $1 billion in building facilities and another $1.5 billion in R&D to generate over $15.5 billion in import value. China is AstraZeneca's second-largest market in the world, and gaining more importance in AstraZeneca's global strategic plan in the aspects of scientific development, production, operation, and commercial innovation, according to the company.
AstraZeneca sets up its 800-square-meter booth at the 2019 CIIE to demonstrate its latest products, services and developments in China. Photos provided to China Daily