Business / Companies

Unlocking the promise of innovation

By ED ZHANG (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-17 10:04


China Daily talked to Yin Xudong, chairman of Novartis Greater China, with a focus on the company's ongoing development of research and development capability in China.

Q: Please tell us a little more about your new facility in Shanghai?

A: I believe we are unique in China in the industry. It is because first, we want to be different from other pharmaceutical companies, and second, we have already made a head start on the plan. Based on our strategic plan for China, we have built up all these capabilities, primarily in Shanghai.

Q: But still, your China-based R&D focus would feature a different emphasis from time to time, wouldn't it?

A: Ah, yes. Our global R&D is focused on areas like oncology, immunology, neuroscience and so on, in general new drugs needed by healthcare in an aging society. This is our global focus, which reflects the basic market demand in North America and Western Europe. As for the emerging markets, such as China, there is still a large demand arising from some chronic conditions and even epidemic diseases.

The demand for modern medical care and medicine has three stages: In the first stage, the main demand is for cures of the epidemic diseases. In the second stage, the demand is mainly from some chronic conditions, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia. And the third stage is about all the problems associated with aging.

Q: How would you place China vis-a-vis medical care?

A: China is right now between the first and second stages. So our Shanghai R&D center is to meet a somewhat wider range of demand than North America and Western Europe. It will play a part in the global efforts to develop drugs for chronic conditions and ageing. At the same time, it will also look into some characteristics of the China demand, such as hepatitis B.

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