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UCB builds on local healthcare partnerships

By Wang Hongyi | China Daily | Updated: 2015-06-23 07:37

Biopharmaceutical company has ambitious plans in China

The Belgian biopharmaceutical company UCB is committed to creating more value for patients in China and to partnering with local stakeholders to better serve the country's rapidly expanding healthcare needs.

As a patient-inspired and science-driven healthcare company, UCB focuses on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases.

"China is one of our strategic countries," said V��ronique Toully, head of operations for UCB China. "Our objective is to make innovative medicines available to doctors and patients in China. We will also continue to build on local partnerships to address knowledge gaps and improve access to medical information and education for both health care professionals and patients."

UCB started to operate in China in 1996. During the past 20 years, they have built their capability in clinical development and commercial operations; last year inaugurated a 13,000-square-meter manufacturing site in Zhuhai, Guangdong province; and are now present in more than 200 cities across China.

"We have ambitious clinical development programs in leading hospitals in China," Toully said. "We expect to be able to provide innovative solutions to patients suffering from central nervous system disorders including epilepsy and Parkinson's disease as well as immunologic diseases within the next five years."

She noted that innovation in healthcare is based on science as well as the ability to understand the environment and patient needs. The company invests more than 25 percent of its revenue in research and development every year, a high percentage compared to the rest of the pharmaceutical industry.

UCB has a track record of successful partnerships with other leading companies as well as with renowned academic and medical teams. The company believes in sharing expertise, skills and ideas with healthcare professionals and scientists to create tangible value for patients through their R&D process.

For UCB, medical education and information are also crucial in ensuring that the right solutions are provided to patients. In 2013, UCB launched an ambitious project called Dandelion in partnership with the China Association Against Epilepsy. Dandelion is a comprehensive medical program that connects online and offline senior neurologists, who have recognized expertise in epilepsy, with general neurologists. More than 400 general neurologists will have benefited from Dandelion through training and mentorship in China by the end of 2015.

Educating patients is another important aspect of UCB's contributions to society in China.

"We found that in some cases, improving disease awareness would help patients get quicker access to the right diagnosis and the appropriate treatment. We hope that education programs for patients conducted in partnership with healthcare professionals will create value for patients in the long term," Toully said.

UCB supports the Rainbow Bridge initiative conducted by the non-governmental organization Project Hope to provide education to children with epilepsy and their families in order to decrease the stigma that surrounds the disease.

UCB is also committed to helping enhance medical knowledge in rural areas of China. The Health and Hope Fund of the Business Development Center of the Red Cross Society of China, in partnership with UCB, launched advanced training programs in general medicine for village doctors in Xinjiang, Tibet, Guizhou and Hainan in 2013, and more recently in Yunnan province.

The quality of its corporate social responsibility projects led UCB to be named as one of the "World's 100 most sustainable companies" by the magazine Corporate Knights in 2013, and won it the 2014 Best of BenCham Sustainability Award in China.

In China, as in all the countries in which it operates, UCB is fully committed to its tag line, "Inspired by Patients. Driven by Science". The company understands that its job is to treat individual people, not diseases, so that the patients and their caregivers can get on with their lives, UCB said.

UCB builds on local healthcare partnerships

UCB builds on local healthcare partnerships

UCB opens its new facilities in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, last year.

UCB builds on local healthcare partnerships

A UCB sponsored CSR program in April 2013 attracts many participants.

UCB builds on local healthcare partnerships

Veronique Toully, head of operations for UCB China, says China is a strategic country for the company. Photos Provided to China Daily

(China Daily 06/23/2015 page7)

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