AstraZeneca to invest $100 million on China research program

AstraZeneca announced on Friday a $100 million expansion of its research and development program in China. The prime focus of the program will be the establishment of the AstraZeneca Innovation Center China to be operational by the end of 2009. The center will focus on translational science by developing knowledge about Chinese patients, biomarkers and genetics. Additionally, AstraZeneca will expand its clinical research capabilities and is looking this year to increase the number of scientific collaborations with local Chinese organizations. The Anglo-Swedish drug maker has recently signed a deal worth $14 million with Wuxi Pharmatech for Compound Collection Synthesis and has an existing collaboration with Shanghai Jiao Tong University on the genetics of schizophrenia. “With China’s rapid economic growth and increasing demand for better healthcare, China has become one of the most important emerging markets for AstraZeneca and will be important to our future success.” said AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan in a statement. “We fully support China’s national focus on innovation by substantially increasing our R&D investment, both in financial terms and in terms of scientific collaboration.”