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Biomedicine hub draws intl giants, startups

By Song Mengxing | China Daily USA | Updated:2017-06-08

Having attracted a total investment of 2.2 billion yuan ($320.6 million), construction on an oncotherapy medicine manufacturing center began in March in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, local media reported.

The biological medicine project was a result of the Guangzhou Development District's new strategy to attract businesses. The district, together with a subsidiary of biopharmaceutical company BeiGene and a local enterprise in Guangzhou, founded a biological medicine company that mainly produces cancer treatment medicines.

Zhou Yawei, director of the district's administrative committee, said BeiGene is a biological medicine business with global vision and creativity. The project will improve the competitiveness and influence of the biological medicine industrial cluster in Guangzhou, Zhou added.

Wang Xiaodong, co-founder of BeiGene, said: "We are very pleased to announce that we have set up the joint venture with the Guangzhou Development District."

The project in Guangzhou will allow BeiGene to contribute to satisfying Chinese and global markets' increasing need for the development and application of biological medicines, Wang said.

The company plans to cooperate with General Electric to help Guangzhou to become a world-class city in the life health sector. It also plans to use flexible plant technology to produce related medicines.

BeiGene's cooperation with the Guangzhou Development District follows recommendations from GE, local media in Guangzhou reported. GE launched an international biological park project in the city last year.

Other biological medicine companies that are also partners of GE have come to Guangzhou and expressed cooperation intentions with the city, according to various local media.

Jeffrey Immelt, GE's chairman, said that Guangzhou offers a good investment environment, efficient services, low market costs and great development space. With development of the BeiGene project, he is optimistic Guangzhou will become a leading biopharmaceutical city, he said.

Local officials said Guangzhou has established a biological medicine industry where health food, medical apparatus and instruments, and both modern and traditional Chinese medicine play a dominant role. The system is gaining new impetus from advantaged sectors, such as precision and regenerative medicine.

As a national center for the industry, the city now boasts eight biological medicine parks. A representative from the Guangzhou science technology and innovation commission said that the biology and health industry, as an emerging sector in Guangzhou, has huge room for expansion and will become an important factor influencing the city's economic growth.

The city has provided comprehensive financial services for biology and health companies, and has helped to set up several venture and entrepreneurship investment funds for the industry.

Guangzhou has fostered leading biological companies for years, including Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings. The city is home to 15 listed companies in the biological and health fields, as well as 457 high-tech enterprises, accounting for 9.6 percent of high-tech companies in the city.

Guangzhou Pharmaceutical's sales revenue reached 88 billion yuan in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 17.33 percent. Its total profits amounted to 2.8 billion yuan last year, up 18.72 percent when compared with 2015.

Guangzhou has also established a database of overseas high-level professionals and a network for attracting and training professionals to promote its biological medicine sector.

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