Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Big Pharma Expands R&D in China

This was a recent article on the Managing Intellectual Property website, by Emma Barraclough. It depicts the new investment Pfizer is prepared to make in China, even though it has had trouble in the past.

Pfizer is to open a $25 million research and development facility in Shanghai following what the company described as a successful pilot project in the country.

The US pharmaceutical company says it will make the investment over five years and plans to collaborate with Chinese partners to develop drugs in China.

The Pfizer China Research and Development Center will "provide input to study design, data management and statistical analysis for global clinical trials," the company said in a statement.

Pfizer has faced a number of challenges in China, including rampant counterfeiting of its drugs.

It is still awaiting a decision from the Beijing Number One Intermediate People's Court over its impotence drug Viagra. The pharmaceutical company appealed to the courts after the State Intellectual Property Office's patent reexamination board withdrew a patent that SIPO had granted in 2001 for sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. The court hearings began in April but no ruling has yet been handed down.

When the reexamination board revoked the patent in July last year, Pfizer appeared to be rethinking its commitment to China, saying that "appropriate intellectual property protection" was essential to its plans to introduce 15 new medicines to the Chinese market over the next five years.

But last week Joseph Feczko, Pfizer's chief medical officer, said that China was an important market that offered a large number of highly skilled and talented scientists.

To view the entire article at its original location click on the title of this post.

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