Novo Nordisk announced it will spend $100 M in its Beijing R&D center, adding $40 M in 2011 for new labs and adding up to 200 new staff by 2015. It will be the largest Western owned R&D center in China. It comes on the heels of Novo's $400 M investment in a China manufacturing facility for diabetes drugs in 2008.
Novo is just the latest Big Pharma to invest in R&D in China. Both Sanofi and Lilly, earlier this year, announced investments in new R&D centers in China covered in this blog here and here. China is attractive as it is a large (No. 2) and fast growing drug market. It has well educated scientists available. And it is low compared to the West at this time -- although that is changing pretty rapidly with the growth of China's economic power and its burgeoning middle class.
Given all that it has going for it, don't be surprised to see most if not all major Pharma companies to open R&D centers in China - especially since its IP protections have improved as well. Quintiles CEO said earlier this week that he thought China had a chance to become the leader in biotech R&D. See Fierce Biotech.
Posted by Bruce Lehr November 13th 2010.