Improving China’s pharmaceutical innovation ecosystem and jointly contributing to a Healthy China


On September 27, 2020, the 5th China BioMed Innovation and Investment Conference (Hereinafter referred to as “CBIIC”) was held in Suzhou Industrial Park. CBIIC focuses on several currently popular topics; deeply analyses the industry policies, the new trends of global pharmaceutical R&D and hot issues in investment and financing circle in the post-pandemic era; and comprehensively discusses global trends on pharmaceutical innovation R&D; as well as negotiates the biopharmaceutical investment cooperation. Government officials like Chen Deming, former Minister of Commerce, President of the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment (CAEFI); Shang Fulin, Director of the Economic Committee of the CPPCC, former Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission; Bi Jingquan, Deputy Director of the Economic Committee of the CPPCC, former Secretary of the Leading Party Members Group and Deputy Director of the State Market Regulatory Administration; as well as many leading scientists, well-known entrepreneurs, and KOLs in investment and financing circle from home and abroad were invited to attend the Conference.

President Chen Deming delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, which fully recognizes the important role of foreign pharmaceutical companies in boosting China’s pharmaceutical innovation and investment and achieving the goal of Healthy China. Cao Hongying, Executive Vice President of CAEFI, and Kang Wei, Managing Director of RDPAC, were invited to attend the opening ceremony of the Conference. Kang Wei shared her view on the topic of “Global Trends on Pharmaceutical Innovation R&D”, and called for a continuous strengthening of the cooperation between multinational pharmaceutical companies and local pharmaceutical companies to promote China’s pharmaceutical innovation. During the Conference, China Pharmaceutical Innovation and Research Development Association (PhIRDA) and CAEFI jointly released the results of the “Research on the Most Valuable Biopharmaceutical Innovation Cities in China” program.

Foreign pharmaceutical companies are leaders in terms of innovation and quality
In the opening speech, President Chen Deming fully recognized the important role of foreign pharmaceutical companies in promoting China’s pharmaceutical innovation. He pointed out that foreign pharmaceutical companies running business in China are part of the Chinese business ecosystem by law, and they are quite competitive globally due to the combination of international technology and capital, advanced management experience and outstanding local talents. He added, “Foreign pharmaceutical companies are members of the family of Chinese pharmaceutical companies, and they will dutifully participate in China’s pharmaceutical innovation and investment. From a practical point of view, products and services from foreign pharmaceutical companies are generally featured in high-level R&D, strict quality control, and good efficacy. They are the representatives and leaders of the pharmaceutical innovation and investment. So, foreign pharmaceutical companies are never outsiders of China’s economic construction, in fact, they are insiders who will actively integrate themselves into China’s economy development and public health undertakings.”


“Under the background of fighting against the pandemic globally this year, biopharmaceutical industry has been included into the national central pillar industries for the first time by the Chinese government to improve China’s biopharmaceutical innovation ability. Foreign pharmaceutical companies are willing to do their utmost for China’s biopharmaceutical innovation with the support from government, industry and experts, and to cooperate with domestic and foreign counterparts in R&D, so as to keep safeguarding the health of Chinese people.” President Chen Deming pointed out that RDPAC has united 42 top multinational pharmaceutical companies in the world. By providing high-quality and innovative healthcare products and services, RDPAC and its member companies are supporting the establishment of a sustainable medical and healthcare system, promoting the implementation of the Healthy China strategy, advancing the creation of a new ecosystem of pharmaceutical innovation, and continuously improving the quality of life of people in China. In the past two years, RDPAC member companies have introduced more than 100 innovative drugs to the Chinese market, accounting for 80% of all the innovative drugs launched in the Chinese market during the same period. He emphasized that as the COVID-19 is still raging around the world, the only weapon for human to defeat the pandemic is science and technology, effective drugs and long-lasting vaccines. While the novel coronavirus is by no means the last challenge to human health, pharmaceutical innovation and investment will never stop.

Multinational pharmaceutical companies strengthen the cooperation with local pharmaceutical companies for high-quality innovation that benefits patients in China and around the world
During the panel discussion of the CBIIC opening ceremony, opinions on “Global Trends on Pharmaceutical Innovation R&D” were exchanged among Song Ruilin, Executive President of PhIRDA; Jiang Jiandong, Director of the Institute of Materia Medica at Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College; Kang Wei, Managing Director of RDPAC; He Ruyi, former Chief Scientist of the Center for Drug Evaluation at the China Food and Drug Administration; Li Ning, CEO of Top Alliance; and so on, emphasizing that encouraging innovative drugs has become a global trend, and the unmet clinical needs and health challenges such as rare diseases and infectious diseases are where the breakthroughs in pharmaceutical innovation can make a difference.

“Global cooperation is the path to breakthroughs in pharmaceutical innovation. China has entered the 2nd tier of pharmaceutical innovation in the world. In the post-pandemic era, innovation and cooperation will become the two keywords of the biopharmaceutical industry.” Kang Wei, Managing Director of RDPAC, emphasized during the panel, “it usually takes ten years to develop a new drug, but the sudden COVID-19 crisis has made us realize that to meet the urgent and unmet clinical needs of people, we must rely on international cooperation to find solutions. As it has been showed in this pandemic, China shared the complete genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus only 10 days after the first case reported, and immediately, multinational companies and local Chinese companies carried out unprecedented and extensive cooperation in the fields of relevant testing reagents, drugs and vaccines R&D. ”


Kang Wei pointed out that the trend of cooperation and integration between multinational pharmaceutical companies and local innovative pharmaceutical companies is becoming stronger and stronger, which is reflected in the active License in and License out, the closing connection between drug R&D and commercialization in China’s pharmaceutical industry. More and more multinational pharmaceutical companies are developing cooperation with local innovative pharmaceutical companies with the shared vision of making China a strong player in pharmaceutical innovation and an open platform for global biopharmaceutical innovation. Multinational pharmaceutical companies and local pharmaceutical companies are highly complementary in terms of pharmaceutical innovation. The cohesion of their cooperation should be strengthened to achieve the goal of “Healthy China 2030”. Taking this Conference as an example, employees from more than a dozen of RDPAC member companies including AstraZeneca, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Eisai, Eli Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Roche, Servier, Xian Janssen, etc., attended the Conference and participated in the discussion on China’s pharmaceutical innovation in the post-pandemic era.

Kang Wei also called for a wider coverage of valuable innovative drugs in NDRL to benefit Chinese patients and improve the accessibility of these drugs. She said that according to data, innovative drugs account for only less than 10% of NDRL investment, while the percentage is 50%-60% in some developed countries. “According to the research and calculations by RDPAC on the medical insurance fund, in the past three batches (four times) of volume-based procurement, 50 billion yuan were saved with a probable spillover effect on 100 billion yuan, which should be invested in valuable innovative drugs.” She added that according to the “Guideline on Deepening the Reform of the Country’s Medical Insurance System” issued by the State Council in March, by 2030, a medical security system that centers on basic medical insurance and is underpinned by medical aid, with the synergetic development of supplementary medical insurance, commercial health insurance, charitable donations, and mutual medical assistance, will be fully established, which will set the direction for future medical insurance reform. The realization of this goal still requires the joint efforts of the entire industry.

Improving China’s pharmaceutical innovation ecosystem and jointly contributing to a Healthy China
In the post-pandemic era, a lots of unmet needs and emerging outstanding innovative technologies will continue to drive the development of China’s biopharmaceutical industry. “Innovation” will be the keyword of the industry. Since 2015, RDPAC has jointly released a series of reports on the pharmaceutical innovation ecosystem in conjunction with a number of other organizations, providing advice and suggestions for the government and related institutions by studying on innovative solutions from the perspectives of concepts, policy mechanism and capability. In order to further promote the high-quality development of China’s pharmaceutical innovation, improve the investment environment, avoid redundant construction, and elevate the resource allocation efficiency, in May 2020, the Pharmaceutical Innovation Cities Research Project was officially launched. In this research project, RDPAC and PhIRDA, two representatives from the pharmaceutical innovation social organizations in China, evaluated the innovation ecosystem and the strength of pharmaceutical innovation cities in China from a third-party perspective. It will make a difference in promoting the improvement of the pharmaceutical innovation ecosystem, and attracting talents and investment.


On the afternoon of September 27, the Biopharmaceutical Innovation Cities Development Forum & the outcome press conference of the “the Most Valuable Biopharmaceutical Innovation Cities in China” research project was held during 2020 CBIIC. Chen Deming, former Minister of Commerce, President of CAEFI; Bi Jingquan, Deputy Director of the Economic Committee of the CPPCC, former Secretary of the Leading Party Members Group and Deputy Director of the State Market Regulatory Administration; Ren Jinsheng, President of PhIRDA, Chairman and CEO of Simcere; Song Ruilin, Executive President of PhIRDA; Cao Hongying, Executive Vice President of CAEFI; and Kang Wei, Managing Director of RDPAC, jointly announced the results of the “Research on Biopharmaceutical Innovation Cities in China”. President Chen Deming pointed out at the meeting that the pharmaceutical innovation cities should be objectively evaluated from six dimensions, namely city construction, policy guarantees, R&D resources, innovation systems, financing capabilities, and enterprise development. The local governments need to understand the global trend of the biopharmaceutical development and the dynamic of corporate planning, and actively carry out “Going out” and “Bringing in” strategy. During the meeting, a licensing ceremony was held for cities ranking highly in Pharmaceutical Innovation Index. Representatives from ten outstanding cities including Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Nanjing, Chengdu and Wuhan attended the event, and some of them shared their cities’ experience in pharmaceutical innovation.

CBIIC has been successfully held for five sessions since 2016. It is the most popular annual pharmaceutical investment event in the Asia-Pacific region, and has been highly recognized and widely praised by pharmaceutical industry and investment industry. To “promote the linkage between social capital and pharmaceutical innovation and improve the innovation capability of pharmaceutical industry”, 2020 CBIIC deeply explores the development directions of both pharmaceutical innovation, and investment and financing in China in the post-pandemic era, shows the world with the strong driving force of China’s pharmaceutical innovation, and builds a high-level dialogue and cooperation platform for efficient communication and precise partnering among domestic and foreign pharmaceutical innovation projects, scientists, and investors.

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