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‘Made in China’ gains new meaning
June 2009
by Lloyd Dunlap  |  Email the author
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SAN DIEGO—HUYA Bioscience International, a privately-funded company organized in the United States with joint headquarters in San Diego and Shanghai, has announced an agreement with Abbott to identify and pursue proprietary preclinical and clinical drug candidates that originate in China.

Explaining the rationale for the partnership, HUYA EVP and CFO Bob Giargiari points out that the global pharmaceutical industry faces a pressing need for new sources of preclinical and clinical-stage compounds for the drug development process.

"On average, at least eight major drug patents expire each year," he notes, and adds by way of understatement that this situation "results in a significant loss of revenue."
While growth of new drug opportunities coming out of pharmaceutical companies is stagnating in most parts of the world, "China is quickly becoming one of the world's richest sources of drug candidates, with the potential to provide pharmaceutical companies with blockbuster drugs," Giargiari states.

HUYA is currently evaluating and following the progress of more than 600 lead, preclinical and clinical drug candidates.

Abbott has partnered with top Chinese institutions for many years to advance the company's new drug discovery programs, an Abbott spokesperson notes: "During that time, we have been impressed by the research capabilities we've encountered. There is interesting basic research ongoing in multiple universities in China, and this research is leading to the discovery of new targets and compounds. We also recently opened our own research facility in Shanghai."

Abbott also points out that its work in China is only one piece of its overall global R&D operations. With research facilities in the U.S., Germany, Singapore and Shanghai, the company spokesperson points out, "Abbott looks for and leverages global scientific expertise as a means of driving innovation in the discovery and development of new medicines for patients."

Through its new relationship with HUYA, Abbott will gain access to HUYA's growing Chinese bioscience network comprising premier companies, universities, government research institutions and bioparks throughout the country. HUYA has agreements in place with many of these organizations that provide HUYA with ongoing exclusive access to compounds and biologics for a variety of indications.

HUYA's model is based on long-term relationships with its Chinese partners and this provides a continuous source of compounds, unlike a single compound strategy. Once a compound is licensed, the ongoing exchange of expertise and data lowers risk and facilitates rapid and efficient clinical development in both China and the West, HUYA claims.

Neither partner would comment on the specific terms of the agreement, nor how drug candidates will be selected from the pool of 600 lead compounds. Abbott did say that "we are looking across a number of therapeutic areas." HUYA currently has two clinical-stage drugs licensed from China in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular and oncology for development in the West.

In addition to its alliance with Abbott, HUYA has ongoing strategic partnerships with Schering-Plough and Solvay. The company also has established extensive collaborations with Chinese biopharmaceutical organizations, both commercial and academic, to enhance development efficiency and value creation in worldwide markets for China-sourced product candidates. HUYA plans to form additional alliances around its growing portfolio of product opportunities. The organization maintains joint headquarter offices in San Diego and Shanghai.

HUYA partners with Solvay Pharmaceuticals to Aaccess new drug candidates From China

BRUSSELS—On May 18, HUYA announced an additional partnership with Solvay Pharmaceuticals, a company specialized in enabling and accelerating global co-development of novel biopharmaceutical product opportunities originating in China.

The deal gives Solvay Pharmaceuticals access to HUYA's comprehensive Chinese molecule portfolio, focusing specifically on compounds in the cardiovascular area.

"We look forward to working with HUYA and its highly qualified Chinese partners to identify innovative new molecules and develop them into breakthrough new therapies for patients and physicians around the globe," said Dr. Werner Cautreels, CEO of Solvay Pharmaceuticals, in a statement. "We believe that through this partnership, we will be able to speed up our R&D activities by gaining access to compounds that could be introduced in more advanced stages of early development."

Solvay Pharmaceuticals is a research-driven group of companies that constitutes the global pharmaceutical business of the Solvay Group. The group's companies reported $3.78 billion in sales last year and employ more than 9,000 people worldwide.
 
Code: E060908

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