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Japan is the third largest economy in the world. Its chemical (and classical drug) industry is fully mature, and it is a founding member and major participant in the International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) project. The country’s aging population represents an attractive market to outside drug companies. Some well-known vendors to the bioprocess industry are headquartered in Japan, including Tosoh Bioscience and Shimadzu Scientific Instruments. “Japanese companies have become so integrated into American life,” says consultant Scott Wheelwright of WZE Management Consulting Company, “that I am sure many people in the United States do not recognize some of these companies as Japanese, like BioWa. They appear from their websites and staffing to be US companies.” Japan has a long acquaintance with fermentation technology, which has been important to the country’s cuisine for centuries. Internationally, however, the country’s pre...
Several smaller-market countries in the Asia–Pacific region are looking to biotechnology as a significant driver for their economic growth. Some present themselves as wide open to foreign investment, hoping to attract partners or contract clients from overseas. Others are working to develop homegrown industry through local research and financing. A few have banded together in an Asian “light” version of the European Union. ASEAN Countries The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a geopolitical and economic organization of 10 countries in SE Asia. Formed in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, ASEAN has since added Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. In 2010, the combined GDP of ASEAN nations was US$1.8 trillion. As a single country, they would be the ninth largest economy in the world and the third largest in Asia. Ian Taylor, editorial director at Espicom Business Intelligence, said in 2008 that the countries of SE Asia present both a growi...
The impact that the migration of talent is having on life sciences companies’ ability to innovate and differentiate themselves worldwide is a topic of constant concern. Of particular interest are the increasing flows between the United States and China. China’s “1,000 Talents Scheme” and similar initiatives at the local level were specifically designed to help the country become a world leader in innovation. Such programs incentivize people who are among the top 10 practitioners in their field to return to China during the next decade. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this talent draw is actively reaching into the private sector. Meanwhile, the nation continues to build new institutions of higher education to produce significant quantities of highly trained scientists and engineers. In September 2010, the executive search firm J. Robert Scott informally polled executives from pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, diagnostic, and healthcare services organizations in the United States and China abo...
Until recently, China had not been considered a global contender for outsourced biopharmaceutical manufacturing. In fact, it’s been less than a decade since pharmaceutical contract manufacturing in China became legal ( 1 ). Yet, the industry now ranks China as the most likely biomanufacturing outsourcing location. According to our recently released study, 17% of the industry considers China as the top future offshore production destination (Figure 1). The BioPlan 2011 Eighth Annual Report and Survey of Biomanufacturing Capacity and Production shows China moving from seventh place last year to first this year — surpassing the United States, which moves to second place with 15.1%. As the pharmaceutical market expands globally, outsourcing takes on an increasingly seamless international dimension. In the study, we asked respondents to consider their five-year time horizon (lead-up to 2015) and evaluate their facility’s current plans for international capacity expansion (not domestic). The 352 respondents i...
Begin a discussion about Singapore, and most likely the word hub enters the conversation. This small country is giving a full-force effort into earning a reputation for being the technical, financial services, and industrial center of the Asia–Pacific region. Its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (~$57,200 in 2010) is comparable with most Western developed countries. Like South Korea, India, and China, Singapore aims to grow its market share in the biosimilars sector. The difference, however, says Pete Gagnon (CSO at Validated BioSystems and resident in Singapore) is that the country is “positioned to get there faster.” He credits its position in the biopharmaceutical industry to several factors, including a sophisticated infrastructure, a young and highly educated workforce, government support of several “incubator” facilities, financial incentives (e.g., Research Incentive Schemes for Companies, RISC; and Innovation Development Scheme, IDS), and tax incentives for manufacturing. Infrastructure I...
Australia is the only Asia–Pacific country that’s home to one of the world’s top-10 biotechnology companies (in revenue): CSL Limited, a maker of drugs, vaccines, antivenoms, blood products, and diagnostics. Many companies in the West consider this country a “gateway” to the Asia–Pacific region because of its relatively familiar culture, language, laws, and infrastructure. Indeed, Australia’s proximity to Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the rest of Asia compares favorably to the rest of the English-speaking world. For cell therapies and other time and temperature-sensitive biologics, that can be a critically appealing factor. But the country is known more for tourism and mining than for biopharmaceuticals. Australian successes such as the LONG-R3 IGF cell culture supplement (originally developed by GroPep Bioreagents of Adelaide, then licensed by SAFC and Novozymes Biopharma) and Arana Therapeutics of New South Wales (taken over by Cephalon in 2009) seem to get snatched up so quickly that few people a...
In October 2010, the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee approved its 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (FYP) (2011–2015), which it ratified on 14 March 2011. During those five years, China will continue to focus on government-guided economic development, industry, and technology. The FYP outlines the government’s commitment toward reforming its economy and increasing its domestic consumption to decrease its dependence on exports for future growth of its gross domestic product (GDP). Other initiatives include closing the income gap by increasing minimum wages, protecting the environment, and changing its cost structure through tax increase, all likely to significantly affect its current biopharmaceutical industry ( 1 ). State of the Industry Although China’s economy is the second largest in the world, its biologics industry is only 20 years old and occupies only a small fraction of the international market. Nonetheless, its rapid growth is undeniable. The National...
India is well known as a key destination for bioprocess outsourcing and a major supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients and raw materials. The global pharmaceuticals manufacturing outsourcing industry is expected to reach US$100 billion by 2015 ( 1 ). India has the potential to capture 8–10% of this industry by 2015 and become one of the top 10 global markets by value ( 2 ). By comparison, India’s biotechnology industry (consisting of biopharmaceuticals as well as other sectors) has gained global attention only within the past five to six years. Although reports indicate that a majority of India’s industry in the next decade will continue consist of small-molecule drugs, the biopharmaceuticals market (~62% of biotech industry) will grow ( 1 ). Popular discussion among experts involves efforts that will raise the Indian biotech market to $10 billion in revenue by 2015. This is a lofty goal: India’s 2010–2011 biotech revenue was $4 billion (mainly because of innovative products and services), which is...