Biomedical Industry: Exploring the Path from Big Powers to Powerful Countries

- May 2,2017 -

New scientific and technological revolutions and industrial changes in various countries are forming major opportunities for convergence and will have far-reaching impact on the world. Seizing the opportunity, innovating and developing, and achieving a high-end leap from the low end of the industrial chain to the intensive technological innovation is an inevitable choice for us at this moment.
However, when we rationally design the path choices for how to achieve this goal, we find that the reality is not optimistic. Under the traditional system, concepts, technologies, talents, equipment, markets… many resources have been solidified, depreciated, and devalued. Only innovation, with a smart top-level design to gradually establish a new normal of resource marketization configuration, can we break free from constraints and leapfrog development. The New Drug Creation Collaborative Innovation Center of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College (hereinafter referred to as the Co-Creation Center) is based on this thinking, integrating university research institutes, famous hospitals, leading enterprises and venture funds to build a high-end industry created by a new drug. Collaborative clustering has made an important exploration for China’s access to the development of the global pharmaceutical industry and the transition from a medical power to a medical power. The thinking and exploration of the Co-Creation Center is quite useful for China’s adjustment of the industrial structure and the way out of the upgraded version of China’s knowledge economy.

Opportunities and challenges of big countries
As early as the beginning of this century, international authoritative consulting organizations have published research reports that the next 30 years will be the golden period for the development of the pharmaceutical industry, and China will be the country that contributed the most during this period.

This is indeed the case. The increase in the total population and the increase in the aging rate have driven the rapid development of the world pharmaceutical industry. According to statistics, from 2011 to 2014, the global pharmaceutical industry maintained an annual growth rate of 14%; among them, China, as the world’s largest emerging pharmaceutical market, has become the second largest market after the United States. In the next 10 years, China’s pharmaceutical market will continue to grow at double-digit rates. In the total output value of China’s pharmaceutical industry, the contribution of domestic demand is close to 90%, which is the main driving force for the growth of the industry in China. Under the background of strengthening social security and launching new medical reforms, the government’s contribution to the promotion of domestic medical needs is crucial, and the rise in government health expenditures will significantly drive the growth of residents’ medical needs. In recent years, the government’s investment in health care has increased sharply year by year. The “2009-2011 Deepening Medical and Health System Reform Implementation Plan” clearly stated that the investment plan of 850 billion yuan for three years directly promoted the expansion of the pharmaceutical industry.

The rapid growth of per capita GDP also provides a broad space for the development of the pharmaceutical industry. In the future, with the increase of per capita income and the enhancement of health awareness, the per capita medical expenditure of Chinese residents will continue to increase, further promoting the growth of effective demand in the pharmaceutical market.

However, it is disturbing that huge market demand has not brought forward the development of China’s industry. There are three main reasons for consensus. First, competition among international companies has intensified. In recent years, in the case of the slowdown in the consumption of pharmaceuticals in developed countries, the international large-scale pharmaceutical companies have made emerging markets countries a key development area. The concern for China is the top priority of their work. Large international pharmaceutical companies have developed their markets in China through independent construction of production bases, establishment of research and development institutions, and joint ventures with domestic companies. Moreover, foreign R&D institutions in China have begun to develop drugs specifically targeting the domestic population, unlike before. It is just a practice of using China as a low-cost R&D and production base. Therefore, domestic pharmaceutical companies are facing more intense and targeted competition from large international pharmaceutical companies. Second, the strength of the innovation main body is not strong, the scale of the enterprise is generally small, the industrial concentration is low, the original R&D investment is small, and the innovation capability is obviously weak. Third, and most importantly, the collaborative innovation situation in China’s pharmaceutical sector and industry has not yet formed. The long-term institutional and institutional barriers have led to the fragmentation of innovation resources and factors, which has affected the innovation of China’s pharmaceutical industry in the period of new scientific and technological revolution.

Obviously, without the supportive environment of source innovation, it is difficult to have innovative motivation and practice. As one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical market countries, lack of innovation, we may lose the opportunity of a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation, and even be marginalized in more intense international competition. This is a challenge we have to face. . The difference between the big country and the powerful country is only one word, but it shows the huge difference in the meaning, which means that our exploration is very easy.

Collaborative Innovation: Establishing a Dream Team Created by Chinese New Drugs
It is gratifying to note that with 30 years of experience in reform and opening up, especially in the past 10 years since China’s accession to the WTO, China’s economic aggregate has continued to develop at a high speed and has become the world’s second largest economy. All of this also makes our ability to judge big problems in a timely manner. Active change and daring to risk the beach have become a new trend in China.

Three years ago, a collaborative innovation aimed at improving China’s new drug research and development system was gradually demonstrated in the Peking Union system. A group of scientists, clinicians, drug trial experts, domestic pharmaceutical companies, and venture capital experts continued to enter this grand blueprint. Professor Jiang Jiandong, Dean of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Director of the Institute of Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, told us.

Experts from the Institute of Medicine are looking for answers from differences in fields and industry systems. They believe that the long-term development of high-end drugs in the United States depends on its effective transformation chain, including the environment of source innovation and its corresponding encouragement. Policies, strong research and development, and then effective clinical promotion, continuous integration of resources, optimization of government policies, and ultimately the development of major varieties. How to do a good job in China has become everyone’s thinking. The resources of Chinese enterprises and scientific research institutions are highly complementary; if we focus on the use of results, find the mechanism of transformation and advancement, establish a community of interests, and form a collaborative research cluster of new drug creation, it may improve the ability and quality of new drug creation in China. In a word, collaborative innovation, through the exploration of the new system, the integration of resources, to complete the nirvana of the high-end development of China’s pharmaceutical industry.

In the past two years, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Peking Union Medical College has carried out important planning. The Institute of Materia Medica of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College Hospital and related national clinical drug research bases, basic medical institutes, comprehensive new drugs composed of well-known domestic pharmaceutical companies, colleges and universities, and large-scale venture capital funds Creating a consortium – “New Drug Creation Collaborative Innovation Center” (hereinafter referred to as the Co-Creation Center) came into being.
This is a complete transformation chain of new drug creation, and its scale, new drug research and development and industrialization capabilities play an important role in China. At the same time, this is another cluster of industry, academia and research institutes designed and established by scientists, doctors, administrative experts, entrepreneurs, patent attorneys and financial experts. The goal is to explore new mechanisms in line with national conditions while creating new drugs.

This “co-creation center” has the same quality as the new drug research and development entities. First of all, the Institute of Medicine has a long history of successful research and development of new drugs, and has achieved fruitful results. In the selection and design of research and development targets, it aims at major national needs and major scientific issues, listens to opinions and suggestions from hospitals and enterprises, and formulates reasonable implementation plans. In order to avoid the previous research work, the upstream papers are the target, and the results in the subsequent transformation are dysentery due to problems in many links. Secondly, the Co-Creation Center has a comprehensive research and development of new drugs, covering all aspects of politics, production, learning, research and use. It has rich clinical resources and a good foundation for integration of production, education and research. Third, under the framework of the new mechanism, a close relationship of common interests has been established, enabling research units, enterprises, hospitals, and drug trial departments to communicate in a timely manner, and to feed clinical and market information back to scientific research institutions, to correct and improve them, and to reduce the number of ships. The difficulty of turning around is heavy.

Achieving a wise top-level mechanism design is the most critical step. The drug believes that “it must take into account the national conditions and achieve effective transformation of research results to use”. This consensus is far-reaching. The starting point is to focus on the innovation of the source, focus on the use and transformation, and serve the society. This requires long-term quiet and lonely research. “We have a lot of basic research and published a lot of SCI papers with important influences on pharmacy, but the higher requirement is to develop new drugs with good efficacy and low price for Chinese people.” Professor Chen Xiaoguang, deputy director of the Institute of Medicine, said that this is the joint responsibility of scientists and entrepreneurs in the medical field.

The establishment of a national new drug engineering technology research center with good research and development and transformation of results is another new move in the mechanism construction. Prof. Wang Wei, the head of the Engineering Technology Research Center, introduced that the results of the previous research institutes were delivered to enterprises in the form of contracts; in the process of transformation, there was a lack of a link to form an “island” phenomenon of innovation results. Innovation in the field of modern medicine is an agglomerated ecosystem that meets diverse needs. In all aspects of scientific research, industrialization, and clinical application, effective allocation of external resources is required to improve the operational efficiency of the industrial chain. To this end, a technology transfer center with the National New Drug Engineering Technology Research Center as a carrier was established in the Co-Chuang Center, linking the “City Science and Technology Condition Platform” of the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission and various social innovation elements, forming a scientific and technological resource allocation and society. High-end innovation ecosystem with multiple elements such as fund aggregation and results clinical demonstration base. In the two years of operation, 695 sets of instruments were shared (worth 350 million yuan), 54 scientific and technological achievements (worth 676 million) were opened, and the service contract was 620 million yuan, serving 1,663 enterprises and institutions. This effectively gathered social resources and expanded the service functions and radiation capabilities of the Co-Chuang Center.

It is worth noting that the Co-Creation Center is an industrial cluster with a rather heavy “collaborative culture”. Professor Shi Shishan, deputy director of the Institute of Medicine, believes that this culture is based on years of cooperation and support between pharmaceutical companies and enterprises. With nearly 60 years of history, the Institute of Medicine has attached great importance to cooperation with the front line since the establishment of the institute. Scientists have gone out of the laboratory to penetrate enterprises and hospitals and put a lot of scientific and technological achievements into use. In recent years, the first class of chemical drugs for the treatment of cerebral hemorrhage of butylphthalide, and the bicyclol to protect liver function have been used in clinical patients, and have become the representative of China’s original large-scale drugs; the national class of chemical anti-arthritis ericoxib It also entered clinical use; the national first-class Chinese medicine artificial musk occupied 98% of the market share, supporting the inheritance of hundreds of Chinese medicine compound; the new medicine Danshen polyphenolic acid for treating cardiovascular disease entered the hospital. There are also a number of original innovative drugs that have completed Phase III clinical or Phase III clinical studies. Many large-scale pharmaceutical companies listed in China are growing up with the support of the Pharmaceutical Research Institute. Researchers have established the same feelings in the cooperation with enterprises and hospitals, and also cultivated the noble ideas and Chinese dreams of the drug institutes to write scientific research papers on the Chinese land.

The courage and pressure to cross the river by feeling the stones
Thirteen years ago, when China was about to enter the WTO, there were people in the industry who suggested that the pharmaceutical industry would be one of the areas that suffered severely after China’s accession to the WTO. The experience of more than 10 years has confirmed that this judgment is not a false statement.
It is true that the weak industrial base and the distance of R&D strength are the main causes of this situation. However, the division of the system has resulted in an imbalance in resource allocation and an increase in research and development costs. It is also an important reason why we cannot evade our pharmaceutical industry’s inability to generate late-comer advantages when participating in global competition.
The pharmaceutical industry is related to the quality of life of the people, and the people’s livelihood is heavier than the sky. At the same time, the new drug development cycle is long and the investment is high. These characteristics make the pharmaceutical industry a high-risk industry. Therefore, the exploration and innovation in this field is tantamount to walking on the wire. “This is important, someone has to do it.” Jiang Jiandong said. It is with such a common wish that the members of the Co-Creation Center have to cross the institutional gulf and form a new drug creation synergy. This is the beginning of a journey through the stone, and a lot of work needs to be done while learning.
It can be said that this co-creation center is a holographic image created by a concentrated Chinese new drug today. Every exploration, distress, and trek is projected by the Chinese pharmaceutical industry.
In any case, this integrated large cluster has been going for two years. This is a healthy industrial cluster that is based on the expectations of the Chinese people for a better life. It is also a cluster that allows China to rewrite the concept of the world in the field of new drug creation. We have reason to pay attention to it and support it. It bless it.

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