Promoting the Growth of the Capital’s Pharmaceutical and Health Industries
A series of measures have been taken to further develop Beijing's pharmaceutical and health industries.
On October 12, the Information Office of the People's Government of Beijing Municipality and the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission held a joint press conference on the Action Plan for Accelerating the Collaborative Innovation for Beijing's Pharmaceutical and Healthy Industries (2018–2020).
As one of the city's core cutting-edge industries undergoing development, the pharmaceutical and health industries play a major role in further transforming Beijing into China's technological innovation centre to create a high-grade advanced economic structure. The Beijing Municipality released the Action Plan to accelerate the development of its pharmaceutical and health industries according to a number of measures establishing a collaborative innovation system which combines the efforts of enterprises, universities and research institutes.
Developing Life Science and Biotechnology
Leading trends and breakthroughs in global biotechnology and life science trends have become a key field in the development of the world's science and technology. This in turn has enabled many countries to compete with each other to seize the commanding heights of that growth.
Over the last few years the Central Government has promulgated a number of policies, including the Guiding Suggestion on the Development of Pharmaceutical and Healthy Industries, to promote growth in the field across the country. Regional governments have likewise formulated respective policies to optimise their business climates according to local advantages in resources and industrial characteristics.
At the beginning of the 13th Five-year Plan (2016–2020), Beijing's pharmaceutical and health industries gradually grew, with total output reaching 163.08 billion yuan in 2017, and year-onyear growth of 13 percent. At the end of June 2018, total output of the industries experienced a year-on-year growth of nearly 18.4 percent, the highest value after beginning the 13th Five-year Plan. In so doing, the industries have reached their target in positioning Beijing as China's technological innovation centre.
Faced with excellent opportunities for development alongside major challenges at home and abroad, the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the People's Government of Beijing Municipality implemented a comprehensive strategy to serve China's national development strategy and integrate the city's resources to promote its 10 industries, including pharmaceutical and health industries. By adhering to highquality development and relieving the capital of non-essential functions through its 2017 document, Beijing strives to realise its strategic positioning and function as China's “four centres”—political, cultural, international exchange and scientific and technological innovation centre. To implement that document, in the beginning of 2018 the Beijing Municipal Committee of the CPC and the municipal government
began to prepare a three-year action plan for collaborative innovation in the capital's pharmaceutical and health industries. The plan's focus is to overcome critical challenges to promote rapid, high quality growth and resident healthcare by utilising the city's technological resources and industrial advantages.
Proposing Development Goals
The city's Action Plan focuses on “problemoriented solutions, original innovation, commercialisation of technological achievements and high quality development” as its basic principles to put forward its development goals for the pharmaceutical and health industries during the next three years. By 2020, the industries' ability to innovate will continue to maintain the leading position in China, its system of commercialising technological achievements optimised and the positive influence of its pharmaceutical and health industries enhanced. Once the plan is complete, a collaborative innovation system integrating the efforts of enterprises, universities and research institutes will be established and industrial scope will be further expanded, reaching a main business income of 250 billion yuan. With this aim as a driving force, the Action Plan has set forth 20 major tasks to achieve these goals.
Enhancing Innovative Ability
Beijing is a world leader in life science research. There are 70 national-level pharmaceutical and health research institutes in the capital, ranking first in China. These include institutes that are attached to Tsinghua and Peking universities. The city has a wealth of medical resources, including 57 national clinical test centres, the most in the country. A number of research teams led by world- class scientists such as Wang Xiaodong and Shi Yigong have gathered in Beijing, creating technological achievements with international impact. Even so, the city faces challenges with the commercialisation and incubation of technological achievements in life science. There are a scant few types of medicine that belong to the city's independent R&D and the Zhongguancun Life Science Park service and commercialisation of technological achievements needs further improvement.
To overcome these issues, the city is focused on supporting critical areas, strengthening its professional incubation capacity and accelerating improvements to Zhongguancun Life Science Park; formulating a development plan and a directory of its pharmaceutical and health collaborative innovation teams; strengthening basic research including structural biology, synthetic biology, proteomics and brain science; promoting stem cell and regenerative medicine, immunotherapy, gene detection, new sequencing technology, multi-modal biomedical imaging and other advanced technologies; developing new R&D institutions and large-scale scientific equipment; encouraging the incubation of original innovative results; promoting innovative technologies in the production of advanced medical apparatus; integrating pharmaceutical and health industries with artificial intelligence and big data industries; developing professional incubators in the Zhongguancun Life Science Park and nearby universities and medical institutions; upgrading the professional capacity of existing incubators; improving industrial parks like Zhongguancun Life Science Park through the establishment of a guidance committee; and introducing international management teams to enhance professional service systems.
Enhancing Clinical Research
Medical institutions and doctors are the driving forces supporting the city's innovative development in the pharmaceutical and health industries and play a significant supporting role in the commercialisation of R&D and evaluation and application of clinical research. Hospitals should strengthen their goals for clinical research and testing, as well as their allocation of beds, technological teams and incentive policies. Although the city's hospitals have begun to implement preferential policies for enterprises based in Beijing, these policies have yet to meet their needs. To address this, the city has created innovative products on the basis of cooperation between doctors and enterprises, but the rate of
commercialisation of technological results is still not high due to insufficiencies in hospital polices. Centring on these major issues, the city has put forward four reform measures to break these barriers.
Its first measure aims to improve the city's clinical research and testing, accelerate the development of nationaland city-level clinical research centres, support medical institutions in setting up research wards, establish a test network and develop independent clinical research hospitals.
The second measure optimises mechanisms for technological innovation within medical institutions and establishes clinical research and resultant commercialisation as a major basis for the evaluation of medical institution performance and professional titles. Additionally, detailed rules will be introduced for medical institutions to encourage technological innovations and their commercialisation.
The third will guide the city's medical institutions in accelerating the commercialisation of their technological achievements, cooperate with enterprises to develop research institutes to innovate in pharmacology and health, support the commercialisation of the R& D of clinical research institutions and set up funds for bringing industry- led innovation to market.
The fourth will promote the sharing of medical and health data and develop an open, unified, biological sample library, big data centre and digital clinical research network.
To further implement the city's Action Plan, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning and Beijing Municipal Administration of Hospitals will focus on the following tasks: increasing investment to improve institutional clinical research and tests within Beijing, developing a new clinical research system in accordance with international standards and strengthening the positive influence of the city's medical and health institutions.
Developing Major Enterprises
Beijing's pharmaceutical and health industries need to grow and their output brought to a higher level. In order to accomplish this, the city should focus on supporting large, innovative enterprises to promote growth within the industry.
To ensure its measures are effective, Beijing assists different types of enterprises in solving respective development issues. For example, research-oriented enterprises typically encounter problems like a difficult approval process for their production lines, while production-oriented enterprises face issues such as insufficient investment for their R&D due to their small scale, and have production lines that lack optimisation and are not globalised. Likewise, third-party service providers are lacking technical services and internationalisation. Moreover, the city's pilot and production platforms are still lagging behind with the industrialisation of innovative products, and service platforms that comply with international standards for biosimilars tests are especially lacking. To meet a variety of needs, the city has promulgated seven substantive measures to resolve the difficulties of its pharmaceutical and health enterprises.
Strengthening one-stop and tracking services for the city's major pharmaceutical and health enterprises solves a variety of issues encountered during R&D, production and operation under the city's principle of “one enterprise, one policy, one issue, one solution.”
For R&D enterprises, an approval channel will be established for innovative products to accelerate clinical tests. After said R&D matures, support in the development of advanced product lines will realise the commercialisation and large-scale production of their technological achievements.
For production-oriented enterprises, the city will aim to upgrade production lines to expand production, re-develop major products and explore international markets, carry out financing for going public, mergers and acquisitions and provide other support.
For third- party service providers to these enterprises, the city will provide standardised international certification, funds, land, factories and other favourable conditions.
In the Haidian and Changping districts, service platforms for biosimilars tests, each of which will reach 1,000 litres, will be developed, alongside a 100,000-litre production line in an economic and technological development area to accelerate the production and professional services in the
pharmaceutical and health industries.
Support for the development of multinational companies in Beijing operates in lockstep with the world's leading pharmaceutical and health companies, encouraging such enterprises to set up headquarters and R&D centres in the city.
Integrating the city's resources of traditional Chinese medicine ( TCM) from colleges and institutions will also promote innovation and development within the TCM industry, and will help lead enterprises in the field by combining TCM theory with modern science and technology while strengthening TCM research.
Optimising Business Environment
Certain factors in the current development of Beijing's pharmaceutical and health industries are still lacking. In turn, innovation, production, funding and industry policies have room for further improvement, and the clinical application of new products and industrialisation of R&D still need to be optimised. The city will focus on six measures to create favourable conditions for innovation and start-ups within the pharmaceutical and health industries.
Promoting the integrated development of the city's pharmaceutical and health industries will require accelerating the city's industrial layout and ensuring additional new spaces in districts where these industries are key players. Haidian and Changping districts in particular need to take advantage of the basic research and cutting-edge technologies in this field, while new spaces in Daxing District and the Beijing Economic-technological Development Area are ideal in industry development and further enhancing advantages held in high-end manufacturing.
The optimisation and enhancement of industrial parks services within Beijing includes improving the entry inspection and quarantine of biological materials in Zhongguancun Life Science Park and a one-stop public service platform for entry-exit clearance for the biological reagent import and export logistics centre in the Beijing Economic-technological Development Area.
Preparations for an evaluation standard and accreditation procedure for new pharmaceutical and health products and technologies that form a catalogue encourages medical institutions under the city's jurisdiction to carry out listbased procurement.
The price management of new medical services will be optimised and detailed rules for the price management of the city's new services provided by the city's public medical institutions will be prepared to explore the implementation of dynamic management in this field.
According to the State Council of China's requirements, the city needs to prepare for and implement a permit system for medicines to enter the market, increase incentives to encourage innovation in pharmaceutical and health enterprises including providing incentives for the enterprises reaching certain metrics regarding annual income, gaining approval for major innovative products to enter domestic and international markets, and receiving conformity product assessments at home and abroad.
Supporting the City’s Pharmaceutical and Health Industries
To ensure the implementation of the tasks laid out above, the Action Plan puts forward a four-facet guarantee system. First, it will strengthen overall planning and set up a joint conference system led by municipal government leaders to promote collaborative innovation within the city's pharmaceutical and health industries; second, municipal government departments and relevant district governments shall formulate supporting policies and measures and detailed programmes in accordance with the
Action Plan; third, human resource support will be strengthened and top talent with international influence will continue to be introduced and aided in the city; and fourth, financial support will be ensured to act as government funding and social capital.
According to the guiding principle of the 19th National Congress of the CPC and the requirements of the Central Economic Working Conference, the next step for the city to take is implementation of major tasks by relevant departments of the municipal government as required by the Action Plan. By attracting top talent and developing a cooperative mechanism to improve growth factors for the city's pharmaceutical and health industries, further development of Beijing as China's technological innovation centre will be accelerated, exerting global influence as it forms its high- grade, high-precision advanced economic structure.
Beijing Tiantan Hospital
A doctor examining CT scans
China Beijing Bioengineering and Pharmaceutical Industrial Park (CBP) in Daxing
Two nurses preparing medicine