Am­gen ups Shang­haiTech col­lab­o­ra­tion in re­search

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WANG HONGYI in Shang­hai wanghongyi@chi­

The US biotech­nol­ogy company Am­gen is work­ing with Shang­haiTech Univer­sity to fur­ther bio­med­i­cal re­search through an in­no­va­tive model.

The company re­cently an­nounced the start of op­er­a­tion of an Asia Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter on the cam­pus of Shang­haiTech Univer­sity. The cen­ter will op­er­ate with two of the univer­sity’s ex­ist­ing biological re­search in­sti­tutes, the Shang­hai In­sti­tute for Ad­vanced Im­muno­chem­i­cal Stud­ies and the iHu­man In­sti­tute.

The R&D model will help cre­ate an or­ganic syn­the­sis of in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and re­search, said Dr Sean E. Harper, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of R&D at Am­gen. It will also help im­prove the abil­ity to sci­en­tif­i­cally eval­u­ate the ef­fi­cacy of medicines on Chi­nese pa­tients, pro­vid­ing them with op­ti­mal in­di­vid­u­al­ized treat­ments.

The univer­sity’s iHu­man In­sti­tute and the R&D cen­ter have stud­ied G pro­tein-cou­pled re­cep­tors (GPCRs). The re­search aims to bet­ter un­der­stand the struc­ture of GPCRs to de­sign more ef­fec­tive medicines.

“Such an in­no­va­tive model of col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween a multi­na­tional biotech­nol­ogy company and do­mes­tic re­search in­sti­tutes will fur­ther en­hance our re­search ca­pa­bil­i­ties in se­ri­ous dis­eases and ac­cel­er­ate the de­vel­op­ment of the biotech­nol­ogy in­dus­try in China,” said Dr Wang Xiaodong, di­rec­tor and in­ves­ti­ga­tor of the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Biological Sciences (Beijing), a mem­ber of the Na­tional Academy of Sciences and for­eign mem­ber of the Chi­nese Academy of Sciences.

China, the world’s sec­ond-largest phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal mar­ket, will spend $155 bil­lion to $185 bil­lion on medicines in 2018, ac­cord­ing to IMS Health.

Per capita spend­ing on medicines is ex­pected to grow by more than 70 per­cent in the next five years. Some multi­na­tional drug­mak­ers have also stepped up their R&D ef­forts in China, in­clud­ing Sanofi, John­son & John­son and Roche.

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