AstraZeneca Enhances Clinical Research Capabilities in China With First Clinical Pharmacology Unit

LONDON, Sept. 4, 2007-AstraZeneca today announced a strategic partnership with Peking University 3rd Hospital to open its first Clinical Pharmacology Unit (CPU) in China. The unit aims to enhance local clinical research capabilities and speed up access to new medicines to benefit Chinese patients.

Han Qide, academician and vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress; Sang Guowei, President of China Pharmaceutical Association; Chen Zhongqiang, Dean of Peking University 3rd Hospital; and David Brennan, CEO of AstraZeneca, were present at the opening ceremony.

The CPU will focus on Phase I clinical research, including clinical pharmacology and safety evaluations - steps necessary for launching new medicines in China. Under the co-operative agreement, AstraZeneca will provide Peking University 3rd Hospital with personnel training, system audits and consulting services, and will also invest to upgrade facilities necessary for clinical research of medicines for infections, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. The unit will accelerate access to new medicines from overseas and benefit Chinese patients in need. In addition, it is set to expand the capabilities of early phase clinical research for local clinical pharmacology organisations, and take China’s clinical research capabilities to a new level through further R&D cooperation and academic exchange with the local medical community.

“AstraZeneca is committed to enhancing clinical research capabilities in China. The CPU is established according to AstraZeneca global standards. The collaboration with Peking University 3rd Hospital is a great example of AstraZeneca’s patient-oriented global strategy to strengthen our R&D pipeline for Chinese patients,” said David Brennan, CEO of AstraZeneca, at a Press conference following the opening ceremony. “The CPU is using a new and innovative operating model for partnership between AstraZeneca and a premier Chinese University hospital that will result in a faster, more efficient and flexible link between phase I studies and our phase II & III clinical research projects.”

With China’s rapid economic growth and increasing demand for better healthcare, AstraZeneca has enjoyed sustained business growth, posting a 25 per cent sales increase in China in the first half of 2007. AstraZeneca is also stepping up investment in China: it announced investments of $100 million in R&D last year; followed by the establishment of its R&D base, the AstraZeneca Innovation Centre China (ICC) at Shanghai's Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park. The ICC’s initial therapeutic focus will be on cancer, a major cause of death in China. In addition, AstraZeneca’s China sourcing centre was founded in Shanghai in January as part of the company’s effort to strengthen global sourcing of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Mr. Brennan added: “China plays an increasingly important role as an emerging market in AstraZeneca’s global strategy. We will continue to implement our vision of being ‘In China for China,’ with long term planning and investment. We fully support China’s national focus on innovation by substantially increasing our R&D investment, both in financial terms and in terms of scientific collaboration. We will ramp up development of innovative medicines for Chinese patients.”

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About AstraZeneca China

AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of, $26.47 billion in 2006 and leading position in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection product. AstraZeneca is ranked No.252 in the world’s top 500 multinational companies list compiled by Fortune Magazine (the latest ranking published in 2007). The company has its headquarters in London, with 65,000 employees worldwide.

AstraZeneca China has its headquarters in Shanghai, with 25 branch offices in major cities across China’s mainland. It has nearly 3,000 employees working for the sectors of manufacturing, sales, clinical research and new product development. The manufacturing plant located in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, is AstraZeneca’s biggest production base in Asia with an investment of US$170 million. In May 2006, AstraZeneca announced investment of US$100 million to establish its R&D base, the AstraZeneca Innovation Centre China (ICC), at Shanghai's Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park.

For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca.com.cn


Note to News Editors:

China’s State Food and Drug Administration requires imported drugs to conduct pharmacokinetics and clinical study for approval of drug registration. The pharmacokinetic studies measure the difference in drug absorption and metabolism between Chinese study subjects and western counterparts and protect study subjects safety as much as possible. 

Posted: September 2007


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