International activities: study on therapeutic biotechnology companies in the Asia-Pacific region

As part of a wide-ranging analysis of global biotechnology companies, BIO Deutschland member Novumed Life Sciences Consulting recently conducted a study on therapeutic biotechnology companies in seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region. One of the study’s findings is that China is currently in fifth place of the largest biotech locations in the world behind the USA, Great Britain, Germany and Australia. In recent years, state incentives, low labour costs and well-educated staff have led to an increase in biotech SMEs. China is rapidly developing from a manufacturing location to a centre of innovation.

Chinese medical drugs development is currently focusing on contagious diseases. Overall, small molecules form the largest part of the pharmaceutical agents, although the number of medical drugs produced using biological methods is constantly increasing.

However, international investors face many challenges to success in China. Although many promising companies could be identified, several firms were unable to present either a firm business concept or a coherent strategy. Given the similarly high level of state support that companies receive, the differences between individual firms were very surprising. Furthermore, there is still room for improvement of patent law and protection of intellectual property in China. Takeovers of Chinese companies remain another major challenge. Some takeovers must be authorised by the state and there are many examples of sales or investments being successfully blocked or delayed for years by the Chinese government.

Further information on the study’s findings is available from Dr Jörn Leewe, Novumed GmbH, tel.: +49-(0)-89 944 690 10, e-mail:

Go back