China’s Strong Drug Development Leads to Global Opportunities for Western Drug Companies

In an effort to provide better healthcare to China’s huge population, the Chinese innovative drug business is thriving. The innovation of new drugs in China is supported by both local and foreign capital as well as the Chinese government. Thus, more and more large Western drug companies are looking to out-license locally made Chinese drugs for development and sales in the West. In 2023, there were about 75 out-licensing deals valued at over $40 billion. This is a huge increase over the small number of out-licensed drugs a few years ago.

Western drug companies that have out-licensed Chinese drugs last year include JNJ, BMS, Merck, AZ, GSK, and BioNTech, among others. About half of these deals were with Chinese drug companies developing innovative drugs in the early stage of development from pre-clinical to Phase 2 trials. Many of these deals were for cancer and solid tumors. While these out-licensing deals provide global opportunities in the West, they also provide more capital to Chinese drug companies to develop competitive products with Western drugs. How long will it be before these same Chinese drug companies grow and set up their own offices overseas and sell direct?

Written by: Ames Gross – President and Founder, Pacific Bridge Medical (PBM)
Mr. Gross founded PBM in 1988 and has helped hundreds of medical companies with regulatory and business development issues in Asia. He is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the Asian medical markets. Mr. Gross has a BA degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia University.