Life Science Leader Magazine Supplements

CMO 2015

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Page 23 of 83

GROWTH MARKETS outsourcing By L. Garguilo IS CHINA CASTING SHADOWS ON OTHER OPPORTUNITIES IN ASIA PACIFIC? LIFESCIENCELEADER.COM THE CMO LEADERSHIP AWARDS 2015 24 ty in China, I recently learned it is locating a new innovative drug research center … in Japan. Here's hoping all APAC coun- tries can avoid shadows cast by China to develop their own markets and freely partner, even as that country takes its place as a major player on the global pharmaceutical stage. In hindsight, our session at OPW did pierce the notion that APAC has a single premise to which business and scientific strategies can easily be drawn. The real opportunities for scientific and technol- ogy partnerships, licensing (in and out), and sales and marketing are revealed within the details of each country. Companies should explore opportunities in China and participate when it makes the most sense. It could very well be the grand prize. But the same should be done for other countries in APAC. They may end up being personal prizes along the way. OPW set a framework to facilitate open expression from a wide cross-section of industry participants. We got that, and attendees went home with much to reflect upon, maybe particularly from the closing session on APAC. Come to think of it, it was a big success. As for me, I guess I just need to loosen up a bit. L market, but you decided to build it in Europe. Why would you do that?" If the Big Pharma rep was surprised by the question, it didn't show. "I wasn't a part of that strategic initiative," came the reply, "but I'm sure there are solid busi- ness and other reasons why we felt this is better for global patients and markets." Our moderator then adroitly used this to move back to the panel for other elaborations. Why is this particular piece of dialogue important? To begin with, it demonstrates the value of a conference that brings a wide slice of industry professionals together and facilitates open discussion. Core feelings and attitudes break through, showing sentiments often hard to gain or gauge in any setting. But the real importance resides in the implications of the panel and the ques- tioner: "You simply have to be in China," seems to be the first. The second is, "How could you then have the audacity not to select China?" When assumed inevitability becomes a driving business strategy, companies may not make the best decisions. In fact, par- ticularly for Western-based virtual com- panies, biotechs, or specialty pharmas, this certitude does not exist. If partner- ing in China or utilizing Chinese service providers is not the right strategy at this time, there are abundant global options, including in APAC. I last thought about the idea of inevita- bility. Chinese consumers and businesses grow in their understanding of global markets. If, in the near future, a new drug on global markets is treating or curing patients of a major disease throughout the rest of the world, will the Chinese government be able to exclude its own people because of a home-manufacturing law? Rather, something will have to change, and hopefully well before we get to that scenario. SUCCESS AFTER ALL Going back to the European Big Pharma challenged above for not locating a facili- are some different directions taken there. But the above should provide Western companies a measured dose of caution along with the great excitement for China and precipitate a closer look at APAC options, should they make sense. Countries throughout APAC provide the advantages of outsourcing service prowess and differing cost models. There are university-based research partners (every year standardized mea- surements put Asian countries at the forefront of educated students in math and science). Discovery and develop- ment relationships are possible with a growing list of pharma companies. Many of these options also include established relationships with China. And this brings us back to our con- ference. AN AURA OF INEVITABILITY For me, the most interesting dialogue at the APAC session at OPW was between two audience members. It started with a quality management professional from a Europe-based pharma company asking the panel a question regarding the bio- logics market, quality, and IP in China. Basically, the consensus answer was "Biologics will start to grow as the small molecule sector has, IP is under control, and anyways you [presumably all the biotechs and biopharma in the room] have to be in China." The advice? "Pick your Chinese partners wisely, and monitor them closely. You really can't do this [enter China] alone." Fair enough, I suppose. But here's the interesting part. A few minutes later, a second person from the audience, from a Chinese biologics company headquartered in a Beijing "free trade zone," then directly questioned the Big Pharma quality man- agement professional. Paraphrasing, the scene went something like this: "I'm literally just back from China," the audience member said proudly. "I hap- pen to know your company was going to put a major biologics facility in China for a specific drug with a potentially large Countries throughout APAC provide the advantages of outsourcing service prowess and differing cost models.

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