Updated on 24 January 2013
Quintiles is a contract research company providing a wide range of clinical research services for biotech and pharmaceutical clients all over the world. When asked about the "coopetition" with the domestic firms in China, Jay Johnson, Quintiles' Senior Director of Corporate Communication, Asia Pacific, said: "We work with many companies that are doing drug development in China, either for the purpose of registering products for sale in China, or as part of multi-national clinical trials aimed at approval in multiple countries."
The benefits of regional collaboration are echoed by Dr Daniel R Marshak, SVP & chief scientific officer at PerkinElmer. He says: "A newer trend we're seeing take hold is more around resource collaboration. For example, a European company that has several promising candidate molecules that it would like to explore, but cannot develop all of them simultaneously. Now the company can partner with local pharmaceutical companies to outsource part of the R&D and testing through collaborations or partnerships."
"This is enabled in part by the informatics tools that allow information to be discovered, shared and protected," Marshak explained. "For example, electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs) that can be shared safely across companies and geographies, have been critical to allaying concerns about IP protection and global management of drug discovery and development."
Building an industrial chain to attract companies is one thing, but without the ability to attract and retain the best minds, development zones cannot be a hub for innovation and research success. Overcoming this challenge is a constant battle, but China's development zones have seen a number of successes in this area.
Industrial zones in China realize that they need to offer more than just a place where profits are possible - they need to offer a truly pleasant and livable environment where valued staff can enjoy their free time as well as their working days. This is why TEDA now has its own professional football team, a botanical garden, an International Cardiovascular Hospital and, since 1995, an international school accredited by both WASC and CIS.