Finally, a Major Pharma Company from China?

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on January 7, 2008

Chinese companies like Lenovo in computers and Huawei in telecom equipment are building their brands worldwide, but when it comes to the pharma industry, the Chinese are anonymous. The country’s drugmakers are certainly way behind the Indians: Big drugmakers from India like Ranbaxy and Dr. Reddys have been made names for themselves globally by making low-cost generics at home and making acquisitions overseas.

Beijing’s leaders want China to have a world-class drug industry of its own – and aren’t keen on taking a back seat to the Indians. So no doubt they’re quite pleased that Shanghai-based WuXi PharmaTech is showing signs of emerging as a Chinese pharma star. The company, which focuses on providing drug-testing services for big-name Western pharma companies, on Friday announced it was paying $151 million to acquire another provider of testing services, Minnesota’s AppTec Laboratory Services Inc. With last year’s Made in China scandals still fresh in the minds of many people around the world, it will be a long time before the Chinese have a globally competitive drugmaker. But WuXi Pharma is carving out an interesting niche for itself in the clinical trials business.

Reader Comments

Katie Leung

January 7, 2008 9:43 AM

Again, compare China to India. Bruce, can you ever leave India out when write about China , please ? Thank you.

chenleilili

January 8, 2008 3:32 AM

Chinese traditional medicine enjoys the majority of Chineses people's confidence .In the future ,there should be a pharma star famous for its Chinese traditional medicine.The reason is simple that only Chinese traditional drug makers have their own tech and do not need to buy patents from foreign pharma companies.

Gordan

January 21, 2008 3:16 AM

I worked in Wuxi Pharmatech 3 years ago, I have to say that Ge Li, the CEO, is an amazing leader and the smartest guy I ever met. I believe WuXi will keep growing to be a great company.

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

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