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.