New drug development in China
Organizations worldwide have shown growing interest in China as a location for drug discovery and development. This month, we feature two people closely involved in harnessing the therapeutic potential of compounds discovered in China.
Mireille Gingras, Ph.D.
CEO and President, HUYA Bioscience International, San Diego, California, USA.
Chinese companies providing contract research services for drug discovery and development have rapidly established themselves in recent years. There is also increasing interest in the potential of China as a source for novel preclinical and clinical compounds, says Mireille Gingras, CEO and President of HUYA Bioscience International, a company that has pioneered a novel co-development model in which such compounds are identified and licensed for development in Western countries.
"Through our partnerships with Chinese companies and institutes, we can use preclinical and clinical data generated in China to inform the drug development process in the West, " Gingras says. "Although additional clinical trials must be done in the West, the Chinese data are helpful in lowering the risk and enhancing the efficiency of drug development. In this way, pharmaceutical companies have the benefit of access to novel validated compounds, and Chinese organizations have the benefit of gaining access to Western markets for their compounds."
Gingras became interested in drug discovery in China while working as a licensing consultant searching for novel early stage compounds throughout Europe and Asia. "Many of us were looking in the same places, and the pools of novel compounds were depleted, " she says. "I then spent time in China meeting with heads of government research institutions, biotechnology parks, incubators and pharmaceutical companies, and I formed HUYA because I recognized that there were significant opportunities for drug discovery and development. We currently have licensed two compounds from China that are in preclinical development in the United States, thus validating our model."
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