AstraZeneca eyes local prospects - (China Daily via NewsPoints Desk)

  • AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot has detailed plans to expand local drug development in China, China Daily reported.

  • The drugmaker anticipates Chinese approval of the cancer drug Tagrisso, while the company recently slashed the price of Iressa by 50 percent to increase its outreach in the country.

  • "For all new medicines, we are trying to register them in China quickly, with local manufacturing and local development," Soriot stated, adding "our goal is to reach as many patients as possible."

  • AstraZeneca indicated that it has invested $50 million in its headquarters in Wuxi, where it purchased two manufacturing plants for small-molecule and biologic medicines last year.

  • "We are expanding from coastal cities into inland cities, reaching more patients," Soriot noted, continuing "not every company is doing that. As the economy grows, China is a market as important as the US is to us."

  • "We are excited about the huge market," remarked AstraZeneca executive vice president Mark Mallon, adding "the government is very committed to expanding the healthcare system for citizens."

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