Confirmation that China is also obsessed with biologicals and oncology


The annual drug review released by China’s medicines regulator, the Center for Drug Evaluation or CDE, is highly technical and packed full of information – not all of which is translated into English. But the document provides some interesting insights into the work of the agency and the country’s pharmaceutical industry, and Vantage has extracted a couple of titbits. The first graph below shows applications to start clinical trials and approval filings, all of which have grown over the past six years. The jump in biological INDs is most notable; this contrasts with a much smaller advance in the number of biotech-based projects filed for approval, which will presumably accelerate in the coming years. The second chart shows that, as in the west, a huge proportion of the sector’s research spending is directed at cancer, though it is important to note that these data only cover small molecules. The equivalent data on all biotech-based projects could not be extracted from the report reliably. Finally, the big jump in IND approvals overall in 2017 and 2018 could possibly be explained by the venture capital boom, from which China-based start-ups have benefited.

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