Astrazeneca this morning unveiled three new initiatives to further deepen the UK-based company’s footprint in China.
The pharmaceuticals multinational has agreed a partnership with China International Capital Corporation (CICC), one of China’s leading investment banks, to create a $1bn Healthcare Industrial Fund.
Astrazeneca will be a minority partner in the fund and will largely take an advisory role in selecting investments and supporting the firms.
The fund will support domestic companies, as well as international companies looking to establish a presence in China.
The fund will be the first and largest-scale healthcare industrial fund established by Astrazeneca.
The Anglo-Swedish firm also announced the creation of a new global research and development centre and an AI innovation centre, both in Shanghai.
The former centre will conduct R&D for potential new medicines, with its primary focus on diseases that are prevalent in China and across Asia more broadly.
China is home to around a quarter of the world’s disease burden.
The latter will aim to capitalise on the latest digital technology to accelerate the delivery of treatments to patients in China and around the world.
Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer, said: “China is rapidly emerging as a global scientific powerhouse, which is why we have taken this exciting decision to follow the science, by expanding our R&D presence and by working with the investment community.
“We will make the most of our global resources and network to strengthen the connections between China and the rest of the world in the field of healthcare innovation and, ultimately, bring the benefits of that work to patients everywhere.”
Leon Wang, executive vice president, international region and China president, said: With this new commitment, AstraZeneca will further increase its contribution to the development of healthcare in China, and exporting domestic innovations that benefit patients worldwide.”
The announcements were made at the second annual China International Import Expo in Shanghai.
Main image credit: Getty