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Can Cheaper Drugs Help Home-Grown Labs Turn the Table on Foreign Big Pharma in China’s Cancer Treatment Market?

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China represents a global battle ground for the cancer drug market.  Nearly a quarter of the world’s newly diagnosed cancer cases in 2015 were in China.  Lung cancer tops the list of China’s tumors—with a growth rate of 40% to 1.26 million by 2030. The most intense confrontation centers on PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors (immunotherapy drugs) which activate the patients’ own immune systems to fight off cancer tumors reports Eric Ng of South China Morning Post.  Billions of dollars of investments pour into China now, making healthcare one of the hottest sectors for private equity funds in China.

A local CEO, Li Ning of Shanghai Junshi Biosciences noted “the market is large enough to accommodate five to six or more players.” Growing pricing tensions mount—as industry sponsors incur R&D costs the Communist-led government is anxious to keep treatment costs affordable and continue “socialist principles” of equity.  Start-ups face a dilemma—on the one hand they must consider investor interests while on the other doing good for society (and be mindful of Communist government policies).  See the link below for more information including leading cancer drugs in China; price points and more.

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