ChinaBio LLC: Opportunities for Chinese Biotech




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Video title: ChinaBio LLC: Opportunities for Chinese Biotech
Released on: May 12, 2010. © PharmaVentures Ltd
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In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, Fintan Walton talks with Ian Wisenberg at ChinaBio LLC. Filmed at Bio-Europe Spring 2010 in Barcelona, Spain.
ChinaBio 's focus and perspective on biotechnology developments in China.
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here in Barcelona at BioEurope. On this show I have Ian Wisenberg, who is Senior Vice President of Strategic Development at ChinaBio , you are based in San Diego but you serve the China and US access I can describe it I suppose, Ian Wisenberg what are you doing here at Barcelona?
Ian Wisenberg:
Well you positioned that correctly, I mean the effective ingredient for us is to bridge the Pacific by clearly Europe is a major part of that equation too because Europe has an access or needs an access to try and seize the opportunity there as well and we certainly want to help ourselves and our clients position themselves both to access Europe and as well to access China.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. So let's look at that because clearly China is one of these incredible emerging countries at the moment particularly in pharmaceuticals, companies normally look at China as a centre for manufacturing but there is lots of things happening there and there is a biotech sector that's emerging, from ChinaBio 's perspective what is the focus? what do you look at any specific part of the developments in China?
Ian Wisenberg:
We look at the full value chain. You have been correct the genesis of China market has always been had been the service based industry and manufacturing. In the life sciences obviously the CRO market is very strong, companies saw the opportunity for higher quality low cost and it was taking advantage of that for several years and of course the success of Roche is a good example of that fact that this is a really good model, there are several large players in China. But what we want to try to do and help companies understand is that the drug discovery and development equation is evolving pretty rapidly in China and not these are which the government support for innovation. They launched a few programs obviously healthcare is a big issue in China so they've launched a big program $124 billion to essentially right size the healthcare provide healthcare and across the entire spectrum. $12 billion dedicated to biotechnology so there is a lot of money behind the effort for drug discovery and development and other molecules I mean not just another me too's or generics and so to speak but they want to bring healthcare to China.
What are the opportunities China provides in the biotech sector for companies based in the US?
Fintan Walton:
Right. Now we did interview Greg Scott, the CEO of ChinaBio a few months ago but looking at with your own experience and you worked in San Diego you worked at BIOCOM in San Diego you've worked very closely with the emerging biotech industry there, what advantages are there for companies in the biotech sector based in San Diego in looking at China and often these companies are really focused still in California but not thinking abroad, so what can they achieve by even thinking about China?
Ian Wisenberg:
Well many company, well I should say no company should not have China as a strategy, in fact I would say that even geographically disposed even if you are in San Diego you'll be full high enough to think geography as a world geography you cannot exclude the opportunities that China brings such as China, I mean there are many other opportunities in India as well Malaysia, Korea and so forth but even though they are based in San Diego as we know the financial crisis over the last 18 months or two-years have forced companies to think strategically about how they could make the dollar go further. And China has a good reputation for providing that opportunity as I mentioned high quality low cost but also time factor, patient recruitment there is opportunities to advance the product development in the clinical trials a lot further a lot faster in India and in China but from our perspective the preclinical development in China is an opportunity that almost every virtual company in San Diego, San Francisco, Boston should and will take advantage of it.
Fintan Walton:
Right, but I use the word think because for lot of companies just to think about outside more or less like outside the box and in some ways for lot of these companies it is thinking outside the box it is thinking a different way of doing that, so are you actually seeing now a response to that are you seeing companies respond to the concept of may be outsourcing or setting up some of form of alliances with companies in China?
Ian Wisenberg:
Yes we are and I guess we positioned that very well like thinking about it not sure what to do about it. And I think that's our strength of course I think I know that's the strength of ChinaBio . I remember when I was working at BIOCOM we talked about the road map to China then it was just this unknown opportunity but how do you address that and so the companies need to are thinking about it but not sure how to access it and we are certainly trying to provide the bridge for them to be able to take advantage of the opportunities where that would be just a pure service based industry whether it's be the (indiscernable) the particular market for China specifically from an IP perspective whether it's to find a partner in China to in license a compound too because ChinaBio has uncovered over 2000 NCE's (New Chemical Entities) that we've gone in and scout I don't know 200,000 patents to get down to 2000 and plus NCE's with about 248 novel targets, so there is a tremendous amount of opportunity that cannot be ignored.
Opportunities for Chinese companies seeking partnerships/alliances in the US.
Fintan Walton:
Right. So you are touching there on a little bit on what's in China I suppose but I suppose one of the things is that for ChinaBio I talked about companies in US looking at the China but what about Chinese companies looking out of China and into the US were you specifically are focused, some of those companies are looking for you know offering services back to China, what about the emerging biotech companies forming alliances much in a way that we are here at the conference where this partnering is a key factor?
Ian Wisenberg:
Yes, we are seeing that opportunity welling up too, clearly the government has also said we want to be developing drugs in China for worldwide market and in some cases it's effectively partnering drugs into China develop in China and then having them worldwide opportunity, the same token the drugs that we've uncovered the companies that are evolving today are seeking partners in the US because obviously they have to go through FDA as well I mean it's one thing doing the SFDA approval process but you need to go through the FDA, so there are opportunities, there are companies there are examples of companies Lead Therapeutics is one of those in San Francisco it's funded by Pappas Venture .There was you know in license of compound out of China, Sanofi you know had a successful exit recently so you know, yes.
Fintan Walton:
Things are starting to happen?
Ian Wisenberg:
There are opportunities, there is a number of VC's that are out scouting for products both in China and Japan, so yes that's obviously not as prolific right now as it is the other way around opportunities for China but I think that's gonna grow. As long as they can identify what those great partners are in the forums that we talk about here in BioEurope or indeed the ChinaBio Partnering forum that will be Suzhou in June, June 23rd, 24th I mean that's essentially our idea there is to essentially emulate BioEurope Conference in China to bring outside into China for looking to partner drugs that are being developed in China.
Big opportunities in the diagnostics area in China.
Fintan Walton:
Right. So when we come back to we are talking a lot about the pharmaceutical sector right now but what about other areas in this EuropaBio particular things like medical devices is that as fear that China is developing competence in?
Ian Wisenberg:
Apparently and I can't speak too well on that because I am not too familiar on the device side of the equation but I knew I do know this that in Suzhou with BioBay as an example there is a big effort on the way to promote device development within the park and you know obviously diagnostics is another big area that we are also focusing on to and that's a big opportunity in China too.
ChinaBio Today: The newsletter of the Chinese pharmaceutical and life science industry.
Fintan Walton:
Right, and for ChinaBio it's an organization that obviously works with clients to get them introduced into China and vice versa into US, you mentioned this conference that you are holding in China next in June?
Ian Wisenberg:
This year, yes.
Fintan Walton:
Just coming up, but you also have several publications that are produced?
Ian Wisenberg:
Correct.
Fintan Walton:
Just describe some of those publications.
Ian Wisenberg:
Well the ChinaBio today is a publication that we put out daily and then we summarize that on a weekly basis. It's the news letter of the Chinese market right now I don't know that there is anything else familiar or similar out there that's so on point and essentially calls information on a daily basis about what's happening in the pharmaceutical and drug discovery or life science industry in China. It's a great tool it's also a great resource it's actually quite amazing to me and to Greg the number of enquires we receive from that. Our subscription is about 17,000 right now but the enquires that we get from people that want to know more about what's going in China through that publication is phenomenon. So there is definitely an appetite for that and this is just goes back to the original context of creating ChinaBio to be able provide information and obviously there is a consulting service associated with that but the subscription is nominal fee but it provides tremendous information.
Fintan Walton:
Ian Wisenberg, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Ian Wisenberg:
It's a pleasure, thank you Fintan Walton.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Ian Wisenberg
Senior Vice President
Ian Wisenberg serves as ChinaBio LLC 's chief liaison with key executives and investors in the US. Formerly Senior Vice President and CFO of BIOCOM, the largest regional life science association in the US, Mr. Ian Wisenberg also led BIOCOM's Capital Development initiative and built its "VC incubator" in San Diego. He brings over 25 years of experience in international finance, business development and administration, and serves on the board of two biotech companies.
PharmaVentures
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
ChinaBio LLC
ChinaBio LLC : The story of ChinaBio starts with a vacation In November 2006, our founder, Greg Scott, visited China for the first time. He had arranged to have one business meeting while he was in Shanghai at Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park. From that single meeting, and a brief tour of the 25 sq. km Park where he saw Roche, Pfizer, GSK, Lilly, and over 200 early-stage biotech companies, he knew he would be coming back to China. His 10-years of experience as an angel investor in biotech in the US led him to believe that there was something "big" happening in China, and he had to find out more. So in late January 2007, he returned for one week with only two scheduled meetings. By the end of the week and over 30 meetings, the seeds of ChinaBio LLC were sown. By April, ChinaBio 's offices were open in the Biotech VC Plaza building in Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, and the first staff was hired. While often told he was one of the very few interested in early-stage biotech/medtech in China, his interest remained high as he worked with several promising companies.