Q&A About $100 Million Asia, Emerging Markets Strategy With AstraZeneca AB's Head of R&D

Published: Feb 03, 2012

The health challenges of China and Asia offer big opportunities for multinational pharma companies. Cases of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, are on the rise in the region, as are lung, gastric, and liver cancers. China alone is likely to be the world’s third-largest pharmaceutical market by this year, with sales of more than $50 billion. AstraZeneca, the largest multinational pharmaceutical company in China’s prescription market, has positioned itself to take advantage of this growth—it has more than 4,700 employees in the country, in manufacturing, sales, clinical research, and new-product development. In particular, AstraZeneca was an early mover there in research and development: in May 2006, it announced a $100 million R&D investment, which included the establishment of the AstraZeneca Innovation Center China, in Shanghai. The center’s initial research mandate was “In China, For China,” but it now has a broader mission as a full-fledged discovery center focusing on diseases more prevalent in Asia.

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