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Biopharma firms boosted by policy support

By Chen Yang (Global Times)

08:13, January 08, 2013

Shares in biopharmaceutical firms rose in the mainland stock market Monday, following the announcement of a plan to develop the domestic biotech industry, with a focus on boosting the biomedical sector and increasing its competitiveness in the global market.

Shares in 14 biopharmaceutical firms such as Beijing Tiantan Biological Products Co and Henan-based Hualan Biological Engineering climbed Monday by the daily limit of 10 percent in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets.

According to the plan unveiled Sunday by the State Council, China's biomedical industry will see an annual growth rate of more than 20 percent between 2013 and 2015.

Such a rate would be higher than that of the global biopharmaceutical market, which has been and is expected to continue growing by about 15-18 percent annually, according to data from BioPlan Associates, a US-based biotechnology market research firm.

According to the plan, China will promote the commercialization of biological drugs that have independent intellectual property rights. Approval procedures for biological medicines will also be simplified, and more of them will be added to the country's list of products included in medical insurance.

"Biological drugs such as vaccines, antibodies and genetically engineered drugs will have large growth potential, as China's population is aging and the demand for medical care is rising," Wu Chaohui, secretary-general of China Medicinal Biotech Association, told the Global Times Monday.

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