China – Health leaders see fast growth in China pharma, biotech

Can the world benefit from the pace of Chinese biotech without veering into ethical and regulatory grey zones? In this panel discussion at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China, which got underway 1 July, ethicists and biotech CEOs attempted to plot the way forward.

Two hundred million Chinese citizens will be 60 by the year 2020 and, today, one in four cases of cancer occurs in China.

Demographic necessities and rapidly ageing societies are driving up healthcare bills around the globe and the drug and biotech sector is growing in response, particularly in China, which is moving strongly in this direction.

Medical innovation and advances in China have some experts predicting the country is poised to become an influential biotech powerhouse in the near future.

“I believe the next Google-level company in healthcare could come from China,” reckoned Jackson Zhu Weiyan, CEO and Founder of My Bio-Med. “China is truly embracing innovation.”

Healthcare innovation has been moving at a rapid pace in the country in recent years – from artificial intelligence and digital pathology to genomics and stem cells, with numerous start-ups and crossovers between biotechnology and IT, including big data and precision healthcare.

Commending the pace of development while also noting that technology is a double-edged sword, Xu Xun, President of Research BGI, called for greater conversations about innovation, regulation and responsibility. “There may not be a clear way to solve problems, but it is important to keep the conversation between different parties on biotech going to make sure we are not killing good technology,” noted Xu…