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Novartis CEO said that the quality of data, which is China's innovation M&A innovation

CEO Vas Narasimhan of drug manufacturer Swiss Novartis addresses the company's annual news conference in Basel, Switzerland 30 January 2019. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann / Files

ZURICH (Reuters) – Chief Executive Novartis Vas Narasimhan said that takeover targets in China for global pharmaceutical groups were rare because of a few new drugs, data quality fears and reduced regulatory standards in the most populous country.

Narasimhan added that it is envisaged that upcoming structural reforms in China, including for drug tendering, will release $ 30 billion as the local market changes to the generic products of international brands of established brands. We aim to China to be Novartis No. 2 market, after the United States.

A 43-year-old US doctor, speaking at an investor event in Boston, said that many Chinese companies were focusing on patented “fast follower” medicines that mimic drugs devised elsewhere, including cancer immunotherapy as PD-. 1s, monoclonal antibodies, and CAR-T cell therapy such as Novartis cancer medication itself $ 475,000 per patient-Kymriah.

Although some global pharmaceutical companies can look for Chinese companies to “fill gaps” in their portfolios, Narasimhan said Novartis has not yet set appealing targets.

“We have not yet identified significant underlying scientific innovation,” said Narasimhan. “Obviously, the CAR-T space is one that we watch very closely. But I think there are, the regulatory standards need to rise, and the quality of the data needs to go ahead, to get similar data. ”

“It is not always clear how many lines of previous therapy a patient had, (or) who was even a patient with the disease given,” he added. “I think that as those things are sorted out in the 5 to 10 year period, you'll see (M&A) going up but that's the barriers we are having. see them. ”

He said Novartis had 14 medications listed in China, including psoriasis and arthritis medicine which were the highest selling. Cosentyx, a development helped by Chinese regulators allowing data collected by patients outside the country to form the basis of approval.

Reporting by John Miller; edited by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

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