AstraZeneca joins with Chinese investment fund to develop new medicines

AstraZeneca has announced a strategic joint venture with the Chinese Future Industry Investment Fund (FIIF) to form an equally-owned, stand-alone company in China to discover, develop and commercialise potential new medicines to help meet unmet needs globally, and to bring innovative new medicines to patients in China faster. FIIF is managed by the SDIC Fund Management Company (SDIC Fund), a private equity management company.

AstraZeneca research and development

The new company, Dizal Pharmaceutical, incorporates all scientific and technical capabilities of AstraZeneca’s Innovation Center China (ICC), and holds exclusive rights to develop and commercialise three potential medicines currently in pre-clinical development from AstraZeneca’s pipeline in its main therapy areas of oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and respiratory. It is also expected to initiate novel clinical programmes.

Dr. Xiaolin Zhang, previously Head of AstraZeneca’s ICC, has been named as Chief Executive Officer of the new company. All staff employed by the ICC have been invited to join the new company.
“AstraZeneca has a long-standing and strong commitment to China, which we are reinforcing today with this ground-breaking joint venture. By joining forces with the FIIF, we aim to accelerate the local discovery and development of innovative, affordable medicines for patients in China and around the world,” said AstraZeneca CEO, Mr Pascal Soriot.

“FIIF is delighted to be collaborating with AstraZeneca to promote the development of innovative medicines. AstraZeneca’s Innovation Center China has an excellent track record of drug discovery, and the synergy created by combining AstraZeneca’s scientific talent and assets with FIIF’s China expertise and funding will help further promote innovation in medical science,” said Guohua Gao, Chairman of SDIC Fund.

AstraZeneca research and development

The remit of the FIIF in the pharmaceutical industry is to promote the development and manufacturing of innovative medicines in China through strategic partnerships. The joint venture also strengthens AstraZeneca’s commitment to enhancing China’s research and development capabilities through diversified external partnerships that deliver value to patients in China.

SDIC Fund is an independent private equity fund manager that was established in August 2009. It currently advises and manages more than RMB 60 billion of capital. The Future Industry Investment Fund is one of the funds managed by SDIC Fund. The limited partners of SDIC Fund include a wide range of institutional investors across China. The core strategy of SDIC Fund is to invest in market leading companies with attractive growth prospects and outstanding management teams. In partnership with the portfolio companies and their management teams, it aims to contribute strategically and add business value to the companies. SDIC Fund’s primary focus in China includes healthcare, advanced manufacturing, TMT and environmental protection.

AstraZeneca has been present in China since 1993. The global, science-led biopharmaceutical company develop long-term partnerships with Government, academia and local scientists across research and development (R&D) and manufacturing.

AstraZeneca has end-to-end R&D capabilities in China, from discovery to clinical development and manufacturing of innovative medicines and employs 11,000 people throughout the country.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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