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GSK orders Chinese
12-17-2007
by Randall C Willis  |  Email the author
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PHILADELPHIA—During a recent presentation to investors and analysts, GSK Chair of R&D Moncef Slaoui announced the company will be making a significant investment in China as part of its efforts to expand its neuroscience portfolio. Given the dramatically increasing rates of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's (PD) diseases, the company believes this area will be key to its future growth. According to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan, the market for AD drugs alone could reach $4 billion by 2013.
 
The company is looking to tap into China's growing pool of scientific expertise through the construction of a $100-million R&D facility that will employ more than 1000 staff by 2010. The expansion will build on the company's portfolio of neural stem cell and natural product research to focus on therapies for neurodegenerative (AD, PD) and neuroinflammatory (MS) diseases
 
The move East is an extension of a growing trend in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to open shop in places like India and China; moves that typically started with the establishment of clinical trials in these countries. Enthusing for reporters, Slaoui likened the potential of China in this area to the birthplace of modern biotech. "China holds the highest potential to be the next hotbed of biotech," he says, "personally, I believe, like California was in the early '70s."

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