Looking to India, China et al.

Clinical research trials are primarily held in the U.S. and Europe. India and China lag far behind. But if you're looking for trends, how can you ignore this one? Biotech demands new ways to lower development costs, and with the discovery infrastructure in these countries growing, can there be any doubt that the work will gradually follow?

Major drug companies are already building labs in China to capitalize on the country's scientific know-how and lower costs. Indian scientists are returning home to match their easy command of English with new drug discovery work in their home countries. This past year saw the groundwork being done for a major shift in discovery work that is likely to provide a solid foundation for years of research. That can be dispiriting for American and European workers, who now have to compete against a very well educated group of Asians for this kind of work. But the globalization of biotechnology will be relentless. For our part, look for a broader perspective of news stories and profiles as we cover the up-and-coming companies--around the world--in biotechnology.