Novo Nordisk plans $100M expansion of Beijing R&D site

Following in the footsteps of many other pharmaceutical giants, Novo Nordisk says it plans to invest up to $100 million in its Beijing R&D facility. Up to $40 million of the money will be used to create new labs that should be open for business by the end of 2011. The company says it will add 200 jobs to the center by 2015, making it the largest R&D center set up by any non-Chinese drugmaker so far. In 2008, Novo poured $400 million into a factory for diabetes treatments. At the time, it was the company's biggest-ever investment outside its home country of Denmark.

China is grabbing an increasing share of the global R&D budget as drugmakers rush to capitalize on the untapped potential of the country's massive population. Earlier this week, Quintiles CEO Dennis Gillings speculated that China could eventually unseat the U.S. as the world leader in biotech R&D. Concerns about drug costs, increasingly high safety hurdles in the U.S. and China's willingness to fund basic R&D have lured many of the top developers to place big bets in the country.

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Big Pharma's Top 5 Emerging Market Deals: With pharmaceutical sales in major markets like the United States, Europe and Japan slowing, a number of big drugmakers have looked outside of traditional territories to emerging markets. Eastern Europe, Russia, South America, the Middle East and Asia have all become sought-after markets as Big Pharma begins its emerging markets land-grab. Click here to see the Top 5 deals.