Roche CEO pledges big R&D effort in China

Novartis and Pfizer are already pushing ahead to make China a major R&D hub, and Roche isn't planning to be left behind. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Roche CEO Severin Schwan (photo) made it crystal clear that the European pharma giant has made expansion in the China market a priority, and that translates into a bigger investment in its Chinese research ops.

"What's really exciting is that we will be tapping into a talent pool here," Schwan said, noting that the Chinese government's decision to boost spending on science and technology is rapidly raising the level of innovation in the Asian market. Roche is also acutely aware that China and its huge population represent the biggest emerging pharma market on the planet.

Novartis plans to spend a billion dollars on its Chinese research facilities. And Pfizer announced last year that it's building facilities in western and central China. A new center in Wuhan has been slated to host Phase I-IV clinical trials.

- here's the story from the Wall Street Journal