Roche strikes cancer research deal with China's BioBay

In case you missed the news last week, cancer drug giant Roche wants to spread its research bets in China. The Swiss drugmaker has made a deal involving China's state-owned BioBay and Harvard University to advance new drugs against cancer and other diseases, Bloomberg reported.

Roche and BioBay, which is a biotech research center operator in Suzhou, China, plans to share equally funding of a project focused on Harvard-discovered science, Roche partnering chief Dan Zabrowski told Bloomberg. The Harvard science centers on drugs that impact the breakdown of cellular machinery, or a process known as autophagy, to combat cancer, according to ChinaBio Today. The deal marks another piece of evidence of heightened interest among Big Pharma players in conducting novel R&D in China, which has already been a hub for pharma manufacturing for years.

"What we're looking for here are research partnership opportunities that will result in products meant not just for China, but for the rest of the globe," Zabrowski told Bloomberg. While not revealing financial details of the BioBay-Harvard pact, the Roche executive did say that the company wants to tack on another collaboration deal in China in the coming months.

- here's the Bloomberg report
- and the update from ChinaBio Today