J&J targets Chinese biomarkers as it expands Asian effort

Like a number of Big Pharma companies, J&J has been designing a drug development strategy specifically for the booming Chinese market. And its plans to ramp up new products have led it to create a slate of new partnerships that includes some ambitious efforts to develop a fresh set of biomarkers to work with.

J&J set up a cancer biomarker project with Tianjin Cancer Hospital, part of an effort to develop new oncology therapies for China, reports ChinaBio Today. And it followed up in May with a new R&D center it set up with Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital.

"We have to seek the best science and technology," said Lily Lee, vice-president and head of JNJ Pharmaceutical R&D Asia. In an interview with Reuters, she added that "we are especially interested in oncology, infectious diseases and metabolic areas, so M&As in these areas will be high on our radar screen."

Merck and China's BGI, a leading genomics institute, recently established a research partnership to advance personalized therapies for the Chinese market. "Genomic science could bring personalized medicine in the future, designed to tackle the various problems people face based on their genetic differences," says Yin Ye, vice president of the BGI's Research and Cooperation Department. "This is the future trend of the medical industry."

- here's the story from ChinaBio Today
- and here's the report from FierceBiotech on Merck's new pact