Huge potential in booming Chinese biotech

China's biotech sector is small compared to its pharma activities, but it's growing fast. Researchers found 22 companies that they felt represented the best of the country's biotech business, which is rocketing along at a 30 percent growth rate. Despite a track record that extends back only 10 years, the researchers say in a new study in Nature Biotechnology, the $3 billion industry already has innovative products on the market and there are some 60 experimental products in the development pipeline. Most of China's new crop of biotech companies are run by "sea turtles," Chinese scientists who have gone to study and work in the U.S. and Europe and are returning home to start new companies and cash in on the intense global interest in establishing research connections to China.

With the recent execution of the country's former chief of China's FDA on corruption charges, though, the business is also plagued by uncertainties regarding its integrity and reliability. China's biotech insiders insist that they're preparing to demonstrate just how innovative they can be in the field of drug research and new product development.

- here's the report from AFP

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