U.K.'s MRC outlicenses Parkinson's discovery program to China's Yabao

New drug discovery deals are continuing to blossom in the ever-growing pharma market in China.

The U.K. medical research institute MRC Technology--the tech transfer arm of the government's big Medical Research Council--has struck a deal to collaborate with China's Yabao Pharmaceutical on new Parkinson's drugs for the Asian market. In the deal, Yabao will dedicate part of its research effort to an unidentified kinase target for neurodegeneration.

Beijing-based Yabao gets exclusive rights to any drugs it develops for China, including Taiwan and Hong Kong. And the MRC will have rights to the rest of the world, according to the brief release.

The pact highlights a growing international role for China's drug developers and also highlights a new avenue for neurodegenerative disease research at a time many of the big outfits in the West are either pulling out or pulling back from the field--which has been plagued by repeated clinical failures. Yabao does traditional drug R&D and also focuses on native Chinese medicines and generics.

"We are pleased to combine our expertise in early drug discovery and innovation with the significant resources that Yabao Pharmaceutical can bring to developing ground breaking new medicines," noted the MRC's Michael Dalrymple. "Together we hope to achieve more to bring innovative treatments to patients and improve their quality of life."

- here's the statement