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It's no secret-the center of gravity for the pharmaceutical industry is shifting to Asia led by the two developing regions of China and India.
India and China share many similarities as possible areas of opportunity for biopharmaceutical companies but there are also significant differences that are important to understand before making a commitment !
Both countries have large populations and low wages but both countries have significant cultural, communication and industrial differences, an understanding of which is CRITICAL to pharmas and biotechs looking to outsource activities, or conduct global trials or tap local domestic drug sales markets with the vast consumer population in China and India.
For instance, Chinese contract research organisations (CROs) tend to have stronger preclinical offerings whereas their Indian counterparts specialise in later stage clinical trials.
Both countries have similar discovery services but in the field of target identification and validation, as well as related areas in genomics and proteomics, CHINA has a superior offering.
In contrast, INDIA has stronger capabilities in small molecule R&D. China's is superior in biotech including both R&D and manufacturing.
However, it is undeniable that India is stronger in the formulation, manufacture and marketing of generic drugs. Given this expertise in small molecule generics, the imminent growth in follow-on biologics could be the shift that causes India's biotech sector to improve.
That said- record shows Process R&D and Scale-Up synthesis capabilities are similar in both countries.
With Western influenced changes in both countries , the rate of lifestyle diseases growing and heretofore unmet healthcare demands for local citizens plus the vast pools of middle class population growing, both CHINA and INDIA represent a must-have market for all pharmaceutical companies. Each market however represents a DIFFERENT set of complexity and challenges.
China has better industrial infrastructure than India t BUT there are cultural practices in India that puts it at an disadvantage.
Indian companies share a business operation style and philosophy with Western firms and also have a better understanding of regulations in established markets than their Chinese counterparts.
This may have played a role in the differing approaches Western businesses have taken to their Indian and Chinese operations. For example, India's major pharmas tend to form joint ventures, sharing risks to co-develop drug candidates.
Big Pharma is acquiring or partnering with Indian generic manufacturers in India at an unprecedented rate. A great sample of that is the recent partnership Pfizer struck with Aurobindo for their portfolio of generics marketing in Western countries.
However, in India , very few Big Pharma have established a large, permanent R&D or manufacturing facilities. In contrast, hundreds of millions of dollars have been pumped into China by western pharmas to build large, wholly-owned facilities for in-house research.
Who will be the biggest?
India's pharma outsourcing sector is currently valued at $ USD 1.77bn , putting it slightly ahead of China that currently stands at $ USD 1.42 Billion. Each country has about a 2 per cent share of the global market.
Despite India's current advantage the report predicts that China is very likely to overtake India after 2010. What can India do to counter Chinese dominance?
So who will RULE emerging pharma?
CHINA or INDIA ?
Or Will it be Both?
COME find out at the next FDASmartPharmergingRegions Series Seminar:
1-Biopharma R & D – China vs India
2-IP (Intellectual Property/Patents) – China vs India
3-Outsourcing – China vs India
4- Manufacturing & Supply Chain – China vs India
5-Emerging Domestic Markets - China vs India
Featuring – expert panel sessions with open Q & A from the audience