US Drug Research Firm Moves to China

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    China will shortly have its first drug research facility that meets US regulatory standards for lab practice and animal testing, if this article from the San Francisco Business Times is correct. (I’m linking to the version of it on MSNBC, since one has to register for access through the Business Times.)

    According to “Building a Bridge to bio-outsourcing,” reporter Daniel S. Levine reports that Menlo Park,CA-based Fledgling Bridge Pharmaceutical, Inc. will open a facility in Beijing’s Zhong-guancun Life Science Park specifically to handle preclinical drug development.

    The article quotes a former Bridge board member on the huge “cost gap between China and the US.” PhDs and post-doctoral candidates in chemistry may earn between $250,000 and $300,000 in the US, but only $30,000 in China.

    The CEO and founder of the company, Glenn Rice, will move to China next year, and he’ll be bringing five "expatriates" to run the facility. The company will have about 60 employees by the end of the first year. Mr. Rice said he’s seeing “bigger interest than he expected” from pharma and biotech companies that want to outsource to China.

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