Monday, October 21, 2013

Pharmaceutical and Biotech Sectors Experience Surge in China

Over the last two decades, Lindsay Rosenwald has funded an array of small biotechnology firms, and he has sold several of these companies to large pharmaceutical corporations. Today, Lindsay Rosenwald draws on this experience in his work as co-manager of the asset management firm Opus Point Partners in New York City.

In recent years, health care spending has increased dramatically in China. In 2006, only 43 percent of the Chinese population had health insurance, and the average health care spending per person was $119. Five years later, 95 percent of the population had health insurance, and spending had jumped to $261 per person.

In response to the country’s increasing commitment to health care, pharmaceutical companies have started making inroads in the Chinese market. Major firms such as Sanofi, Novo Nordisk A/S, and Eli Lilly and Company have helped grow the pharmaceutical market size to more than $71 billion. Additionally, these corporations are collaborating with and investing in an array of local partners.

China also boasts a burgeoning biotechnology industry; thanks to more than $160 billion in investments, the sector has developed 12 new drugs. Presently, the country is focused primarily on producing therapies to treat cancer, and it places a significant emphasis on biologics rather than small molecule drugs. By 2020, officials hope to bring 100 new therapies to market.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pharmas Report Initial Successes with New Heart Disease Biotherapy

A physician and biotechnology investor, Lindsay Rosenwald has helped to fund drugs for leukemia and prostate cancer. Today, Lindsay Rosenwald co-manages a New York City asset management firm that focuses on medical innovation.

Over the last decade, researchers have made a series of major discoveries that have given pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms a better understanding of the biological causes of high cholesterol. Due to this extraordinary research, which showed that various mutations of a gene called PCSK9 dramatically affect low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, drug developers have begun a race for what could be a cure for heart disease.

Currently, pharmaceutical giants Amgen Inc., Pfizer Inc., and Sanofi each have drugs in clinical trials. Comprised of monoclonal antibodies derived from living cells, these new therapies mimic the effects of the mutated PCSK9 gene. Patients currently participating in the clinical trials have responded well to the injected drug, demonstrating drastically lower LDL levels. Although the drugs will not likely receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for several years, Amgen has already built three facilities to produce its cholesterol drug once it is ready for market.