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City unveils measures to boost biomedical industry

Updated: Dec 5, 2018 China Daily Print

Shanghai has put forward a slew of measures aimed at boosting the development of its biomedical industry, which has been listed as a strategic emerging sector that is vital to the municipality's efforts to become a global city of excellence by 2035.

The 32 measures, released in a document in early November, include raising the number of clinical trial institutions in the city to 80, gathering at least 20 research and development centers in biomedical innovation with international influence, as well as having more than 30 locally-developed new drugs and medical device products with core technological advantages registered each year.

"Shanghai will promote its pharmaceutical and medical device products by comparing them with the highest international standards," read the document.

To achieve this, the city will strive to readjust the supply system of drugs and medical devices, and establish a regulation system to allow the public better access to new, advanced and affordable medical treatments, added the document.

One of the measures aimed at turning the city into a world leader for biomedical innovation and development involves encouraging more investments into research and development.

"We encourage venture capital funds to invest in emerging pharmaceutical and medical device companies, and welcome more social capital for product development, result transformation and innovative system building in the city's biomedical industry," the document read.

Pharmaceutical and medical device companies are also encouraged to increase their own R&D investments, especially in new technologies such as immune cell therapy, monoclonal antibody drugs and gene therapy.

Another measure listed in the document pertains to the fast-tracking of review and approval for drugs and medical devices that have obvious clinical advantages in the diagnosis or treatment of AIDS, malignant tumors, major infectious diseases, rare diseases, and diseases that elderly and children are most susceptible to.

This fast track will also be applicable to innovative treatment approaches, innovative medical devices that are developed for the first time in the country, as well as those that have clinical trials conducted at national-level centers for clinical medicine research.

According to the document, a list of rare diseases in Shanghai will be drafted soon. An initial list containing 121 diseases was released earlier in May.

The document also mentioned that the registration of rare diseases in patients will be carried out more thoroughly, and the government will support and encourage the development and production of therapies and medical devices for the treatment of rare diseases.

"Clinical trials can be reduced for medical devices that treat rare diseases. For those that have been approved to be marketed in a foreign market, they will be able to gain marketing approval in Shanghai with collateral agreements," read the document.

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