AstraZeneca Establishes Joint Venture in China to Develop Innovator Drugs

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The joint venture will focus on the discovery, development, and commercialization of potential new drugs for the global market as well as speed delivery of new medicines to China.

On Nov. 27, 2017, AstraZeneca announced that it is establishing a strategic joint venture with the Chinese Future Industry Investment Fund (FIIF) to form an equally owned, stand-alone company in China that will discover, develop, and commercialize potential new drugs and speed delivery of innovative new medicines to China. FIIF is managed by the SDIC Fund Management Company (SDIC Fund), a private equity management company.

The joint venture company, Dizal Pharmaceutical, incorporates the scientific and technical capabilities of AstraZeneca’s Innovation Center China (ICC). It holds exclusive rights to develop and commercialize three of AstraZeneca’s potential drug candidates currently in preclinical development for applications in oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and respiratory diseases. The joint venture is also expected to initiate clinical programs. The FIIF, which aims to promote the development and manufacturing of innovative medicines in China, will contribute funding and expertise in establishing strategic partnerships in China.

Dr. Xiaolin Zhang, previously head of AstraZeneca’s ICC, has been named CEO of the new company. All staff employed by the ICC have been invited to join the new company.


Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, said in a company press release: “AstraZeneca has a long-standing and strong commitment to China, which we are reinforcing [with] this ground-breaking joint venture. By joining forces with the FIIF, we aim to accelerate the local discovery and development of innovative, affordable medicines for patients in China and around the world.”

Source: AstraZeneca