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CGP Insight
Pharma industry embraces the internationalization


The outbreak of epidemic in 2020 has accelerated the pace of development of the entire biomedical industry. While facing challenges, it has also ushered in new development opportunities. The diagnostic and vaccine industries continue to attract investors attention, welcoming a new golden period of development; the innovative drug sees the accelerated reshuffle in its research and development, and the capital flows to more innovative leading companies; overseas clinical trials, registration and commercialization are becoming mature and domestically-produced innovative drugs gets into the fast internationalization, further narrowing the gap between the international frontier standards and ours.

In this episode of CGP Insight, we interviewed Robert Tan, Associate Director of CGP Pharma R&D, to articulate the trends of market and talent trends of the pharmaceutical industry.

Stimulated by positive Policy and capital investment, new drug R&D is expected to achieve truly independent innovation

The 14th Five-Year Plan is an important historic period for China's economic and social development. It is a crucial period for China to move forward from finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects to basically realizing socialist modernization. During this period, China will further promote the "Healthy China" initiative, improve the clinical and medical level, and narrow the gap with developed countries.
With the accelerated reshuffle of the industry, traditional pharmaceutical enterprises have to transform into the ones focusing on innovative drug research and development in order to obtain market vitality. Benefited by the positive policy and capital investment, the long-term and high-cost challenges faced by new drug research and development can be sustainably and positively supported through IPO listing.

For a long time, the Chinese government has adopted the policy of reduction of medicine fees, which has decreased the profit margins of pharmaceutical enterprises. Chinese pharmaceutical enterprises generally show the characteristics of "light research and development but emphasis on sales". Today, the capital market has also given the protection to let much fiercer competition happen in commercialization where drug enterprises chase one another in the track of professional segmentation field.

In the future, domestic innovative drugs will no longer be the improvement and optimization of foreign generic drugs, but strive to achieve real independent innovation at the root.

Local pharmaceutical enterprises embrace the accelerated expansion of overseas markets, as the opportunities and challenges are coexisting.

According to Robert, limited by the differences in the medical development stages of different countries, the delivery of domestic innovative drugs is urgent in need of cooperation with foreign head companies to test drug suitability, but at the same time, drug compliance is challenged by risks to a certain extent.

At this stage, the innovation and internationalization achievements of domestic pharmaceutical enterprises have gradually entered a prominent period, and License has gradually become a common way in the domestic pharmaceutical field. Domestic innovative pharmaceutical enterprises began to layout global clinical centers, seeking product research and development, execution and sales.


But at the same time, transnational cooperation also gives birth to new challenges, especially the challenge of compliance management. There is still a long way to go for Chinese pharmaceutical enterprises to change their minds to adapt to the different political environment, laws and regulations, and cultural environment of different countries, and to grow into a responsible "global enterprise" in the future.

MNC loses its attraction, and the medicine backbones are willing to flow
The favorable prospect of domestic innovative drugs also further accelerates the flow of middle-level and high-level talents. Professional talents with many years of medical background begin to flock to domestic innovative drug companies from leading Multinational pharmaceutical enterprises.


From the perspective of enterprises, the loss of the backbones leads to the disorder of the internal talent structure in MNCs, which gradually reduces MNCs into the trap of "Matthew Effect", and the further control of costs will also lose the most direct economic advantages of attracting talents.


In terms of talents, in addition to the promotion of salary, these medical professionals prefer to lead the overall development of the project, from the formulation to the implementation, rather than simply participate in the execution. They can bring the advanced research and development technology, industrial experience and commercial operation mode of multinational enterprises back to the local innovative drug enterprises, and inject vitality for “Made in China".



Product research and development are in a trend of convergence, and the innovation mechanism needs to be improved


In recent years, innovative drugs have become the focus of the development of pharmaceutical enterprises due to their significant advantages in efficacy and safety, as well as the strong support for innovation in China's medical policies. But it is worth noting that, pharmaceutical enterprises also appeared a sign of a high level of duplication.
In terms of top-level design, with the strong support of national policies, more innovative drugs are put into use and significant advantages are obtained because of efficacy and safety. 

However, the high level of homogenized products flooding into the market makes the "innovation" of innovative drugs a pain point to be solved urgently.

This problem stems from the fact that communication channels have not been fully opened, and there is a lack of effective cooperation and exchange mechanism, among enterprises, scientific research institutions, universities, medical institutions and intermediary service institutions, which cannot gather innovative talents.

Robert Tan

Associate Director of Pharma R&D

Robert is an Associate Director of Pharma R&D at CGP Life Sciences team where he is responsible for searching pharmaceutical R&D talent. He specializes in functional areas in both the medical and clinical industries. Before joining CGP, Robert spent 12 years in pharmaceutical industry recruitment. He led an excellent team and was responsible for the R&D and medical affairs jobs for several domestic and overseas clients. Robert’s strong team management skills have earned him the trust of his senior leaders and clients. In addition, he has accumulated a wealth of medical and clinical candidate data over the past decade, which is enough to meet the needs of many clients. At CGP, Robert focuses on senior candidate search.




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