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Much of the biopharma and other health-related industries in China were already feeling the chill from ongoing macro-economic and other headwinds this year, which now look set to be complicated further by the added strain of social unrest over strict COVID containment policies. The combination of factors is already prompting some to take steps towards restructuring and divestments to survive.
Immuno-oncology therapies have revolutionized the treatment of many cancers over the last decade. This period has also witnessed a dramatic growth in China’s domestic pharmaceutical industry, and significant changes in the interaction between this industry and international pharma. This coalescence has led to excitement about the role that Chinese IO could play on the global stage, tempered by regulatory set-backs and revised marketing timelines.
Following disruptions in the second quarter from lockdowns around China, major Chinese firms BeiGene and Junshi reported strong double-digit sales gains for anti-PD-1 antibodies in the third quarter. Revenues at others including Hengrui, Zai Lab and Allist also shone during the period.
Because of FDA requirements for studies applicable to US patients, EQRx ended US development of its PD-1 inhibitor and will launch its EGFR and CDK4/6 inhibitors at market-based prices.