AstraZeneca said it is launching a new fund with China International Capital Corporation (CICC) to invest US$1 billion in China's healthcare sector, as it expands its research work in the country.
Share this content
SHANGHAI: AstraZeneca said it is launching a new fund with China International Capital Corporation (CICC) to invest US$1 billion in China's healthcare sector, as it expands its research work in the country.
The fund would look to invest in Chinese firms, with companies in a life-sciences park it helped open in the eastern city of Wuxi last year to be among its first beneficiaries, the British drugmaker's chief executive officer, Pascal Soriot, told Reuters.
AstraZeneca was a minority partner in the fund and would mainly play an advisory role in selecting investments and supporting the firms, he said. The companies did not disclose financial details of the deal.
"It's a substantial investment on our side, but also our financial partners," Soriot said of the agreement, to be signed with the Chinese investment bank CICC on the sidelines of the China International Import Expo on Wednesday.
"We can help choose some of those investments but we can also help along the way the startup companies, develop products and find their way around the world" he said, describing it as AstraZeneca's largest-scale healthcare industrial fund.
The company also planned to expand an existing research and development center in Shanghai from 450 employees to 1,000, and establish a new artificial intelligence innovation center in the city.
Western drugmakers have profited from partnerships in China, where AstraZeneca's sales have doubled since 2012, as well as a softening in the regulatory environment for pharmaceutical firms.