HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, China

China sees breakthroughs in cancer research

Cancer remains amongst China’s high-priority disease areas.

China continues to innovate on their anti-cancer drug research and treatment as they make early breakthroughs in therapies derived from advanced cancer treatments, according to an outlook by Fitch Solutions.

Some of these developments include advances in monoclonal antibodies and CAR-T therapies.

Amidst a growing number of biotech start-ups in the country, China saw a 1,287% growth in life science investment from 2013 to 2018.

The country marked its first-ever approval for a Chinese anti-cancer drug when the US Food and Drug Administration authorized BeiGene’s independently developed Brukinsa (zanubrutinib) in November 2019. The company’s anti-PD-1 antibody tislelizumab was also approved by China's National Medical Products Administration earlier this year.

Cancer remains amongst China’s five high-priority disease areas, with them having the largest number of cases globally at four million per year in 2018. The country’s cancer mortality rate is also 40% higher than that of the US.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has made several reforms on healthcare policy to manage the rising rates of incidence, including the implementation of a zero-tariff policy on anti-cancer drugs, acceptance of overseas clinical trial data, and adoption of measures to speed up the approval of cancer medicines.

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