Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Merck Now More Likely To Make Large Capital Investments -- In China

With a sincere H/T to Ed, at Pharmalot, here is the BioITWorld story:

. . . .Other sources, however, portray this as a substantive, wide-ranging and long-term agreement between the two organizations, marking the most significant partnership announced so far between a China’s BGI and a major pharmaceutical company. BGI is mounting an aggressive push to attract customers and collaborators to use its new unparalleled next-generation sequencing (NGS) facility in Hong Kong and its formidable bioinformatics resources in Shenzhen. . . .

Merck Research Laboratories president Peter Kim described the statement of intent as "an initial step designed to bring together Merck's expertise in pharmaceutical development with the powerful sequencing and bioinformatics capabilities of BGI. The science and technology of genomics and epigenetics offer the potential to transform medicine. We are excited to move forward towards a collaboration with BGI in our efforts to advance these areas of research. . . ."

Don't get me wrong -- the move makes sense -- China is the last underpenetrated global mega-market; it is just going to be more expensive than anyone now expects.

More evidence? Merck is already scheduled to build a vaccine plant in China with another local partner, as I'd reported back in July.

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