Study Examines How Biotech Firm Partnerships With Developing Nations Can Help Increase Innovation, Revenue

By forging partnerships with developing countries, biotechnology companies from developed countries may be able to stay afloat during the current economic crisis and bolster innovation, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Nature Biotechnology, reports.

Of the 181 Canadian biotech firms included in the study by the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health, researchers found one in four had partnerships in the developing world. The findings also revealed that 47 percent of the firms have “manufacturing collaboration” with China and 43 percent have “contract research activities” in India (Singh, 9/9). Firms also had collaborations in Latin America, sub-Saharan and North Africa, East Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East, according to a McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health/EurekAlert! release (9/9). The firms with developing country collaborations also pulled in more average revenue than those without partnerships, $16.3 million compared to $4.4 million, reports.

According to the release, study co-author Peter Singer said, “The emerging economies used to be dismissively labelled ‘Rest of World’ in pharmaceutical circles and virtually ignored. But the so-called ‘Rest of the World’ has most of the people, most of the health problems, and most of the economic growth” (9/9).

The article includes information on how collaboration is changing the way biotech companies in developing countries look to “acquire intellectual property in the North” to develop into products locally and the resulting joint products in the pipeline (9/9).

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