A eyes China’s ‘explosion’ of innovation for cell therapy

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AstraZeneca’s growing presence in China will play a key role in the Big Pharma’s cell therapy strategy, CEO Pascal Soriot told investors as he set out a bold ambition to almost double global revenues to $80 billion by 2030.

Innovation in China has “exploded,” Soriot explained in his presentation to kick off an investors’ day at AstraZeneca’s Discovery Center in Cambridge, U.K. “They are extremely fast and extremely innovative in the new technology and new medicines that are developing.”

The company already has an R&D center in Shanghai, and Soriot said China “has become a very fundamental part of our R&D network in many ways.”

Beyond China, AstraZeneca hasn’t let up on the drive for dealmaking over the past year, with standouts including the $2 billion acquisition of targeted radiotherapy specialist Fusion Pharmaceuticals in March and the $800 million buyout in March of endocrinology biotech Amolyt Pharma.

The pharma’s M&A strategy “accelerated” over the last 18 months, Soriot said. “Now, the focus of the teams is execution, integration of all these technologies, and we’ve made very good progress doing this.”

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