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Weekly Wisdom from Kauffman: Lessons in innovation from China and India

Christina Hernandez Sherwood, eMed Editor, MedCity News

Thanks to the movement of research and development to China and India, scientists there are quickly developing the ability to innovate and create their own intellectual property, according to a Kauffman Foundation study. The percentage of global pharmaceutical patent applications from China and India increased fourfold from 1995 to 2006, according to The Globalization of Innovation: Pharmaceuticals.

Interviews on business models, partnerships, and technology with executives from 16 pharmaceutical firms in China and India yielded the following details:

  • Indian and Chinese companies are making strides in the most lucrative segments of global value chains. In less lucrative segments, such as preclinical testing, animal experimentation and manufacturing, Chinese firms appear to be more prevalent.
  • India is regarded as a more mature venue for chemistry and drug-discovery activities than China.
  • Domestic Indian and Chinese firms rarely have the capital and the regulatory expertise to develop a drug beyond phase II clinical trials. Their commercial development of new intellectual property therefore necessitates relationships with major multinational corporations.

Weekly Wisdom from Kauffman is a regular feature on eMed highlighting insightful research from the Kauffman Foundation. Do you have a favorite Kauffman research insight that could help life science entrepreneurs? Send it to 

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