The dramatic rise of patients suffering from diabetes in China has prompted pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk to increase its focus on the country. The company, which specialises in medicines for the metabolic disorder, is planning to double the amount of research and development (R&D) staff they have in China over the next few years.
The company, which employs nearly 3,000 people in China, hopes to meet the growing demand for diabetes treatments and develop tailored solutions for patients in China over the longer term, especially as the country now has the second-largest number of diabetes patients in the World after India, with almost 40 million people suffering from the disease.
The move will also involve more medical and research equipment, as well as staff training, and will make the R&D centre in Beijing the company’s largest such facility outside its headquarters in Denmark. Jesper Brandgaard, chief financial officer of Novo Nordisk, said “We were the first international pharmaceutical company to set up an R&D center in China – in Beijing 13 years ago.”
The research will focus on finding any different gene structures between Chinese and Westerners, and develop drugs that specifically help the local population. Recent figures show that the cost of clinical tests in China to be around 30 per cent lower than in the West.

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