Multinational pharmaceutical company keen to expand cooperation with China

By Cui Can
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 24, 2022
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AstraZeneca, a multinational biopharmaceutical company, is keen to cooperate with China on a wide range of topics, including global anti-epidemic cooperation and promoting healthcare innovations, said the head of the company at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022. 

"In order to reinforce the achievements in the global fight against COVID-19 and share the health and wellbeing, addressing timely and equitable access to vaccines and vaccination is urgent for the world," Leif Johansson, chairman of AstraZeneca, said in his speech via video link at the Boao forum. 

Leif Johansson, chairman of AstraZeneca, speaks via video link during a sub-forum on narrowing the vaccine gap held during the Boao forum on April 20, 2022. [Photo provided to]

As of the first quarter of 2022, AstraZeneca has delivered more than 2.8 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine to more than 180 countries worldwide, about two-thirds of which were exported to go to low-income countries and regions. 

He said that AstraZeneca is committed to working with all parties to bridge the vaccine gap and strengthen exchanges on anti-pandemic experience through digital means. 

Johansson pointed out that China has scored world-renowned achievements in developing the digital economy, and the application of digital technologies such as 5G, big data, and artificial intelligence has significantly improved the quality of medical services and accessibility of treatment for patients in China. 

In terms of China-Europe cooperation, Leon Wang, executive vice-president and international and China president of AstraZeneca, spoke highly of the significant role that Chinese companies played in promoting close economic and trade exchanges between the two sides. 

Faced with multiple challenges posed by the pandemic, he suggested all parties should seek common ground while reserving differences so as to explore more potential for the global economic recovery and achieve a win-win outcome. 

Leon Wang, executive vice-president and international and China president of AstraZeneca, speaks via video link ata press conference held at the sideline of the Boao forum. [Photo by Cui Can/]

During the forum, a series of investment and cooperation projects were signed between AstraZeneca and local governments in China, including building a rare disease diagnosis and treatment center in Qingdao, building the Traditional Chinese Medicine Innovation Industrial Base in Chengdu, and building the International Life Science Innovation Campus in Hangzhou and Guangzhou. 

In particular, AstraZeneca's antibody combination therapy Evusheld (tixagevimab and cilgavimab) has already been authorized for emergency use in the United States, and recently approved in the EU and UK for pre-exposure prevention of COVID-19, according to Leif Johansson. He said that efforts are also being made to introduce this medicine into China. 

"We will work with the Hainan Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone Administration to realize the pilot trial of Tixagevimab and Cilgavimab for COVID-19 pre-exposure prophylaxis in Hainan as soon as possible so as to contribute to China and the world's fight against COVID-19," Wang said.

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