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Drug center to tackle cancer and diabetes
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Shanghai's first international drug development center was launched yesterday to help Chinese researchers and patients become involved in international trials for new medicines.

The Pharma Development Center in China, which is backed by the international pharmaceutical company Roche, is a high tech drug development center designed to effectively carry out all the stages of drug development from discovery to clinical development, trials and official paper work.

According to Franz Humer, chairman and CEO of Roche, the primary budget for the center is US$100 million and it will target cancer and metabolic diseases like diabetes.

Clinical development ensures with rigorous checks that new medicines can be delivered safely to patients. Previously the development process has been carried out in Europe or North America.

"Chinese patients have had to wait four to five years for medicines which had already been approved in the United States or Europe for the clinical tests needed in China," said Jean-Jacques Garaud, Global Head of Roche Pharma Development. "The center will reduce the waiting time and make the new medicines available for Chinese patients as soon as possible."

He said the center is expected to have some thousands of Chinese patients undergoing clinical tests and ensuring that the drugs being developed are those most appropriate for Chinese patients.

Local drug authorities said the center will help pharmaceutical development in China and provide a platform for communication between Chinese and international pharmacological experts.

Medical drug development is not easy. From 100,000 new drug designs only ten will make it to clinical trials.

(Shanghai Daily October 30, 2007)

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