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Pfizer says to expand R&D in central, western China

HONG KONG, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc PFE.N plans to expand its research and development operations in central and western China as it strengthens its biomedical infrastructure throughout the country, the company said on Wednesday.

Pfizer (China) Research and Development Co Ltd will team up with its Chinese partnerm Wuhan National Bioindustry Base Construction and Management Office, to establish a new Pfizer R&D centre in Wuhan, expand its existing R&D facility in Shanghai and serve as a platform for global drug development and strategic biomedical alliances.

“With plans to be a state-of-the-art facility, the Wuhan center will be an integral part of Pfizer’s global R&D operations while being closely aligned with the Chinese government’s strategy on biopharmaceutical industry development in the region,” Allan Gabor, the company’s Regional President for North Asia, said in the statement.

Pfizer’s R&D operations in Wuhan will support global clinical drug development programs, including Phase I-IV clinical trials, and will utilize the resources of local staff and industry to develop research collaboration on drug innovation and development. The number of employees in the facility will grow to 200 within 3 years, it said.

Shanghai will remain the operations hub of Pfizer’s R&D in China. It gave no further details on the investment.

Many major drug makers are speeding up their investments for research and development in China in a bid to take advantage of the low cost of employees and high growth potential of the mainland market.

Earlier in November, Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG NOVN.VX said it was investing $1 billion to build the largest pharmaceutical research plant in China, emphasising the importance of developing markets for future growth. [ID:nL3525806] (US$1=HK$7.75) (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Ken Wills) ((donny.kwok@thomsonreuters.com; +852 2843 6470; Reuters Messaging: donny.kwok.reuters.com@reuters.net)) ((If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to news.feedback.asia@thomsonreuters.com))

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