Newsmakers provide a deeper understanding of the news and deals that propel our industry forward

Dr Macartney
THE NEWS: This month’s Inside Perspective features Dr. Lawson Macartney, CEO of Ambrx Pharmaceuticals. Ambrx recently announced a deal in which it would co-development a therapeutic for HER2-positive breast cancer with China-based Zhejian Medicine Co. WuXi will handle preclinical, clinical trials and toxin manufacturing. ZMC will hold commercial rights to the compound in China, Ambrx holds rights in the rest of the world, collecting royalties on Chinese sales.

QUESTION: Ambrx has an industry-leading ADC technology platform and a number of notable partnerships with western pharmas like Merck and BMS. Why the expansion into China?  

Macartney: Accessing the China market is becoming an increasingly important objective within Ambrx. Developing and manufacturing biologics within China to world class standards is a relatively new paradigm. We look forward to integrating these efforts into our global development strategy.

QUESTION:From a business perspective, this three-party deal is very creative and intriguing. Could you explain the strategy? 

Macartney: This partnership is unique. It allows us to team up with China’s leading pharmaceutical and CRO companies to efficiently access the China market, an opportunity that we would otherwise miss if we were not to combine our respective efforts. This is an innovative deal structure that allows us to gain access to China while also reducing time and R&D costs.

QUESTION: What’s one thing you learned putting together this deal that could benefit other companies looking to develop drugs to sell in China?

Macartney: Build strong relationships with those that you do business with. This will better enable the collaborations to overcome obstacles and take advantage of opportunities.


WuXi webinar “Demystify Drug Development in China” attracts big audience

China has become the number one growth opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry. Among the 1.3 billion people living in the country are many who lack access to affordable drugs to treat diseases like diabetes, cancer and hepatitis. These people represent arguably the biggest unmet need in global health. Improving their care is the pharmaceutical industry’s biggest opportunity.

As WuXi executive Dr. Richard Soll put it at the recent webinar: “All eyes are on China.”

Soll, WuXi’s Senior Vice President Integrated Services and Head of Corporate Alliances, moderated the panel discussion that included Jerry Zeldis (Chief Medical Officer for Celgene and CEO of Celgene Global Health) , Ruiping Dong (Senior Vice President, Head of Emerging Markets R&D for Merck) and Kent Thoelke (Executive Vice President, Scientific & Medical Affairs at PRA).

Inside Perspective: An interview with Dr. Lawson Macartney, CEO of Ambrx

WuXi webinar “Demystify Product Development in China” attracts big audience

Epizyme, Agios, and Foundation Medicine to further fund innovation through IPO

Dr. James Pusey named President and General Manager of WuXiPRA

PRA and RPS to join and create leading CRO with expanded service offerings and capabilities

Dr. Weichang Zhou named 2013 ACS Fellow

WuXi to deliver keynote speech at IBC’s BioProcess International China Conference

WuXi to host Discovery Day

We held the complimentary webinar to offer insights into working in China, an operating environment that has remained a mystery to many despite its status as one of the industry’s most important markets.

Accessing China for R&D, drug development, clinical trials and product registration requires a detailed, sophisticated understanding of the region and its regulations. These regulations continue to evolve, presenting an additional complexity. Working with a partner that is well-established in China and stays abreast of regulatory developments can help companies overcome some of these challenges.

The need for greater understanding of how to work in China was shown clearly by the number of people registering to attend the webinar. More than 500 people signed up to view the event. The attendees gained insights into the best practices a leading biotech, pharmaceutical company and CRO use in China to navigate local regulatory systems from preclinical through to product registration. We would like to thank our partners at Celgene, Merck and PRA for taking the time to share their knowledge at the session, and invite you to view a replay of the webinar.


Epizyme, Agios, and Foundation Medicine to further fund innovation through IPO

Our warm congratulations to Agios, Epizyme and Foundation Medicines on the important milestone of initial public offerings! Most recently, Agios, a collaborator of WuXi committing to transforming the lives of patients with cancer and inborn errors of metabolism, raised $106 million with shares closing up more than 70 percent on their first trading day after the IPO. Its momentum continued ever since, reaching market cap of nearly $1 billion as of today. Agios' success came weeks after Epizyme, another WuXi collaborator and cancer-focused Cambridge biotech, enjoyed a similarly positive start to life on the public markets. Epizyme is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company creating innovative personalized therapeutics for patients with genetically defined cancers. Epizyme's share price soared 50 percent on the first day of trading, and has continued its meteoric rise ever since. A third Cambridge-based biotech company, Foundation Medicine, is also preparing to go public. WuXi Corporate Venture Fund participated in its Series B financing in 2012 to help furthering the biotech's mission of transforming cancer care through a deep understanding of the underlying genomic changes.

The strong market response reflects great public confidence in the scientific leadership and the compelling pipelines and technology platforms of our industry's leading biotechs that hold promise of transforming the lives of patients. At WuXi, we are proud of the success achieved by Agios, Epizyme and Foundation Medicines, and proud to support them in bringing their promising science and cancer therapies closer to the reality of treating patients.


Dr. James Pusey named President and General Manager of WuXiPRA

WuXiPRA, a joint venture formed between WuXi and PRA, that offers Phase I-IV clinical trial services in China, Hong Kong, and Macau, has recently named Dr. James Pusey as president and general manager.  

Pusey has more than 25 years of experience in medicine, international clinical trial management, CRO services, and global pharmaceutical sales, marketing, and clinical operations. Prior to joining WuXiPRA, Pusey was founding CEO of Theorem Clinical Research, where he served as president and chief executive officer, executive chairman, and board director from 2009 through 2013.

With Pusey’s leadership, WuXi’s local expertise, and PRA’s leading-edge global systems and processes WuXiPRA is well positioned to support its customers with the highest quality clinical trials in China for Chinese and international regulatory filings.


PRA and RPS to join and create leading CRO with expanded service offerings and capabilities
Congratulations to our partner PRA International! PRA is being acquired by KKR, one of the world’s leading global investment firms. KKR is also acquiring RPS – a market leader in providing innovative FSP/Embedded staff solutions to the biopharmaceutical and device market. Upon close of both of the transactions, PRA and RPS will merge to create a leading CRO to offer a more comprehensive range of services across all segments of the biopharmaceutical industry through expanded capabilities, therapeutic expertise, and greater geographic presence.

WuXi and PRA formed a joint venture to offer clinical research services for Chinese market, which allows customers to conduct the highest-quality clinical trials in China for Chinese and international regulatory filings.


Dr. Weichang Zhou of WuXi AppTec named as 2013 ACS Fellow

Dr. Weichang Zhou, WuXi’s Vice President of Biologics Process Development, was recently named by the American Chemical Society (ACS) as a member of its 2013 Class of ACS Fellows. The honor recognizes outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and important contributions to ACS, the world’s largest scientific society.

In ACS announcement, Zhou was cited for his scientific excellence and strategic leadership to world-class multifunctional biologics process development and manufacturing teams, having developed numerous biologics that include recombinant proteins and vaccines, which benefit patients worldwide.

Zhou joined WuXi in Spring of 2013 to as a member of senior leadership  for WuXi’s biologics business unit, which is building a fully integrated biologics platform from mAb discovery to commercialization, the only one in China meeting  global standards that allows our customers to expedite the develop or manufacturing biologics products for both China and global markets.


WuXi to deliver keynote speech at IBC’s BioProcess International China Conference

WuXi executive Dr. Chris Chen is to deliver the keynote speech at IBC’s BioProcess International China Conference later this month. Chen, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Biologics Services at WuXi, will discuss the great opportunities for large molecules in China.

In recent years we have invested heavily in China to build a world-class integrated discovery, development and manufacturing platform for biologics. The open-access biologics platform we established supports clients of any size in bringing effective and affordable large molecule drugs to market in China. It is our goal to be the gateway for novel biologics development in China.

wuxi events
WuXi is to host Discovery Day


WuXi is to host a special event – “WuXi Discovery Day” in Cambridge, MA on August 26. Our esteemed pharma and biotech collaborators, along with WuXi’s senior discovery leadership, will discuss approaches in drug discovery that may hold promise for better medicines faster to meet patient needs. This event will be held at the Marriott Courtyard (777 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139).  Free parking, internet access and lunch will be provided. Please click here to request more details.  


Thank you for reading this issue of WXPress, and for your support in helping WuXi reach where we are today. We will continue with our goal - to serve you better with our integrated technology and capability platform.

Office of Corporate Alliances and Office of Corporate Communications, WuXi AppTec

Web: www.wuxiapptec.com | Email:mailto:wxpress@wuxiapptec.com