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Over the past 20 years, regenerative medicine in China has continued to grow, supported by positive research findings in stem cell therapies, tissue engineering, active molecules and gene therapy.

A research report carried out by Market Research Future (MRFR) indicates that over the forecast period of 2016-2022, the Asia-Pacific region is projected to be the fastest growing market for regenerative medicine.

There continues to be high investment in healthcare research by emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region. The flexible regulatory environments for clinical adoption of cell-based research therapies in Japan and China are also expected to drive positive growth.

The Biotech Showcase™ survey last year saw 45 percent of respondents predicting that China will see the biggest percentage increase of biotech investment dollars in 2019 compared to other global biotech hot-spots including the United Kingdom, Germany, Benelux, Japan, France, Scandinavia, South Korea, Israel and Singapore.

One key reason for the optimism about China, despite its economy slowing down due to growing debt and the current trade war with the United States, is the adoption of regulations by the Hong Kong Exchange allowing pre-revenue biopharma companies to go public.

Additionally, in December 2017, the Chinese government announced new laws to accelerate the approval pathway for cell therapy products.

Under the new regime, cell therapy products will only need to complete two clinical phases: an early phase focused on safety and a confirmatory phase to demonstrate probable efficacy. New cell products will also be available for government reimbursement.

Since 1999, China has established about 30 regenerative medicine centres, and cooperates with many advanced countries in regenerative medicine research, benefiting from their cooperation.

Considering the developments in the field of regenerative medicine in China, there is increasing interest for in-licensing cell therapy technology platforms like ASX-listed Regeneus’ (ASX:RGS) Progenza and Cynata Therapeutics’ (ASX:CYP) stem cell manufacturing platform Cymerus.

Regeneus was granted a patent in December 2018 by the State Intellectual Property Office of China for the use of biomarkers to monitor disease progression in a patient undergoing mesenchymal cell (MSC) therapy for inflammatory conditions.

The patent will provide protection for licensing the Progenza allogeneic stem cell therapy platform in China until 2033.

This is the first of other possible opportunities for stem cell platforms in China. With the increasing focus and resources in China for regenerative medicine, the country is well established to offer manufacturing and commercialisation partnerships to regenerative medicine biotech companies like Regeneus and Cynata.

The research report by MRFR cautions that there are still regulations, clinical standardisation, and management practices that need to be implemented, as well as the additional recruitment of healthcare experts to make further progress in regenerative medicine in China.

However, studies show strong investor confidence in the Asia-Pacific generally, and the regulatory and investment environment in China in particular for regenerative medicine is favourable.


Star Investing has a commercial partnership with some companies mentioned in this article. This content does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.