A Closer Look at TEDA’s Industrial Chains: Biomedicine
By shaping 12 key industrial chains such as information technology application innovation, integrated circuits, Internet of Vehicles, biomedicine, etc., Tianjin expects not only to foster more business leaders along these chains, but also to continuously optimize upstream, downstream and the entire production, supply and marketing ecosystem so as to create more growth engines for high-end manufacturing. Among the 12 industrial chains, how many of them are priorities on TEDA’s development roadmap? What are their industrial ecosystems like? We try to answer these questions through our special series report A Closer Look at TEDA’s Industrial Chains.
In this episode, we bring to you one of the world’s most dynamic strategic emerging industries, which is also highly relevant to our daily life——biomedicine.
As a national demonstration base for the neo-industrialization of biomedicine, TEDA boasts China’s largest insulin and enzyme production bases. It is home to world pharmaceutical giants such as Novo Nordisk, Servier, GSK, Hanaco, etc. as well as rising stars such as CanSinoBIO, Reach Surgical and Sino Medical. Over the years, TEDA’s biomedicine industrial chain has been continuously extending, with robust innovation and snowballing growth momentum. Today, biomedicine has become an important propeller for regional economy, and TEDA is now the heartland of biomedicine for Tianjin and North China.
Since the 1990s, as more global pharmaceutical giants settling down in China, TEDA and Tianjin’s biomedicine industry began to see exponential growth in scale. From relying on foreign investment to bringing up local business leaders, TEDA’s biomedicine industry has blossomed and harvested.
Today, TEDA’s biomedicine industry covers eight development directions, namely, biopharmaceuticals, chemical drugs, Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM), natural medicines, medical devices, in-vitro diagnostics, CRO services, and biotechnology. An industrial chain integrating R&D, research commercialization, manufacturing, and scenario application has attained a considerable scale.
To shape a steady and sound ecosystem for biomedicine, TEDA keeps on improving and excelling in industry planning, innovation platforms, medical resources and talent competitiveness.
Since 1998, biomedical manufacturing saw rapid growth in output value, making ever-greater contribution to TEDA’s overall industrial growth. Global top biopharmaceutical players such as Novo Nordisk and Novozymes continue to scale up investment and production in TEDA, with industry pacesetters such as Asymchem and LinkDoc reaching out to more fields.
The success of Novo Nordisk in TEDA is the epitome of the appreciation and trust placed on TEDA by global investors who kept expanding their presence in the region. Since its registration in TEDA in 1994, the company never stopped reinvestment. Following the launch of three new production lines in 2020 and 2021, it invested another 500 million yuan in a new mega elevated stereo warehouse this year. Today the Tianjin Plant has become one of Novo Nordisk’s global strategic production bases, the group’s only supplier of insulin durable injection devices, and its largest insulin preparations and filling base.
Asymchem is a globally-leading integrated CDMO service company providing high-quality one-stop services to R&D, manufacturing, technology innovation and commercialization of new drugs worldwide. During the recently-held 5th “Hidden Made-in-China Champions” Evergreen Summit, Asymchem was awarded the title of “Hidden Made-in-China Champion” for its leading position and outstanding contribution in biomedical industry.
Starting from an unknown start-up in 1998, today Asymchem has grown into an industry top player with eight R&D and production bases and more than 20 subsidiaries worldwide, Asymchem witnesses the taking-off of TEDA’s biomedicine industry over these years.
As a medical big data unicorn, LinkDoc is an early pioneer and leader of real-world research in China. With a long-term focus on major diseases such as tumors and rare diseases, the company boasts a nationwide business network. It has established China’s first real-world lung cancer research cohort with a large sample size and participated in over 300 real-world research projects, ranking first in China’s real-world research service industry with a market share of over 10%. LinkDoc is a recognized leader in TEDA’s digital medicine.
A sustainable industry ecology is inseparable from the professional support of innovation platforms. TEDA keeps encouraging technological innovation and attracting innovation platforms to make local biomedical R&D and innovation system more complete day by day.
Moreover, relying on platforms such as the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin (NSCC-TJ), TEDA continuously steps up the integration of next-gen information technology and biomedical industry, and manages to provide more impetus to Tianjin’s biomedical industry.
Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine （TJAB）
A national-level hi-tech start-ups incubator and mass innovation space, the Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine (TJAB) is a key cradle for biomedical hi-tech innovation businesses in TEDA and Tianjin. TJAB has gradually built up a new mechanism of “professional platform + mass innovation space + incubator”, and has incubated 350 enterprises for Tianjin Binhai New Area and Tianjin, including one newly listed enterprise and 59 national-level high-tech ones. Here, a galaxy of outstanding biopharmaceutical enterprises such as CanSinoBio and Dynamiker Biotechnology began their legends, and hi-tech leaders such as Shandong Cisen Pharmaceutical and Beijing Abmax established R&D centers.
In 1998, CanSinoBio started up at TJAB. Today it has grown into a top vaccine R&D company in China known for its strong independent innovation capability. With five core technology platforms, multiple core intellectual property rights and proprietary technologies of vaccines, CanSinoBio has established more than 20 innovative vaccine product R&D pipelines. It is the first A+H vaccine stock since the opening of Sci-Tech Innovation Board (STAR Market). “The Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine laid a solid foundation for the success of CanSinoBio. In such a place where entrepreneurs can sink their teeth into R&D, success comes faster.” said Yu Xuefeng, the company’s co-founder, chairman and CEO. Similar success stories keep on rolling out in TEDA over the years.
National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin (NSCC-TJ)
Boasting Tianhe-Ⅰ supercomputer and Tianhe-Ⅲ prototype system, which rank among the fastest supercomputers in the world, NSCC-TJ is China’s top supercomputing center marked by its widest application scope and strongest R&D capacity. It has served more than 4,000 major national projects. In the field of biomedicine where supercomputers are indispensable, it supports new drug research, gene sequencing, brain science, bioinformatics, and even clinical trials.
Opening in September 2021, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Cell Valley injected new momentum into independent innovation in the TEDA biomedicine field. Taking it as a new opportunity to make breakthrough, TEDA focused on building a new biomedical technology production base represented by vaccines and oligonucleotide therapeutics, a complete cell therapy center and production base, and a cell industry cluster integrating R&D, commercialization, application and production. This turned TEDA into a frontier of new technology, a leading performer of quality control standards in cell industry and a cluster of biological players in Binhai New Area and Tianjin.
To date, TEDA has nurtured and brought in leading bio-tech investors in cell therapy, gene therapy, vaccines and antibodies, such as the Amcellgene, world’s first mesenchymal stem cell bank, and Ribo Life Science, a leader in oligonucleotide therapeutics in China, Boya Stem Cell, Haoling Cell, and Conboer Gene Technology.
TEDA has established a complete healthcare service system comprising three tertiary hospitals and more than 100 healthcare institutions. With high-end medical resources such as TEDA International Cardiovascular Hospital and TEDA Hospital, we created a TEDA Model for the full integration of industry and R&D by continuously improving the R&D innovation chain and pushing ahead the basic applied research, clinical research, product development and lab-to-market activities.
“Rocket Heart” HeartCon Ventricular Assist Device
HeartCon is a medical engineering product jointly developed by a TEDA-based enterprise Rocket-Heart Technology Co.,Ltd and TEDA International Cardiovascular Hospital. With fully independent intellectual property rights, the third-generation artificial heart adopts magnetic fluid levitation technology. The product, with its key indexes on par with international level, has hit the market upon the approval of the National Medical Products Administration, which will benefit patients with advanced heart failure.
Good enterprises attract talents, and the concentration of talents drives the rapid growth of biomedical industry. At present, over 20,000 people work in the biomedical field in TEDA led by over 10 academicians and a group of top experts and scholars. Among them, more than 2,000 scientific researchers won 104 honorary titles at national and Tianjin levels, and more than 400 overseas high-level talents started their businesses in TEDA. TEDA has become an excellent destination of innovation with industry and talents reinforcing each other.
TEDA boasts policy advantages to make herself a front runner of biomedical innovation. By policy advantages, it means not only giving strong support to key industries, R&D innovation and talent introduction, but also launching special policies to vigorously develop biomedical industry.
As proposed in the Tianjin Three-Year Action Plan for Building a Strong Manufacturing City (2021-2023) and the Tianjin Three-Year Action Plan for High-Quality Development of Industrial Chains (2021-2023) published in May 2021, Tianjin will further grow emerging industries like biomedicine and include it into the key industrial chain. Such efforts aim to lend new impetus into real economy and make industrial and supply chains more resilient and safe.
Additionally, TEDA launched the “2+2+N” industrial policy.
TEDA has built a one-stop service system for project managers to serve investors and continuously improving administrative approval services. We also built professional service platforms for public testing, financing, patent application and technology trading, while customizing solutions for biomedical businesses’ rapid expansion.
This is the extension of technical services in drug regulatory citywide for the first time ever. The TEDA-based biomedical enterprises can go through technical process like review, inspection and pharmacovigilance of drugs, medical device and cosmetics supervision right here in TEDA without making trips to municipal authorities.
TEDA is committed to building an all-round biomedical IP service system with multiple parties involved to serve biomedical enterprises. Located in the Binhai-Zhongguancun Science Park, China (Tianjin Binhai New Area) Intellectual Property Center carries out rapid collaborative protection of intellectual properties for biomedical and high-end equipment manufacturing industries. It also provides patent navigation services for key investors, guidance for optimizing patent portfolio planning, high-value patents cultivation and core competitiveness enhancement.
Whether it is the preliminary work like site selection, company establishment, access assessment, or procedures after registration such as project initiation, taxation, access to energy, investment and financing services, TEDA’s project managers will provide a full range of one-stop service and accurate solutions for enterprises to quickly land in TEDA and continue their business expansion. These project managers are always by your side to grow the biomedical cluster and industrial chain.