Investment in the healthcare industry in China has been rising fast - and nowhere is this more evidence than in the nation’s approach to precision medicine. China is adopting and implementing precision medicine both at a large scale and at a fast pace.
The announcement of the China Precision Medicine Initiative in 2016 - a 15-year programme with funding of $9.2bn - has radically changed the healthcare regime in the country and aims to build up the country’s credentials in precision medicine.
Cloud-based genomics is set to be a cornerstone of China's precision medicine revolution but there is increased investment across many areas such as genome sequencing, big data collection and analytics, IT infrastructure, computing capabilities, in-silicon informatics, and mobile health. With big data in health and medicine being treated as a national priority, the country is building national and regional health and big data centres in cities such as Fuzhou, Xiamen, Nanjiang, and Changzhoi.
In terms of applications, there is a strong focus on oncology, infectious diseases, neurology/psychiatry, lifestyle and endocrinology and cardiology. Oncology is expected to show a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent over the next ten years. The precision medicine market for cardiology is anticipated to grow at over 15 per cent during the same period.
It is not just government initiatives that are driving the growth of precision medicine in China. The shift towards prevention in medicine, the lower costs and advances in sequencing technologies, and the increasing popularity of direct-to-consumer genetic testing are other factors. It is forecast that the Chinese precision medicine market will grow from $4.9bn in 2018 to $18.7bn by 2029.
GBIP to focus on precision medicine in China
Innovate UK's Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP), delivered by EEN, is looking to take 15 companies on a fully-funded eight-day visit to Shanghai and Wuxi to explore and learn about the precision medicine landscape in China and to nurture R&D collaboration opportunities between UK and Chinese businesses.
The GBIP will enable participant companies to showcase the best of British science and to build international collaborative partnerships. The companies will be accompanied by representatives from Innovate UK, RTC North and University College London (UCL).
The visit will be valuable for British precision medicine businesses who are working with technologies that enable early and accurate diagnosis to inform patient treatment as well as the availability of targeted therapies.
There will be a specific focus on:
Early diagnosis and detection of disease, including remote and point of care monitoring
Digital innovation and data management in medicine, including “-omics” data integration, AI application to medical imaging and clinical decision support
Attend WuXi Healthcare Forum
During the visit delegates will attend the WuXi Healthcare Forum, an event that brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, clinicians, healthcare providers and future technologists from around the world to the Asia-Pacific region.
More than just a visit
The visit is just one element of the GBIP. Prior to the visit, the participant companies are briefed by sector and market experts and hear first-hand from previous delegates about their experiences. They are advised on the challenges and opportunities of conducting business in China. This “getting ready for market” phase ensures that businesses understand the market, how to operate in it, understand the sector, and receive help to find partners and arrange meetings in advance.
Participants will receive bespoke one-to-one support from EEN advisers to help them exploit the opportunity before, during and after the visit as part of the full programme. Innovate UK and EEN will organise and fund flights, hotel accommodation and in-country logistics.