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New digital platform building ecology for biopharmaceutical sector

By Zheng Yiran (China Daily Global ) Updated : 2019-10-23

A digital innovative service platform has been launched in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, aimed to shorten enterprises' innovation period and accelerate regional industrial agglomeration in China's healthcare sector.

The platform, introduced by Firestone Inventing, a consulting company specializing in the medical industry, takes advantage of artificial intelligence technology and the accurate portrait of enterprises and resources, to carry out innovative service operations and cross-regional resource sharing. Through a combination of the online and offline mode, it helps to empower enterprises and inspire innovation, building a new ecology of the biopharmaceutical industry.

Specifically, by digitizing and integrating various resources, services and products needed for enterprise innovation, the platform forms digital portraits of the enterprise needs. By building a centralized catalog of service resources and products, and a biomedical expertise map based on the medical sector, accurate portraits for suppliers are formed. Through the utilization of AI and big data, supply and demand can be matched precisely, in order to achieve enterprise innovations, according to the company.

Yang Hongfei, founder and CEO of Firestone, said that "data-based large-scale organizational collaboration is becoming the mainstream. Based on big data, the formation of innovative elements' accurate matching, precise collaboration and full sharing, will be the core form of future biomedical industry development."

According to the company, it has now formed digital portraits that cover 50 percent of China's biopharmaceutical innovative enterprises, covering the fields of medical devices, in vitro diagnostic products, chemical products, and biotech products.

It has also integrated and formed supplier portraits covering the whole industrial chain, including over 1,500 contract research organizations, 50 registered medical device institutions, 3,500 suppliers, 2.37 million products and 50,000 investors.

Yang noted that through innovation acceleration, enterprises can cut their innovation cycle by more than 30 percent, and save 20 percent to 50 percent of the innovation process cost. The platform's value of promoting the development of China's biopharmaceutical industry is immeasurable.

Zhao Haoran, a senior researcher specializing in the medical sector with Great Wall Securities, said that in recent years, the cost of research and development of new drugs has been increasing, and the success rate has been decreasing. Currently, the average R&D cost of a new drug increased from $410 million in the 1980s to $2.5 billion, while the average success rate dropped from 21.5 percent during the same period to 15.5 percent.

Xu Jiaxi, chief analyst in the medical sector at Industrial Securities, said: "The analysis and application of big data in the medical industry offer enterprises a helpful auxiliary tool in making decisions, so that the product development process can be accelerated."

Currently, Firestone's innovative service platform is available in many cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Changchun, Taizhou in Zhejiang province, and Benxi in Liaoning province. Its service covers 23 percent of the country's biopharmaceutical enterprises, and the ratio is estimated to reach 80 percent by 2020.