First-ever made-in-China oncology med wins approval

Sept. 5, 2018

The “Made in China” label may be ubiquitous on a wide array of products found in the U.S., but it hasn’t been stamped on many cancer drugs — at least, not until now.

This week, the National Medical Products Administration of China approved fruquintinib, a colorectal cancer treatment that was developed as a collaboration between Hutchinson China MediTech (Chi-Med) and Eli Lilly. The medication is the first-ever oncology drug that was discovered and developed in China to get a regulatory nod after a randomized clinical trial.

It is also slated to be introduced in the U.S. and EU after its rolled out in China — which is the reverse direction of the typical global regulatory path of new drugs. 

The approval marks a big win for China, which has been hoping to bolster its presence in the global biopharmaceutical industry to prove its technical know-how and capitalize on its massive local drug market (which is the second biggest in the world).

AstraZeneca is also gunning for a China-first approval this year for its new anemia treatment, roxadustat, which is being developed as a collaboration with FibroGen.

Read the full Reuters report.