Advances in Biopharmaceutical Technology in China
back to index


Chapter 19:   Biopharmaceutical Research Collaboration between Western and Chinese Life Science Organization: A Guide to Prospective Partnerships

National Institutes of Health, Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Boulevard, Suite 325
Rockville, MD 20852

About the Author:
Steven M. Ferguson, Director, Division of Technology Development & Transfer
Steven M. Ferguson currently serves in the NIH Office Of Technology Transfer as the Director and senior licensing professional for a fifty-member Division of Technology Development and Transfer, the patent & licensing group for NIH and FDA technologies. Prior to rejoining NIH in 1990, Mr. Ferguson served in marketing and management positions in such biomedical firms as Pharmacia Fine Chemicals and LKB Instruments subsequent to being a scientist at the National Cancer Institute. His healthcare experience has also included work as Director of Marketing and Public Relations for a rural 70-bed hospital. A registered Patent Agent, Mr. Ferguson holds Master's Degrees in Business Administration (George Washington University) and Chemistry (University of Cincinnati) as well as Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry (Case Western Reserve University). Mr. Ferguson is a project reviewer for Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) as well as the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) and is the licensing instructor for both the USDA Graduate School and two NIH FAES courses on Technology Transfer and Biomedical Business Development. He is the co-author of Starting & Operating A Business in the District of Columbia and Starting & Operating A Business in West Virginia, both published by Oasis Press. Mr. Ferguson was also the Susan T. and Charles E. Harris Visiting Lecturer at the Watson School of Biological Sciences at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and has published articles on licensing and technology transfer issues in such publications as Journal of Biolaw and Business, Journal of Pharmaceutical Development & Regulation, Drug Discovery Today, Personalized Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, AUTM Journal and Current Drug Discovery Technology. He has received the NIH Director's Award and six NIH Merit Awards in recognition of his activities in the management and negotiation of technology licensing agreements from the National Institutes of Health.
Sally Hongyu Hu, Ph.D., M.B.A. - Technology Licensing Specialist: Dr. Hu joined OTT in December 2000 as a Technology Licensing Specialist. At OTT, she is responsible for managing patent, marketing and licensing activities in the infectious disease & medical engineering group. Before her Ph.D. training, she had ten years scientific research experience in the fields of biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, immunology and molecular pharmacology. She received her Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology from Boston University School of Medicine and M.B.A. from Boston University School of Management. She marketed thirteen new inventions and built up fifteen marketing databases during her internship at OTT of Community Technology Fund in Boston University.
Uri Reichman, Ph.D, M.B.A. Chief of the Infectious Disease and Medical Engineering Branch at the Office of Technology, NIH. Prior to joining the NIH in 1999, Dr. Reichman had a 20-year long career in the Biotechnology industry, where he worked at several companies in the area of clinical diagnostics. From 1973 to 1980 Dr. Reichman worked at Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in New York, conducting research in the area of cancer therapeutics. Dr. Reichman received his Ph.D in science from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and his MBA from Iona College, New Rochelle, NY.

Biopharmaceutical research, and in particular development of innovative drugs require concentrated efforts on many levels, as well as multiple skills and expertise. Research collaborations between two or more life science organizations are therefore common in the biopharmaceutical industry. Moreover, these collaborations many times involve organizations from different countries and different continents. The changes in the political, social and economic climate in China in the past three decades, as well as China's recent advances in the arena of life-science research, have made Chinese life-science organizations attractive collaborators to their western counterpart. These collaborations have been facilitated by Chinese life-science returnees who have established links in the West. This chapter is intended to serve as a guide to prospective collaborators in China and in the West. It provides information regarding the research focus and expertise of leading life-science organizations in China, including academic and private enterprise, as well as government-affiliated organizations. Furthermore, the chapter provides information regarding the variety of mechanisms and programs available from western organizations, and in particular the NIH and CDC, that may facilitate the establishment of such collaborations, and discusses in some detail successful collaborations established through these mechanisms. Finally, the chapter discusses some of the cultural and societal differences still existing between the West and China and provides prospective collaborators with guidance regarding the negotiation processes associated with collaborative agreements.

back to index
Eric Langer
BioPlan Associates, Inc.
2275 Research Blvd, Suite 500
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: 301-921-5979; Fax: 301-926-2455