Met-ing the neighbors

AstraZeneca cancer deal validates Hutchison's in-house discovery in China

AstraZeneca plc's grassroots approach to business development in Asia has allowed it to bring in a program from Hutchison MediPharma Ltd. that was under the radar of analysts covering the Chinese company. The deal to develop an inhibitor of c-Met receptor tyrosine kinase also provides the first validation of the 10 years and almost $100 million the Chinese biotech has spent building its in-house discovery operations.

Hutchison MediPharma was established in 2002 to screen Chinese traditional medicines in search of pharmaceuticals. The company is a subsidiary of U.K.-listed Hutchison China MediTech Ltd. (Chi-Med), which itself is a unit of Hong Kong-listed multinational conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.

"People probably don't realize that Hutchison MediPharma has been in place in Shanghai now for 10

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