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China Biotech Promise Struggles to Keep Foreign Innovators

  • Lilly, Glaxo join Novartis in scaling back China drug research
  • Research cuts contrast with China’s push to speed innovation
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Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg
Updated on

As money rushes into China’s fledgling biotechnology sector, Eli Lilly & Co. and other foreign drugmakers are scaling back.

Eli Lilly, along with GlaxoSmithKline Plc, announced plans the past few months to cut research teams in China, after Novartis AG shuttered a biotech research unit there a year ago. “This closure comes after careful study and consideration, and is meant to provide better synergies and efficiencies within Lilly’s global R&D operations,” Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly said in an email.