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October 31, 2016

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UCB taps innovation to help Chinese patients

BELGIAN drugmaker UCB’s efforts to improve quality of life for people with severe diseases have benefited millions of Chinese patients in the past two decades.

The Brussels-based multinational bio­pharmaceutical company made its first foray into the Chinese market in 1996.

Since then, UCB China has fortified its presence by setting up head office in Shanghai, regional offices in Beijing, Chengdu and Guangzhou, and a manu­facturing facility in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.

“UCB is committed to helping people in every country where we oper­ate to live a better life and benefit from our innova­tive medicines,” Veronique Toully, head of operations for UCB China, told Shanghai Daily. “Our goal in China is to bring our innovative solutions as quickly as possible to Chi­nese patients.”

Committed to its slogan “Inspired by patients, driven by science,” in 2016 UCB will have brought a diversified line of products to more than five million Chi­nese patients suffering from epilepsy, anemia, allergy, pain and other immu­nology diseases. Investing more than 25 percent of its revenue in research and development every year, much higher than the industry average of 18 percent, the company is seeking to bring to pa­tients a promising portfolio of innovative medicines targeting severe diseases and addressing unmet medical needs.

“Rather than expressing our business goals only in monetary terms, our abil­ity to create value for patients and work with doctors to bring better solutions to patients is what makes UCB successful as a company,” Toully said.

“We are delivering on our promise through innovative medicines, educa­tion and information.”

As an illustration, during the past 10 years, UCB has been committed to rais­ing awareness on epilepsy and teamed up with medical associations in China to improve public aware­ness of the disease. In 2016 alone, they have supported edu­cation programs implemented by their partners that have reached 15,000 Chinese pa­tients suffering from epilepsy and their caregivers.

Since 2013, UCB is also supporting Project Hope in a three-year program called Rainbow Bridge (Epilepsy Children Care) with the objective to improve medi­cal care for children with epilepsy and provide psychological support for their families.

“We will continue to support programs that raise epilepsy awareness among doctors, patients and the general public and to improve access to reliable infor­mation for all about the disease,” Toully said.

UCB is fully leveraging the connected environment in China and support­ing digital education and information programs available on mobile devices through popular platforms in China including WeChat. They support patient-friendly education programs launched by medical associations for parents with young children, still with the objective to raise awareness about chronic diseases affecting Chinese youngest citizens.


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