BIA announces major initiative with AstraZeneca and new state of the art lifescience innovation campus in Wuxi China

Caption: (fifth from left) Dr Jane Osbourn OBE Chair of the BioIndustry Association at the I-campus grand opening ceremony

The BioIndustry Association (BIA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Wuxi International Life-science Innovation Campus (I-Campus) and AstraZeneca in China. The state-of-the-art campus will enable UK SMEs companies to easily explore, partner and engage with China’s rapidly expanding healthcare innovation market. The I-campus will also serve as AstraZeneca’s new China headquarters.

BIA Chair Dr Jane Osbourn was in China at the grand opening ceremony and this follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding earlier this year between AstraZeneca, the Wuxi Municipal Government and the BIA.

Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BIA said:

“This is a key initiative for the BIA to make it easier for UK life sciences SMEs to do business in China.

“The opening of the Wuxi I-campus will do much to de-risk and de-mystify China for UK companies. Wuxi is a city renowned for manufacturing and being at the centre of the ‘internet of things’ in China. The I-campus will build on Wuxi’s innovation heritage and be a significant landing pad for UK biotech companies looking to expand and collaborate in China.

“The capability to co-locate with AstraZeneca’s China team is also a massive boost for UK innovators, AstraZeneca will be headquartered at the I-campus and will provide expertise to UK SMEs as they begin their China journey.

“The BIA is proud to have developed this innovative partnership and we look forward to working with our membership, to grow this fantastic opportunity with our Chinese partners.”

Dr Jane Osbourn OBE, Chair of the BIA and VP for Research and Development at AstraZeneca, who attended and spoke at the I-campus opening ceremony, said: “The Chinese government and the Wuxi municipal government are committed to using the innovation of biotech and life sciences companies to empower a healthy China, which in turn will benefit patients across the world.

“The I-campus will be a global collaboration hub within a country that has been at the frontier of innovation for the past millennia. We have much to learn from Chinese innovation - and hope to be able to partner and harness it for our own challenges of unmet medical need and improving the affordability of healthcare for our society.”


Photo caption: Dr Jane Osbourn OBE speaking at the I-campus grand opening ceremony.

 Notes to Editors

1. Wuxi is a city in southern Jiangsu province, eastern China, northwest of the centre of Shanghai. The city is not to be confused with the company, Wuxi AppTec.

2. For a full transcript of Dr Osbourn’s speech at the opening ceremony and interview opportunities please contact Jack Fellows.

3. BIA Chief Executive Steve Bates attended the inaugural Wuxi Healthcare Forum in Shanghai in March 2019. Read about his visit and the Chinese opportunities for UK biotech here.

4. The BIA is continuing to establish good working relationships with counterparts in the Far East, and BIA members who are keen to explore R&D and business opportunities might be interested to attend the 6th BioCentury-BayHelix China Healthcare Summit in Shanghai on 18-20 November. We’ve secured a 20% discount for members, please email Miriam Gedge to get the access code. 

5. AstraZeneca is the tenth biggest pharmaceutical company in the world and the second biggest pharmaceutical company in China. AstraZeneca’s global headquarters are based in Cambridge UK, with both its UK knowledge base and global reach, AstraZeneca is ideally placed to advise and support UK life sciences SME’s looking to join this China opportunity. 

6. Delegates from the Wuxi Municipal Government will be attending the BIA’s Annual Gala Dinner on the 23 January 2020.

7. This initiative has been supported by the Department of International Trade; the BIA is thankful to the Department for their support in helping secure this UK opportunity.

8. The BIA has a place on the Wuxi International Life-science campus board, which will be filled by Dr Andy Richards CBE. 

Photo caption: (left to right) Dr Jane Osbourn OBE and Dr Andy Richards CBE.

About the BIA

Established over 25 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative life sciences in the UK. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives.


Jack Fellows, Media and Communications Manager at the BIA, or 02076302196