Shanghai ChemPartner, one of the world's biggest pre-clinical research companies, is opening a European headquarters in Copenhagen this November, reports financial daily newspaper Børsen. The Danish operation will have the name ChemPartner Europe and will be based in Scion research park in Hørsholm just north of the capital Copenhagen.
ChemPartner Europe's director designate Peter Halkjær-Knudsen, a biotech industry veteran with over 20 years' international experience, told Børsen: "Copenhagen was chosen because the region already has a recognized biotech industry in Medicon Valley, with pharma companies and an underbrush of small companies, and also because it is easy to establish a company in Denmark."
Medicon Valley – which straddles the Greater Copenhagen area and part of southern Sweden – has become increasingly recognised as a European biotech powerhouse, with the number of pipeline drugs in development surpassed only by Germany and the UK, both of which are much bigger countries. Denmark is also recognized for its welcoming attitude to foreign businesses; it can take as little as six days to start up a company here, and there is no fee.
Shanghai ChemPartner's arrival in Denmark comes at a time when the European biotech industry is realising that outsourcing of product development to large companies in Asia is likely to be the future, as the availability of risk capital and state funding falls and the need to accelerate product development rises. Shanghai ChemPartner's satellite operation in Denmark now gives domestic biotech companies direct access to Chinese competences in pre-clinical research, which are becoming continuously stronger.
"For a Danish biotech company it means that the investment-intensive research in the preliminary phases can be outsourced to China, until the conditions are right for the expansion of the company here at home. This model makes it easier and cheaper for start-up companies," says Peter Halkjær-Knudsen.