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Chemical warehouse for drug developers

SHANGHAI will build a world-leading chemical warehouse for new drug screening in the next five years, said an official with the National Center for Drug Screening in Zhangjiang High-tech Park today. The warehouse will store more than 1 million different chemicals, effectively improving China's ability on new drug screening and development, said Wang Mingwei, the center's director. "We will focus on developing drugs for diseases such as cancer and poverty-related diseases through the cooperation of the United Nations," he said. "Sexually-transmitted diseases and schistosomiasis are our targets as well." Local science authorities welcomed the central government's decision to build the chemical warehouse in Shanghai where biomedicine industry is expected to generate 200 billion yuan (US$30.6 billion) in sales in 2012. Shanghai has made incentive policies to encourage the development of new drugs and locally produced high-end drugs. Local hospitals also benefited from local biopharmaceutical development including monocular diagnostic medicine and individualized therapy. Doctors are using genetic tests to classify cancer types and guide gene-targeting treatment, which can prolong a cancer patient's life two to three times longer than using chemotherapy. "Cancers in lungs, colon, breast and lymphoma are the ones treated widely using genetic test," said Dr Han Baohui from Shanghai Chest Hospital. "We use genetic testing to treat lung cancer and have received good results. Genetic testing gives the evidence to guide our treatment."

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