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EYE on CHINA
Connecticut's CURE network welcomes HLK, its first Chinese member company
Connecticut United for Research Excellence (CURE), the Connecticut life and healthcare sciences network, has for the first time welcomed to its membership a Chinese bioscience company. The company, HLK Biotechnology Co., Ltd (HLK), aims to collaborate with CURE to act as a portal between the Connecticut and Chinese life sciences industries.

"Our goal is to bridge the West and the East in order to bring efficacious and safe medicines to patients in both countries," said co-founder and president Jun Xu. "After two years in China, we know how to navigate the hurdles of doing business in that country, with regard to working with government agencies and regulators. In addition, HLK has very strong technical capabilities in CMC and formulation development, and a wealth of knowledge at different stages of drug discovery and development."

Originally from Hunan Province, Ms. Xu is now a U.S. citizen and Connecticut resident with a family in Newtown. Her business partner, Dr. Zeren Wang, who is co-founder and managing director of the company, is originally from Shanghai, but is now also a U.S. citizen, living in Southbury. Both came to the U.S in the 1990s for academic training and later worked in research and development at Boehringer Ingelheim's U.S. headquarters in Ridgefield. Ms. Xu estimates the two now spend more than 80 percent of their time in China.

"I've known these two experienced pharma scientists for many years," said Dr. Peter R. Farina, who is a co-chair of CURE and was formerly senior vice president of development at Boehringer Ingelheim U.S. He is also chief scientific advisor to HLK. "Jun and Zeren are making personal sacrifices to pursue their dream, and they are doing so at an opportune time. As the Chinese economy continues to develop, access to the Chinese market is becoming increasingly important to life sciences companies. It is challenging for Westerners who want to develop drugs in China to know where to start or who to contact. Jun and Zeren understand US pharma standards and practices and can work with US firms to develop compounds for the Chinese healthcare market using state of the art pharmaceutical technology. At the same time, there is also growing interest in the U.S. in traditional Chinese medicine. HLK is looking at new ways of reformulating these therapeutics both for the Chinese and US markets."

HLK is headquartered in the high-tech industrial zone of Shenzhen, located in Guangdong province, just to the northwest of Hong Kong.

"We're pleased to welcome HLK to the CURE community," said Susan Froshauer, Ph.D., president and CEO of CURE. "Our organization includes a number of member companies from outside of Connecticut, but this is our first from China. We look forward to partnering with HLK to help them expand their business activities to the U.S. and also to build out a U.S.-China portal. All our members have in common the recognition that Connecticut is growing in importance as a focal point of the life sciences industry in the U.S."

Source: Connecticut United for Research Excellence

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Credits to: American Chemical Society
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