WuXi recently announced the appointment of Dr. Hua Mu as Senior Vice President of Operations and Global Head of the Product Development Service and Partnership Business Unit.  This week we sat down with Hua to talk about his role at WuXi and a career that has included positions at Roche, Abraxis Bioscience, Biogen Idec, and Genentech.

What is the proudest achievement of your career?

Just before coming to WuXi, I spent four years at Hutchison MediPharma, and it was incredible.  We obtained China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) approval for five INDs and one Phase II/III Clinical Trial Application (CTA), advanced six new drug programs into Phase I – Phase III clinical development, and established strategic partnerships with multinational companies for co-development of three new drugs.  All of this was achieved within the span of four years.  It convinced me that China-based organizations not only can participate in global innovation, but are also capable of undertaking efficient and high-quality clinical development – including early-stage development, to benefit patients in China and around the world.

What can you tell us about the new business unit you’re heading at WuXi?

Our mission is to help our clients and partners bring in and advance global and China innovations through the development process for regulatory approval, benefiting patients in China and beyond. This can be achieved through effective, integrated product development services and partnerships based on WuXi’s world-class scientific expertise, R&D platforms, and professional capabilities.  Over the past decade, external collaborations and partnerships in product development have become increasingly important for pharmaceutical and biotech companies to build up/expand pipelines, mitigate risks, and increase the productivity and efficiency of new drug development.  We are embracing this industry-wide trend and exploring various collaboration models and service approaches to address the broad needs of our clients and partners in developing innovative and effective medicines.  In particular, we are building an exceptionally capable and productive team that will support clinical development of high efficiency and quality to pursue Chinese regulatory approval.

How do you expect to create value for your collaborators?

Drug development is a very complex, highly regulated and lengthy process.  It requires companies to pursue well-planned global, regional and local product development strategies and execution. WuXi has an open access R&D platform that is positioned to meet the broad global product development needs of our collaborators and clients.  In addition, we have deep knowledge of the complex and fast evolving local regulatory environment, health care system, and clinical research landscape, as well as extensive experience in undertaking highly efficient product development in China. I believe such a unique and powerful combination can help our collaborators maximize the value of their innovations and ultimately deliver effective new medicines to benefit patients in China and around the globe.

What is the secret to a successful collaboration?

It requires continuous efforts to pursue a thorough understanding of each other’s needs, set goals of mutual interest and agreement, employ effective communication and working processes, build confidence and trust, and -most important – provide solutions and deliver on the promises.