Members of a group of Chinese drug researchers visiting here Wednesday said they were impressed by facilities at Kansas University and at Oread Laboratories Inc. in Lawrence.
"I think this university and laboratory are very advanced," said Chen Ying Jie, a chemistry professor from Shenyang, China, and one of 15 Chinese scientists and government officials who toured facilities here. "The research level is very high."
Members of the delegation were in the country for the first International Symposium on New Drug Research and Development, held last week in Overland Park.
More than 140 scientists, industry executives and government officials from China, Taiwan and the United States attended the conference, sponsored by the American-Chinese Pharmaceutical Assn.
Organizers hope the conference will facilitate joint business ventures between East and West.
Fifteen members of the conference -- all from China -- toured the pharmaceutical labs and the Higuchi Biosciences Center at KU. They also toured Oread Labs, 1501 Wakarusa, a pharmaceutical manufacturing and testing company.
The group was led by Kin-Kai Hwang, head of the metabolism department at Marion Merrell Dow Inc. of Kansas City, Mo. He helped organize the symposium in Overland Park.
The Chinese scientists, Hwang said, want to learn how connections are made from academic research at schools such as KU to pharmaceutical production at facilities such as Oread Labs.
"They want to know how that works," he said during a luncheon at Adams Alumni Center at KU. "They are looking at how to build those bridges.
"They want to know the entire process from the concept until the product."
Hwang also said the scientists were trying to learn the circumstances under which KU professors suspend or continue teaching courses while conducting research.
Jia-Jun Sun, professor of pharmacology from Guangzhou, said facilities at KU and at Oread Labs "are very complete."
He said it was important for Chinese researchers and industry officials to be able to "turn research into industrial production."
Sun said a result of improved research and production lines could be less expensive drugs.
He said he conducts research on snake venom, which can be used in a drug that helps prevent the human body's rejection of tissue transplants.
He said, however, that such drugs cost about $260 per one-half milligram in China.
Better production methods, he said, could help bring the cost down.
"As soon as I come back, I will ask my assistant to apply for some research (position) here," Jie said.
The delegation included university researchers and officials from the State Pharmaceutical Administration of China, which is equivalent to the federal Food and Drug Administration here.
They were to visit Washington, D.C., and New York before returning to China.