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Fangning Zhang


Serves leading pharmaceutical and medtech companies across Greater China and leads R&D and the biotech service line for the region

Fangning is a leader of the Pharmaceuticals & Medical Products Practice in Greater China and for the last 14 years has served pharmaceutical and medtech companies on topics related to business strategy, R&D, medical affairs, organization, and transformation. She began her career with McKinsey in the New Jersey office before moving to Shanghai in 2010.

Examples of her recent client work include the following:

  • supporting a leading Chinese biotech firm’s preparation for an IPO
  • formulating an innovation strategy for a leading global healthcare company in China
  • formulating a growth strategy in China for a leading multinational pharmaceutical company
  • developing a portfolio strategy for a leading Chinese biotech company
  • helping a leading multinational pharmaceutical corporation develop a medical-affairs transformation roadmap across the Asia-Pacific region

Fangning’s broad network includes leaders from multinational and local companies, and she hosts regular executive roundtables for China’s R&D and biotech leaders. She is also a regular speaker at leading healthcare conferences in China. She spent several years spearheading efforts to establish a drug-innovation index and has written about innovative topics in the medtech and pharmaceutical industries.

Before joining McKinsey, Fangning worked as a research scientist at Pfizer’s Global R&D center, conducting drug-discovery research as a medicinal chemist in anti-infectives, immunology, and oncology. She earned her MBA in marketing and strategy from Kellogg School of Business. She is currently a board member of The BayHelix Group.

Published work

Vision 2028: How China could impact the global biopharma industry,” McKinsey & Company, August 2022

The next frontier for AI in China could add $600 billion to its economy,” McKinsey & Company, June 2022

The dawn of China biopharma innovation,” McKinsey & Company, October 2021

The evolving role of medical affairs in Asia−Pacific: Three imperatives for pharmacos,” McKinsey & Company, April 2018


What’s next for pharma innovation in China,” McKinsey & Company, September, 2017

Past experience

Pfizer Inc.
Senior associate scientist


Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
MBA, marketing, strategy

Stony Brook University
MS, chemistry