A unit of Bayer SA said it will spend US$129 million over five years to build a research and development center in Beijing, Reuters reported. That would make China the third country after Germany and the US to host a global R&D center for Bayer Schering Pharma. China is the third largest market worldwide for the Bayer group. The new center aims to include Asian patients earlier in global drug development, it said. "Our goal is to build a world class organization here in Beijing that will lead drug development not only for China but also for other Asian countries," said Kemal Malik, a Bayer Schering Pharma board member, in the statement. GlaxoSmithKline Plc, the world’s second-largest drug maker, said last year it planned to double its R&D staff in China to 350 people in the next few years, as China could become the world’s fifth-biggest pharmaceuticals market by 2010.