AstraZeneca raised its annual earnings forecast on Thursday, helped by strong demand for its cancer drugs, and moved to boost its pipeline in the booming anti-obesity market with a deal costing up to $2 billion.

The move comes days after Merck said it would pay Daiichi Sankyo $5.5 billion to jointly develop three of its candidate cancer drugs in a deal that could be worth up to $22 billion for the Japanese firm.

China’s largest vaccines company Zhifei will pay British drugmaker GSK 2.5 billion pounds ($3.05 billion pound) for the exclusive rights to distribute GSK’s shingles vaccine in the world’s No. 2 pharmaceuticals market.

China’s CanSino Biologics, which recently announced a contract manufacturing deal to support AstraZeneca’s messenger RNA (mRNA) technology vaccine program, is in talks with more firms on similar deals, its CEO said, as it seeks new revenue streams to make up for plummeting COVID vaccine demand.

Despite improvements in China, air pollution across the globe continues to pose the greatest external risk to human health, with countries in Asia and Africa suffering most of the impact, new research showed on Tuesday.

Healthcare stocks have already slumped in China since the government in late July launched a year-long anti-graft campaign, targeting what it said was the rampant practice of bribing of doctors in drug and medical equipment sales.

AstraZeneca is China’s largest drugmaker and is doubling down on the world’s No.2 pharmaceutical market amid slumping sales of its COVID vaccine.

The company posted better-than-expected second-quarter sales on Tuesday on strong demand for its two top-selling products, cancer immunotherapy Keytruda and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil.

Concerned that the U.S. is becoming “overly reliant on sourcing from foreign manufacturers with a demonstrated pattern of repeatedly violating FDA safety regulations,” the House committee has launched its own investigation into the agency’s foreign drug inspection program.

The United States wants other countries to engage China on limiting the flow of synthetic drugs, the State Department’s top official on narcotics said on Thursday, as Washington complains of a lack of co-operation by Beijing in combating their illegal trade.