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Pfizer and Hisun sign China generics deal

Published on 13/09/12 at 04:32pm
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The deal has been in the pipeline since 2010

Pfizer has unveiled a new joint venture with with China’s Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceuticals.

It is one of the first joint ventures between a multinational pharma company and a Chinese pharma company with branded generic medicines in China.

Hisun-Pfizer will develop, manufacture and market generics in China and global markets. The creation of the joint venture marks an important milestone in strengthening the ability to reach more patients with low-cost medicines in the branded generics arena.

Off-patent medicines, including branded generics, represent one of the fastest-growing segments in the global pharma market. This is especially true in emerging markets, where cost and access are primary drivers of off-patent medicine growth. In China, branded generics account for 70% of the domestic pharma market.

Hisun-Pfizer will take advantage of Hisun’s product portfolio, broad market outreach and experience with the production and commercialisation of branded generic medicines.

The joint venture will also benefit from Pfizer’s R&D, manufacturing quality management, international market promotion and operational capabilities. It will focus on R&D and the production and commercialisation of high-quality branded generic medicines, and the broader commercialisation of existing medicines through a local and global sales and marketing infrastructure.

Bai Hua, chairman and president of Hisun, said the deal would help his company move from being focused largely on manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) to becoming an established branded generics company.

“The joint venture will provide our patients with high-quality and low-cost branded generic medicines through our internationally compatible management systems and R&D and production technology.

"This will help us better contribute to the development of the Chinese pharmaceutical industry, advance the drug innovation and manufacturing capabilities of Zhejiang province and China, and lay a solid foundation for Chinese pharmaceutical companies to enter the international market,” he said.

“Providing high-quality, accessible and affordable health care to people over a vast area and from broad socioeconomic levels has become a primary objective of Chinese healthcare reforms, which is aligned with Pfizer’s mission to provide high-quality and affordable medicines to our patients,” said Xiaobing Wu, country manager of Pfizer China.

“The joint venture demonstrates Pfizer’s commitment to China’s ongoing healthcare reforms and is an important milestone for Pfizer’s efforts to broaden the reach of its world-class healthcare solutions in China. We are glad to be partnering with Hisun in this venture to address the needs of our patients.”

Hisun and Pfizer first signed the memorandum of understanding to establish the joint venture during the Zhejiang Provincial Government Delegation’s visit to the US in June 2011. A framework agreement then followed in February 2012, during the visit of Xi Jinping, vice president of China, to the Sino-US Economic & Trade Co-operation Forum held in Los Angeles.

Hisun-Pfizer has an aggregate investment of $295 million and a registered capital of $250 million. Hisun holds 51% of the share and Pfizer holds 49 per cent.

The registration facilities and production plants of the joint venture will be located in Fuyang, Zhejiang province, while the headquarters and R&D centre will be located in Shanghai and Hangzhou, respectively. The parties will contribute select existing products to the joint venture, which will have a broad portfolio covering cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, oncology, mental health, and other therapeutic areas.

The parties will also contribute manufacturing sites, cash and other relevant assets. The joint venture aims to build a robust sales network that covers most areas and hospitals in China and to enter the international market by leveraging on Pfizer’s global business networks.

“We are confident that our joint venture will allow both companies to build upon existing core capabilities and our respective areas of expertise to address the needs of more patients than ever before,” adds Olivier Brandicourt, president and general manager of Pfizer’s Emerging Markets and Established Products Business Units.

“This partnership further supports the government of China’s goals for improved access to medicines and treatments for the patients of China.”

Founded in 1956, the vision of Zhejiang HISUN Pharmaceuticals has 40 products on the market globally, including the US and Europe, with sales in more than 30 countries worldwide.


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