Big Pharma's China growth; Pfizer's new Upjohn HQ; Hansoh's $1B Hong Kong IPO
fiercepharma | May 31, 2019
As the Chinese government pilots a bulk procurement program for generic drugs, Big Pharma's older medicines are under increasing pricing pressure. Pfizer is planning a push into China's rural areas in response to the headwinds, and it has moved the headquarters of its Upjohn established medicines business to Shanghai. China's Hansoh Pharma plans to raise $1 billion in a Hong Kong IPO and has secured some venture capital bigwigs as cornerstone investors. And more Big Pharmas followed by Wolfe Pharma analysts turned in an average 29% sales growth in China in the first quarter, versus 8.2% in the U.S. These firms are pivoting to innovative products in China, but many warn of a slowdown the rest of the year from their established medicines departments, as the Chinese government pilots a new drug procurement process to slash generic drug costs. Pfizer lost out to Chinese generics makers for supplying cholesterol drug Lipitor to hospitals in 11 major cities in the bidding process. So, the New York pharma is turning to rural areas for expansion, planning to hire 600 staffers to drive the initiative, Michael Goettler, head of Pfizer’s Upjohn division, said. The company has just moved the established medicines unit’s global headquarters to Shanghai. China’s Hansoh Pharmaceutical plans to raise as much as $1 billion in a Hong Kong IPO, offering 551 million shares at HK$13.06 to HK$14.26 apiece, Reuters reported. It counts China’s Boyu Capital and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC among its cornerstone investors. The news comes as it has penned a deal with AstraZeneca spinout Viela Bio to develop the latter’s autoimmune drug inebilizumab in China.