Chinese insulin developers go further to compete with global giants internally

09:30, January 13, 2011      

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Zhuhai United Laboratories Co., Ltd., subsidiary of Hong Hong-heaquartered pharmaceutical manufacturing company United Laboratories, will invest 1 billion yuan ($151.42) in the development of the domestic insulin market, a try to compete with foreign companies that monopolize the market, according to a China Business News (CBN) report Wednesday, citing its chairman Choy Kam Lok.

The company announced recently that the insulin products it developed had been approved by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) and would be in operation in a short term.

According to the report, once the project is established, it will become the largest insulin materials and preparation production base domestically.

Now, China has more than 92 million diabetes sufferers. And the on-the-rise number has impulsed the market for diabetes drugs exceed 10 billion yuan ($1.51 billion), and the insulin drug market reached 5 billion yuan ($757.08 billion) in 2010, according to the report.

The current global market is controlled by over 90 percent by giants Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly and Company and Sanofi-Aventis. And as they sneak into the Chinese market, small space is left for local firms to develop in the field.

Data from IMS Health showed that in the market for diabetes-related drugs, Novo Nordisk had grip on 35.44 percent market share, Sanofi-Aventis accounted for 7.91 percent and Eli Lilly and Company, 6.28 percent. Bayer shared 14.85 percent.

Meanwhile, these giants still expand capacity in the Chinese market. Novo Nordisk last year invested $400 million in its insulin project in Tianjin.

The Chinese company (United Laboratories) said that under such monopoly, it hopes to occupy about 10 percent of the market share in two to three years. Choy said that due to the optimization in technology, advantages in costs will be the major edge to head onto competition with foreign counterparts.

The report, citing the securities companies, said that via the cutting edge technology, the firm can achieve an advantage in pricing, being able to offer prices 10 to 15 percent lower than the peers' products.

Source: Global Times
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