AstraZeneca today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Guangdong BeiKang Pharmaceutical Company Ltd, a privately-owned generics manufacturing company, based in Conghua City, Guangdong province, China. The deal will give AstraZeneca access to a portfolio of injectable medicines used to treat infections which AstraZeneca will make available to patients in China.
Following completion of the acquisition, AstraZeneca will be responsible for the manufacture and commercialisation of these medicines. Effectiveness of the agreement is contingent on the approval of certain regulatory authorities, including the approval of the Ministry of Commerce in China. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition reinforces AstraZeneca’s commitment to bringing innovative original and high quality branded generic medicines to Chinese patients. Coming on the heels of AstraZeneca’s $200 million investment in a new manufacturing facility, located in China Medical City, Taizhou, Jiangsu province, today’s announcement accelerates the company’s ‘broad market’ strategy, which aims to increase the accessibility and affordability of medicines for wider patient populations that are currently underserved.
Mark Mallon, President of AstraZeneca’s Asia-Pacific region, said: “AstraZeneca continues to invest in the key emerging markets such as China where the combination of growing populations, elevated levels of chronic diseases and increasing income are driving demand and expectations for better healthcare treatment. Our new acquisition further underscores our intention to serve the health needs of Chinese patients through our innovative medicines and, increasingly, high quality branded generic treatments that are locally produced to global standards.”
It is estimated that there are over 800 million patients in China who are not covered by the network of big hospitals in large cities, and who currently have only limited access to quality treatments. The Chinese Government’s focus on healthcare reform, along with investment in improving healthcare infrastructure and expanding insurance coverage, are expected to continue to drive growth and demand for quality medicines over the long term. The Chinese pharmaceutical market grew from $10 billion in 2004 to $41 billion in 2010 and, according to IMS Health, is expected to grow to over $100 billion by 2015.
Since first establishing a presence in China in 1993, AstraZeneca has invested around $500 million in China and has fast become one of the leading biopharmaceutical companies in the country, with a turnover of more than $1 billion in 2010.