"HKES announcement saying that it will allow innovative companies to join the stock exchange is testament not just to the fact that China has an appetite for risk, but that Chinese society recognizes the need to support innovative drug discovery activities."
Can you highlight the key milestones in the company's history?
Listing on the SSE presented us with an excellent opportunity to gain access to capital that we then used to begin a series of acquisitions. Those acquisitions established a strong foundation for our future developments. In 2003, Fosun Pharma cofounded Sinopharm, which has become the number one pharmaceutical and healthcare products distributor in China and is a globally influential player. In 2009, when most Chinese pharmaceutical companies were focused on the generics business, we placed our emphasis on innovation. At the time, Fosun Pharma founded Shanghai Henlius Biotech with scientists returning from the US, and the company has grown into a unicorn that has been leading in biosimilars and innovative biologics, especially in monoclonal antibodies.
Can you highlight the strategic approach that Fosun Pharma is taking in its R&D activities?
Our innovation strategy will focus on technologies that will address unmet needs in disease areas without any cure at present, such as oncology, autoimmune diseases, some rare disorders and degenerative diseases. Additionally, we have built up certain advantages in biotechnology, and in the future we will focus on using advanced technology platforms like monoclonal antibodies, immuno-oncology, stem cell therapy and gene editing technology to address these areas of unmet needs.
Can you highlight the key markets where the company intends to grow and how you intend to expand?
18.25% of our revenue came from overseas business in 2017, representing a growth rate upwards of 57.88%. By acquisition, we plan to grow in both the US market and the Indian market, which has very significant potential due to its population size. Our focus in international markets has traditionally been APIs, but from this year onwards there will be more formulations, especially in the regulated market. Fosun Pharma is also looking to expand its innovative drugs overseas.
As a company listed on multiple public stock exchanges, what has been your experience navigating the capital markets and how do you expect the investment environment to evolve?
The China capital market is very healthy at the moment; the regulatory environment is undergoing continuous improvement and liquidity is quite good. In the Healthy China 2030 initiative the government emphasized the importance of healthcare innovation, and if a company can demonstrate a strong commitment to innovation, access to the capital market is not a problem. In fact, Fosun Pharma is leveraging the HKES and SSE to expand our innovative business.
All over the world, opportunities and risks coexist. Chinese people embrace innovation, especially in the pharmaceutical field; we are not afraid of risk. The HKES announcement saying that it will allow innovative companies to join the stock exchange is testament not just to the fact that China has an appetite for risk, but that Chinese society recognizes the need to support innovative drug discovery activities.
Can you elaborate on the importance of social responsibility to Fosun Pharma and provide some examples of its many CSR activities?
Fosun Pharma takes a multi-pronged approach to CSR and has several initiatives to support patients from remote regions in China to all around the world. Within China, we provide support to dialysis patients in the countryside, and we also have implemented a public welfare platform that aims to provide education, training and software/hardware support to rural doctors. Fosun Pharma has also been relentlessly active in the fight to eradicate malaria, which is also an objective of the WHO by 2030. We have provided over 100 million vials of Artesun® （injectable Artesunate）to the African market, which has cured an estimated 20 million patients with severe malaria. However, as a pharmaceutical company, our most important social responsibility is innovation. There are so many unaddressed medical needs, and we must work hard to solve these problems.
Where would you like to see Fosun Pharma in the next 3-5 years?
China has the largest population in the world and, in the future, our country will undoubtedly be one of the biggest pharmaceuticals markets, if not the biggest. Consequently, in the next 10 years, there will be several Chinese companies growing to become top global players with recognizable names worldwide. As one of the leading companies in China, we have ambitions to be among those companies and we will achieve that vision through our focus on innovation and internationalization.