China’s leading drug developer, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd., reported a 45% increase in first-half profits on strong sales of its cancer treatments and anti-infective drugs, as it s ” is working to obtain authorization to market a key Covid-19 developed abroad. vaccine in China.
Net profit attributable to shareholders was 2.48 billion yuan ($ 383 million) in the first half, with revenue increasing 21% to 16.52 billion yuan, supported by more than a three-fold increase in sales about her cancer treatments, which included her injection of rituximab used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to A declaration published Tuesday on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Sales of drugs used to fight infections increased 45%, with these two categories of therapeutic products contributing the most to the sales of the company’s drug portfolio. Revenue from regions outside of mainland China also contributed to the company’s bottom line, gaining 28% and accounting for nearly a third of total revenue as it sought to boost its operations. business abroad.
Pharmaceutical drugs contributed about 12.25 billion yuan to the company’s coffers in the first half, accounting for more than 72% of its revenue. This was compared to a 7.4% growth for medical devices and diagnostics.
Sales in Hong Kong and Macao of the Comirnaty Covid-19 vaccine, made with technology invented by Germany’s BioNTech and developed and marketed elsewhere in the world by US drug giant Pfizer, contributed 500 million yuan to sales of Fosun, as approval of its use in China the mainland languishes with regulators.
Fosun and BioNTech formed a $ 200 million joint venture in May to manufacture up to 1 billion doses of the vaccine in China once approved for use. Fosun is BioNTech’s exclusive partner to market the drug in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
Fosun also plans to eventually deliver 15 million doses of mRNA vaccine to Taiwan, according to the findings report.
This effort received a boost this week after US regulators fully approved the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine for people aged 16 and older, after previously clearing its widespread use in a program. emergency authorization.
Despite its proven success in preventing people from becoming seriously ill and requiring hospitalization, Comirnaty has yet to receive a clear timeline for approval in China, sources familiar with the effort told Caixin.
This is despite the fact that Fosun Pharma chairman and CEO Wu Yifang said in June that local vaccine production lines were due to start operating in August.
Wu was more cautious in a call to investors on Wednesday, only reiterating that national Phase II clinical trials were underway and the regulatory process “is proceeding smoothly.”
Wu said the U.S. approval shows the FDA’s confidence in the technology and quality of the vaccine, and evidence of that approval would be turned over to regulatory authorities in Hong Kong and Macao where the vaccine is used.
These Phase II clinical trials, conducted in Jiangsu, tested a double-dose regimen similar to that used in the United States, according to a plan published on clinicaltrials.gov and last updated in February.
In July, Caixin reported that regulators were considering authorizing the use of BioNTech’s vaccine as a one-time booster for people who have previously been doubly vaccinated with an inactivated virus vaccine, such as those manufactured by the national companies Sinovac and Sinopharm.
Fosun Pharma did not respond to Caixin’s questions, but said the approval process for Comirnaty “was proceeding normally according to procedures”.
“The clinical trials and approval of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine in China have been supported and supported by several departments, including the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism, the National Administration of Medical Products, the Municipal Committee of Shanghai CCP and the Shanghai government, ”Guo said. Guangchang, the chairman and majority shareholder of Fosun Pharma, in a statement to Caixin.
Comirnaty works by providing genetic instructions to make the virus spike protein inside healthy cells, which stimulates an immune response. MRNA injections have higher efficiency rates that vaccines from domestic manufacturers, including those from Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and Sinopharm Group Co.
More than a billion doses of Comirnaty had been delivered to more than 100 countries or territories around the world as of July, according to BioNTech.
“Fosun’s original intention in developing the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine was to proceed in accordance with the national interest and give the country a choice,” Guo said during an investor appeal Thursday.
As those in China concerned about future delta outbreaks and the effectiveness of local vaccines closely monitor a regulatory green light, Commirnaty is currently a small part of the business of Fosun Pharma.
The company wanted to highlight its investment in innovative R&D in the first half results, touting spending of around 1.5 billion yuan in areas such as innovative anticancer drugs.
In June, the Chinese medical regulator gave the green light to Fosun Pharma Kite Biotechnology Co. Ltd., a joint venture of Fosun Pharma and a unit of US pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences Inc., to begin marketing Gilead’s Yescarta as a treatment of last. remedies for certain types of blood cancer.
The approval represented the jurisdiction’s first CAR-T cell therapy, an advanced cancer treatment where doctors train a patient’s own immune cells to fight disease.
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