(Yicai Global) June 21 -- Wuhan Humanwell Healthcare Group Co. [SHA:600079] plans to buy Ritedose Corp., a leading US pharmaceutical form, with backing from the Yangtze River Industry Fund and AGIC Capital to bring blow-fill-seal technology to China's central province of Hubei.
The acquisition is by far the largest overseas merger or acquisition made by a Hubei-based company, reports suggest. Of the purchase price, 70 percent comes from overseas, under the management of AGIC Capital's Industry 4.0 cross-border fund. Humanwell will undertake the project, and hopes to fill the core blow-fill-seal technology gap in the country's 13th Five-Year Plan.
Founded in 1995, Ritedose is the leading manufacturer of single-dose aseptic drugs using BFS technology in the US, and puts out more than 1.7 billion aseptic drugs a year, which are mainly used to treat respiratory or ophthalmic diseases.
In China, drugs made using BFS technology are growing at a rate of more than 20 percent a year. Annual demand is expected to hit 3.3 billion units by 2026. One such drug, a long-term treatment for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, had a CNY3.3-billion (USD480-million) market last year, with a compound annual growth rate of more than 30 percent over the past five years.
However, the development of BFS in China is still in its early stages, there is a large gap when compared to foreign companies in terms of maturity, safety, quality and efficiency. Only a small number of domestic companies are able to use blow-fill-seal technology, and they can only apply it to low-end transfusion drugs. They are unable to manufacture large-scale single-dose packaged drugs that require complex technologies, so more than 90 percent of these drugs are imported.