Formulation and delivery (F/D) is one of the main pillars of the biopharmaceutical industry, and as a science and technology, is becoming increasingly strategic and important to drug development success.
This week’s graphic comes from a recent Lux Research report (Client registration required) noting that, although Western pharmaceutical companies continue to enjoy historical technological and business advantages, a handful of promising Chinese companies are establishing the Asian giant as an emerging center for biopharma innovation and entrepreneurship in the F/D space. Comparing these players with their Western counterparts can be challenging, due to differences in geography, value-chain positioning, target applications and other factors. So, our recent report applies the proprietary Lux Innovation Grid, which offers an effective way to identify likely winners based common set of scoring metrics along business, technology and maturity.
China’s strongest challengers in F/D are focused on delivery devices, a subsector in which Lepu and Royal Fornia figure prominently. Both companies earned a spot in the “Dominant” quadrant and, according to the report, are poised to challenge their Western counterparts in the global market.
Lepu Medical Technology uses its expertise in nanomaterials to make interventional medical devices such as drug eluting coronary stents and other cardiology products. With 2011 revenues of $120 million, Lepu earns a spot in the Dominant Quadrant, but still lags Surmodics.
For its part, Surmodics, a U.S. based company specializing in device coatings and surface modifications, has a two decade head start on Lepu – which explains its relative position. But the company’s recent missteps regarding partnering and business development strategy led to the divestiture of its pharma unit – a lesson we expect Lepu and others to remember as they venture out on the global stage.
Royal Fornia Medical Equipment, also lands in the Dominant quadrant. It makes insulin pumps with computer-aided perfusion systems, enabling real-time monitoring and insulin dosage optimization. Royal Fornia enjoys a 30% market share in China and can parlay its 60% cost advantage to expand into other drug dosage optimization systems and other global markets.
Source: Lux Research report “The Expanding Formulation and Delivery Market in China.”