Updated on 19 June 2012
"More recently, however, we find the economics of investing in China's healthcare market improving, and foreign investment restrictions loosening, implying a likely uptick in inbound cross-border deal flow across a wider range of provider types over the medium term. A model we see gaining traction in China's healthcare services sector over the next two years combines sophisticated management skills, transparent physician employment arrangements, and international clinical quality and customer service standards with an efficient, lower-cost operating model that caters to China's local population. This model draws on principles employed by a number of new ventures such as the US-invested, privately held CHC Healthcare and the Angel Women & Children's Hospital in Chengdu," added Mr David Eastlake, PricewaterhouseCoopers' Asia Healthcare Corporate Finance Leader.
Sharing his thoughts, Mr Christoph Bieri, senior transaction advisor, IMAP Healthcare, Switzerland, said, "Much of the future global growth in the pharma industry is expected from emerging markets, where the health systems are rapidly developing, particularly in China. IMAP expects the dramatic growth in China, which is expected to continue in the coming years, to cause big pharma companies to aggressively pursue acquisitions in China thus establishing a foothold. However, only few such acquisitions were announced or closed in 2011. Not that the industry is sitting and waiting. The year 2011 saw additional announcements by a number of pharma companies about initiatives to further penetrate China's fast-growing market."
APAC's other big players
Referring to the developments in the Australian biotechnology industry, mergermarket said, "Biologics are attracting interest because they have a longer patent life and are harder to copy when compared with small molecule-based treatments. Companies developing products for the burgeoning aged population globally, an area in which Australia has expertise due to its aging population, are likely to be particularly appealing not only due to the sheer market size, but also because it is generally easier to pass safety criteria for treatments specific to the aged population as opposed to the youth." Areas of interest include autoimmune, anti-viral , oncology, Alzheimers, and vaccines for diseases like malaria that have been difficult to combat. Many biologics treatments for oncology, autoimmune and anti-viral diseases, and Alzheimers, are also aimed at an aging population.
Grant Thrornton, in its 7th annual edition of Dealtracker for India, reported that the country had 59 deals in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and biotech space with a value of $2.1 billion in 2011. Out of these 31 focused on domestic deals and were valued at $329 million. Some of the major deals included, acquisition of more than 30 brands from Ajanta Pharma by Dabur India; acquisition of Ratricap from Johnson &Johnson by Bafna Pharmaceuticals; acquisition of Universal Medicare by Aventis Pharma; acquisition of Biochem Pharmaceutical by Cadila Healthcare; acquisition of Lincoln Parenteral by Lincoln Pharmaceutical; acquisition of Anand Synthochem by FDC and acquisition of Klar Sehen by Vivimed Labs among others. Besides these, the industry witnessed many merger deals as well, including that between Ind-Swift - Essix biosciences and Dashmesh Medicare; IPCA Lab and Tonira Pharma; Shilpa Medicare and Raichem Life Sciences; Techtran Polyenses and Hemarus Therapeutics; and Wockhardt and Vinton Healthcare.