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Novartis to expand its human vaccines presence in China


Novartis has reached an agreement to acquire an 85% stake in the Chinese vaccines company Zhejiang Tianyuan Bio-Pharmaceutical Co, as part of a strategic initiative to build a vaccines industry leader in this country and expand the Group’s limited presence in this fast-growing market segment. This proposed acquisition will require government and regulatory approvals in China.

Tianyuan is a privately-owned vaccine company offering a range of marketed vaccine products in China and R&D projects focused on various preventable viral and bacterial diseases. Tianyuan has been delivering dynamic and profitable growth, having more than doubled its net sales to approximately $25 million in 2008 compared to 2006.

“Novartis has a long-standing commitment to improving healthcare in China. Our future activities with Tianyuan are an important step in our strategy to enhance the prevention of diseases in China with high-quality products,” said Dr Daniel Vasella, Chairman and CEO of Novartis.

“The leadership and associates of Tianyuan share with Novartis the same ambition of offering a broad range of vaccines that can prevent many potentially deadly diseases and greatly improve quality of life.”

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As part of the collaboration, the two companies will work together to expand Tianyuan’s product portfolio and R&D pipeline through targeted investments in vaccines innovation, manufacturing technologies and commercial networks. This collaboration is also expected to facilitate the introduction of Novartis vaccines into China, where Novartis currently has a limited presence with an offering of vaccines against influenza and rabies.

“Our mission is “To build the Great Wall of Health for the people.” I personally look forward to working with Novartis to continue our mission by bringing more innovative vaccines to China and building Tianyuan into a true international vaccines company,” said Mr Ding Xiaohang, who is the founder, Chairman and CEO of Tianyuan and will continue to lead this business while holding a minority stake.

China is the world’s third largest vaccines market, with annual industry sales of more than $1 billion and expectations for sustained double-digit growth in the future given the government’s commitment to improve access to quality healthcare.


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