Animal health company Pfizer is aiming to boost sales of veterinary medicines in China – and its global dominance in the animal health business – via a joint venture with a Chinese startup company.
Pfizer said earlier this month that it has reached a deal to jointly develop, manufacture and sell vaccines for animals with Jilin Guoyuan Animal Health Company, based in Huinan, Jilin province, in China’s north east. This company was established in 2009 and is mainly engaged in R&D, manufacturing and sales of animal health biological products.
The joint venture, called Jilin Pfizer Guoyuan Animal Health, plans to start marketing its first product – a vaccine against a reproductive and respiratory condition pigs get – next year. Its main focus will be on innovative vaccines to help protect the health of China’s swine herd, although beef, dairy and poultry markets will also be targeted – perhaps even pets may also be included.
The animal vaccine market in China is valued at $800 million per year; China has an annual population of more than 600 million pigs. The joint venture provides a strategic platform for growth in China, a $3.4 billion animal health market and the second largest worldwide with an expected compound annual growth rate of approximately 10%.
Global centre for innovation
“The Pfizer Guoyuan joint venture affirms our commitment to invest in and expand our research and development capabilities in China,” said Juan Ramón Alaix, president, Pfizer Animal Health. “We view China as a global centre for innovation. Guoyuan, with its strong vaccine development programme and scientific expertise, and newly completed manufacturing capacity in the Huinan Economic Development Zone in Jilin, makes the company the optimal partner for Pfizer Animal Health.”
Dr Hua Wu, General Manager of Jilin Guoyuan Animal Health Company, added that the new joint venture begins operations from a position of strength. “Pfizer complements Guoyuan with its world class R&D, manufacturing, regulatory and operational expertise, its founding leadership in the International Veterinary Collaboration for China, a Veterinary Alliance, as well as its growing field force and customer base in China. I believe that Pfizer Guoyuan is well positioned to become the leading innovator of animal health vaccines and the partner of choice for China’s rapidly expanding animal agriculture industries.”
Like other pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer has been devoting considerable resources to expanding its human drug business in emerging markets such as China, where sales are expected to grow much faster than in the United States and other developed countries. Pfizer already has three factories making medicines in China plus a staff of about 350 people in sales, marketing and support.
The joint venture plans to start marketing its first product – a vaccine against PRRS in pigs – next year.
• Pfizer Animal Health