Orion starts biologic joint venture in China
Orion Holdings, parent company of Choco Pie manufacturer Orion, made its first foray into the biopharmaceutical industry through a partnership with a state-run Chinese company.
Orion Holdings announced Friday it signed an agreement with Shandong Lukang Pharmaceutical to form a joint venture in China. Orion Holdings will own 65 percent of the joint venture and the Chinese company will own the rest.
The two sides held a ceremony for the signing of the agreement virtually on Thursday.
Shandong Lukang Pharmaceutical is a mid-sized pharmaceutical company with around 1.5 trillion won ($1.3 billion) in market capitalization. It manufactures around 500 products and exports to 50 countries. Its sales last year were 620 billion won.
Shandong Lukang Pharmaceutical will manufacture Korean biologic products for sale in China by the joint venture. Orion Holdings will function as a bridge that helps Korean biopharmaceutical companies export their products to China.
First on the list to be manufactured by the joint venture are Sugentech’s test kits for tuberculosis and Genomictree’s test kits for colorectal cancer.
Orion Holdings signed a memorandum of understanding with the two companies in May for the business in China.
China ranked second in the world in terms of the number of newly reported tuberculosis patients last year. Orion Holdings projects the figure to increase rapidly from the rising number of seniors.
Sugentech’s tuberculosis test kit can determine whether someone has tuberculosis from a small amount of blood. Normally in China, people need an X-ray for a diagnosis.
Genomictree’s test kit has 90 percent accuracy in determining whether a patient has colorectal cancer through 1 or 2 grams of their excrement. Not many Chinese medical facilities have colonoscopy equipment, according to Orion Holdings.
Orion Holdings “has gotten to function as a platform that could introduce Korea’s excellent bio technologies to China and contribute to the growth of Korea’s bio industry through our brand power, reputation and business networks in China,” said Orion Holdings CEO Hur Inn-chul in a statement released Friday.
BY JIN MIN-JI [email@example.com]