In 2012, Pfizer teamed up with Chinese pharma firm Hisun to form a JV developing, manufacturing and commercialising off-patent drugs in China. But the firm has now sold its 49% stake to Sapphire I (HK) Holdings Limited in order to “allow both Hisun and Pfizer to focus on their core strengths.”
Despite this, Pfizer told us it “will maintain a strong and collaborative relationship [with Hisun], providing for the ongoing supply of high-quality generic products to patients in China.”
The spokesperson added Pfizer is continue to support the JV and is undergoing “a technology transfer process to ensure that the products that had previously been licensed to Hisun-Pfizer Pharmaceuticals by Pfizer, will in future, be manufactured locally in China.”
During the tech transfer, Pfizer will continue to supply certain products to the Hisun-Sapphire JV.
Pfizer in China
Pfizer remains committed to China and welcomed recent and on-going changes in the regulatory landscape.
“We are glad to see that the Chinese authorities have recently issued a series of new policies to address the ‘drug approval lag,’ including encouraging an international multi-centered clinical trial application and supporting simultaneous native and international clinical trials,” the spokesperson told us.
“We look forward to continuing to partner with all stakeholders to help China successfully balance both innovation and access, modernize its biopharmaceutical sector, and build a vibrant life sciences sector that develops treatments and cures for China and the world.”
One “core area” the firm has invested in in China is biosimilar development. In June 2016 Pfizer teamed up with GE Healthcare to build a modular plant in Hangzhou Economic Development Area (HEDA) for Chinese biosimilar production, along with an R&D centre.