GLG Updates

The Power of Innovation: Understand China’s Healthcare Innovation Trends


October 13, 2016

GLG holds China Healthcare Innovation Forum

On October 13, 2016, GLG held the China Healthcare Innovation Forum in Hong Kong. At this forum, GLG also released the findings of its survey “Innovation in and Trend of the Healthcare Industry” and engaged in in-depth discussion with leading industry experts. This forum was moderated by Hua Su, Principal at IMS Consulting, and attending guests participated in the survey through interactive voting. Below are excerpts of the views of the experts.

Here are the insights shared at the forum:

Innovation and Opportunities in the Pharmaceutical Sector

Ruilin Song believes Tumor and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases have always been the No. 1 cause of death in China, therefore there is a huge demand for innovative drugs, especially for cardiovascular diseases. For tumor drugs, attention should be paid also to biological natural drugs, in addition to traditional chemical drugs. From the perspective of investors, policy should be examined first before technology is examined.

Peng Wang believes that in China, preventive drugs will remain the mainstream for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes in the coming few years. So this market will have a huge total volume, but growth won’t be too significant. From a technology perspective, although stem cell and other cellular therapies are very popular now, whether they can ultimately lead to drugs remains a question. Meantime, we still need to pay attention to the so-called traditional areas. For instance, in the area of tumor, PD1 or PD-L1 use alone won’t produce any effect; they have to be used in combination with a targeted-therapy drug or even chemo-therapy drug, and continual experimental validation needs to be done for different combinations on different kinds of disease. No matter diabetes, cerebrovascular diseases, or various nervous systems, there are many new targets worth our attention.

Innovation in the Medical Devices Sector

Chenxi Ouyang believes that in China’s medical devices market, the area that sees the most innovation, is the cardiovascular area. It goes beyond stents; in fact, there are many hot projects in the cardiovascular area.

Regarding the much talked-about genetic diagnostics, Mr Ouyang believes it has huge market potential but it takes education. Combining home care with big data would be a great innovation trend. If such home products can be integrated well with good technology and medical resources, it will turn out to be worth while.

Haihong Jiang advises that in addition to market share of products, investment institutions should also pay attention to relevant policy trends.

mHealth: A New Era of Profits?

Qian Liu points out the top three bottlenecks for the development of China’s healthcare industry: China’s healthcare system, medical payment and medical information flow. While online healthcare is not currently making money because China’s healthcare budget is so tight overall, we need online tools to lower the cost. He believes the market will only see more opportunities with China’s implementation of diagnosis and treatment classification.

Honggang Tu, on the other hand, thinks that the mHealth market hasn’t grown as fast as was predicted, however, this sector will see major opportunities and changes in the next one to two years. There is room for profits, but systemic profit-making will probably come after three years of investment.

Currently, people’s understanding of mHealth—or Internet healthcare—still remains at diagnosis and treatment. In fact, online healthcare, as we define it, uses mobile Internet technology as its carrier and clinical medicine as its core, linking doctors, pharmaceuticals and the Internet.