Biotech Firms Are Reaching New Heights

Even as the global economy continues to feel the effects of the pandemic, biotech firms are reaching new heights. And to mark this ascent, a recent event in China highlighted the most successful Chinese biotech companies.

The third annual Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (“GBA”) Leading Biotech 50 Awards Ceremony and Biotech Innovation and Development Summit (“the Summit”) was recently held in Nansha, Guangzhou, where the list of the top 50 innovative biotech companies in the region (“Biotech 50 List”) was announced. The event, organised by Sino-Inno Lab and KPMG China and hosted by Guangdong Medical Valley, attracted more than 400 delegates from the government, investment institutions, biotech enterprises, scientific research institutions and the media.

Biotech 50 List revealed: 80% hail from Guangzhou and Shenzhen

At 42%, enterprises from Guangzhou account for the highest proportion on the list, with Shenzhen coming in second at 35%. Enterprises from Zhuhai account for 8%, and those from Hong Kong account for 7%. Other enterprises on the list are located in Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguanand other cities. The success of enterprises from Guangzhou and Shenzhen reflect the significant advantages that these cities have in terms of attracting and cultivating science and technology talent.

The Biotech 50 List includes 23 enterprises whose core business covers biomedicine and 15 medical device enterprises. In addition, 15 shortlisted enterprises are operating in the field of precision medicine, which has great development potential, and 7 enterprises are engaged in medical services.

Grace Luo, Partner, Head of Biotechnology Tax, Southern Region, KPMG China, says: “The 50 leading biotech enterprises included in this year’s list come from medical devices, biopharmaceuticals, medical services and other fields. Their performance in all aspects has been quite remarkable, and they have the capability to develop into the backbone of the GBA’s biotech industry. In the future, the GBA will continue to rely on industrial clustering and policy dividends to attract high-quality capital and to drive the development of biotech enterprises in the area.”

Interest from outside the region accelerates integration among industry, academia and the research sector in the GBA

The GBA is an important region for China’s biotech industry. Industrial clustering in the area offers clear advantages, and the region’s upstream and downstream industrial chains are complete, which has attracted many leading corporations and biotech innovation enterprises to the area. The Biotech 50 selection has also attracted the participation of many companies from outside the region. These companies expressed optimism about the development potential of the GBA. They want to seize the new opportunities that are arising from the GBA’s efforts to develop the biotech industry, and they are eager to actively expand their business in the area.

Xie Jiasheng, CEO of Guangdong Medical Valley, says: “The purpose of the Biotech 50 selection is not only to devise a ranking list, but also to provide a platform for resource sharing to help drive the development of biotech enterprises. We hope that this platform will meet the varied needs of these enterprises in respect of financing, media exposure and publicity, financial and tax guidance, and overall industrial conditions. Through special seminars, financing roadshows, media interviews, bank lending, project incubation and other value-added services, enterprises on the list will be better positioned to grasp opportunities; meet their development goals; cultivate the GBA’s industry-academia-research ecosystem; and promote the development of the biotechnology industry.”

The scope of this selection covers three areas: medical equipment, biomedicine and technology, and medical services. It comprehensively evaluates the technological innovation and future development prospects of the participating companies from the three dimensions of innovative technology, market application, and capital. A panel of judges from government agencies, third-party research institutions, professional investment institutions, medical institutions, and other entities determine which innovative enterprises to include on the list after visiting them to conduct in-depth research. The selection process officially started in July 2020 and lasted for 4 months. It has received close attention from the government and the industry, and biotech enterprises in and outside the GBA have actively participated.

Prominent public officials, businesspersons and academics gathered to explore biotech opportunities in the GBA

The Summit attracted more than 400 participants, including government officials, industry experts, investment institutions and senior executives of biotech enterprises. Top industry experts and company leaders shared their insights at the event, with a focus on exploring the innovation and development of the GBA’s biotech industry. Participants discussed how the GBA is driving the growth of technology enterprises, the success of biotech “unicorns”, how investment institutions are facilitating the development of biotech enterprises, and how biotech companies in the GBA can grasp the historical opportunities arising from the establishment of the GBA. Overall, the attendees envision a bright future for the biotech industry.