Wed, Oct 23, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Adimmune to begin flu vaccine trials in China

TARGETS:The drugmaker expects to start commercial production in the first half of next year and to grab 10 percent of the Chinese market by 2016, the firm said

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese vaccine maker Adimmune Corp (國光生技) yesterday said it has received approval from the Chinese government for it to start phase three clinical trials of its flu vaccine in China, enabling it to enter the market next year.

The company plans to launch the vaccine immediately after receiving Chinese approval in the first half of next year, company vice president Simon Kao (高聖凱) said.

The company expects to sell less than 1 million vials of vaccine in China next year, but the volume should increase to between 3 million and 5 million vials in 2016, accounting for 10 percent of the market, Kao said.

There are currently 10 companies making flu vaccines in 0.5cc vials, and nine making 0.25cc vials. Adimmune is capable of making vaccines in both sizes, Kao said.

Flu vaccine in China is priced between 10 yuan and 60 yuan (US$1.65 and US$9.85) per vial, while the average price of Adimmune’s will be between 50 yuan and 60 yuan, Kao said.

The company sells 1.5 million vials of flu vaccine in Taiwan at between NT$100 to NT$150 each, it said, adding that domestic sales of the vaccine would account for 40 percent of its revenue this year.

Thanks to the Cross-strait Cooperation Agreement on Medicine and Public Health Affairs (兩岸醫藥衛生合作協議), the company spent only three years to get the green light to start the phase three trials, shorter than five to six years for other companies, Kao said.

“We will be the first company to launch a medical product in China without building a plant there,” chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) said.

Meanwhile, Chan said Adimmune’s vaccine for H7N9 avian influenza will complete phase one clinical trails by January and phase two clinical trials by June.

From January through last month, the company posted revenue of NT$273.8 million (US$9.32 million), up 18.23 percent from NT$231.57 million a year ago, as sales to its partner, Dutch-based Crucell, rose to 370g from 200g last year, chief financial officer Vic Chang (張哲瑋) said.

Sales to Crucell, which account for 60 percent of the company’s revenue this year, are expected to increase next year as the company started to provide about 75g to 100g adjuvants for curing hepatitis A, which are twice as expensive as its flu vaccine, Chang said.

Adimmune is likely to remain in the red this year, he said.

The company reported losses of NT$309.25 million in the first half of the year, compared with losses of NT$284.74 million a year ago.

Adimmune‘s shares rose 6.07 percent to NT$47.15 yesterday.

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