China Healthcare:On demand for anti-viral flu drugs

类别:行业研究 机构:国信证券(香港)金融控股有限公司 研究员:Jason Siu 日期:2018-01-22

Beijing on more flu to need potent drugs - Oseltamivir (奥司他韦).

    On 13 Jan 2018, Xinhua News cited that about 40K boxes of the capsule form Oseltamivir (奥司他韦胶囊), an anti-viral drug for flu, has been delivered to different medical clinics and hospitals in Beijing. On more flu incidents breaking out suddenly during winter season, certain medical centres have seen tightening sentiment on their inventory for Oseltamivir. From Beijing Center for Diseases Prevention and Control (北京市疾控中心), on the first week of 2018, the number of cases for accidental & emergency treatment of flu rose 6% w-o-w compared to the final week numbers at end-2017 (25 Dec -29 Dec 2017), whose flu incidents surged 21% w-o-w versus that of seven days (18 Dec -22 Dec) before.

    Neuraminidase inhibitors (incl. oseltamivir) as major flu fighters.

    The same Xinhua article also mentioned that oseltamivir appears to be potent against both Influenza A and B types, likely within 48 hours post oral administration. There are five main anti-viral drugs for flu on global usage, namely (1) Roche’s Tamiflu? (Oseltamivir phosphate), (2) GlaxoSmithKline’s Relenza? (Zanamivir 扎那米韦), (3) Pharmstandard’s Arbidol? (Umifenovir 阿比朵尔), (4) BioCryst Pharma’s Rapivab? (Peramivir 帕拉米韦) and (5) Daiichi Sankyo’s Inavir? (Laninamivir 拉尼娜米韦). Except for Umifenovir as a hemagglutinin fusion inhibitor (virus protein), all of them are neuraminidase inhibitor, whereby drug action comes from blocking the viral neuraminidases of the influenza virus. This stops the virus reproduction from the host cell.

    Oseltamivir stunned China anti-influenza market.

    In China, as we flagged in our 6 April 2016 report, Tamiflu? and mostly its generic version as well as Relenza? are now being used as treatment and prevention for these influenza viruses. This is because certain sub-types such as avian flu (H5N1) and swine flu (H1N1) have developed resistance to the older drug Amantadine (金刚胺). In 2016, among a survey from some larger sample public hospitals in China, oseltamivir sales of RMB72m jumped 105% y-o-y, making up 92% of China’s anti-influenza market total. On a local news, within China’s oseltamivir market, HK-listed HEC Pharm’s (1558.HK, NR) Kewei 可威 (generic version of Tamiflu?) appeared to take up 80% market shares with Shanghai Pharm’s (2607.HK, NR) subsidiary (上海中西三维药业) product (奥尔菲) at 0.4% market.

    HEC Pharm’s Keiwei (oseltamivir) still on antiviral flu drug demand.

    Should any outbreak of pandemic flu happen in China, we see greater demand for anti-viral flu medicines, increasing the sales orders of their drug-makers and distributors. These HK-listed Chinese companies include (1) HEC Pharm as a dominant leader for the generic version of Tamiflu? or oseltamivir; (2) Sinopharm (1099.HK, BUY, TP:HKD42.75) for its medical reserve of drug distribution on emergency demand; and (3) SSY Group (2005.HK, Non-rated) for its infusion solution set as pharmaceuticals. Note that, HEC Pharm’s Kewei sales hit RMB557m (+21% y-o-y) in 1H17 and RMB736m (+62% y-o-y) in 2016.

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