ZJ Bio-Tech: Rank Top in Domestic In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) Market
With its ten years’ development, ZJ Bio-Tech has ranked top in domestic In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) market, competing in area of accurate diagnostics with international giant Roche Group and A-share listed company DAAN GENE and other leaders in this industry. How did ZJ Bio-Tech survive and expand and grow strongly in the area of IVD whose destiny is determined by technology and which is with heavy pressure of market competition? Let us get to know about ZJ Bio-Tech and get familiar with its industry position, competitive edges and future strategies of this excellent new three board enterprise.
The Huge Market behind the Small Molecular
IVD might be a strange area for most domestic investors, but its global market has reached USD 50 billion. North American enterprises take most of the market share in IVD, yet Chinese IVD accounts for less than 5% of the market share. Even compared with the about USD 5 billion (data in 2014) domestic IVD market share, there is still much room for improvement. In terms of the growth rate, global IVD market is about 7% to 8% while Chinese IVD market is predicted to keep a growth rate of at least 15% to 20% in the following five years. Specifically, the molecular diagnostics is more responsive and efficient and potential in IVD. It is predicted that the annual growth rate of molecular diagnostics market will be 26% in the following five years (About RMB 3 billion market share in 2014 ). This area is what ZJ Bio-Tech wants to make a market share.
Junbin Shao, Chairman of Board of ZJ Bio-Tech, who is dedicated to molecular diagnostics for many years, said, “Molecular diagnostics not only plays an important role in the screening and diagnosing of traditional infectious diseases and genetic diseases, but can be largely used in areas such as individualized tumor treatment, expensive drug therapy monitoring and genome research of drug metabolism. Its advantages of quickness, accuracy and strong specificity satisfy the urgent need of medical test field”. At present, molecular diagnostics is with low penetration rate in domestic hospitals and quite few hospitals can realize automatic extraction of nucleic acid, which renders ZJ Bio-Tech a large room in the market of molecular diagnostics.
Pic: Junbin Shao is teaching research and development personnel to test the work station of fully automatic extraction and sample adding of nucleic acid.
At present, ZJ Bio-Tech is one of the leading enterprises in domestic IVD field, dedicating to the R&D, production and sales of nucleic acid diagnostic reagents. Junbin Shao revealed that ZJ Bio-Tech had developed over 300 gene diagnostic reagents, covering almost all the domestic notifiable infectious disease, becoming one of the domestic enterprises with most complete molecular diagnostics products of infectious diseases. ZJ Bio-Tech has earned 25 registration certificates of molecular diagnostics reagents products, 6 registration certificates of automatic nucleic acid extraction instrument and other products, EU CE certification for over 200 products. molecular diagnostics reagents products have been used in many prestigious domestic public hospitals, Disease Control and Prevention Center, Animal Disease Control Center and CIQ and other institutions, covering domestic and European and American market.
Competitive Products Winning Back International Discourse Power
The high growth rate of “Small is Beautiful” also brings high market competition. The molecular diagnostics in China has formed an industrial structure based on domestic and supplemented by imports. Among which, Roche and DAAN GENE take the most market shares, accounting for 15.8% and 12.5% while ZJ Bio-Tech is with 5% market share. Compared with competitors, the biggest characteristic of the diagnostics reagents of ZJ Bio-Tech is its application of real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR technique (PCR is also known as “polymerase chain reaction”) which is the most widely used technique at present, namely, to add fluorophores in the PCR reaction system and timely monitor the PCR process with fluorescent signal accumulation and ultimately make quantitative analysis of the unknown modules through standard curves.
Junbin Shao revealed that this technique is with the widest potential of market application, whose main advantage is the realization of the progress from qualitative to quantitative diagnosis and with higher responsiveness and better specificity; meanwhile, closed tube reaction can effectively avoid outer contamination and guarantee accurate and reliable clinical testing result.
With the advantages of real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR technique, ZJ Bio-Tech has independently developed HPV (human papilloma virus, one of the main courses of cervical cancer) fluorescence quantitative PCR diagnostic reagents and Autrax fully automatic extraction platform of nucleic acid and other main products, quickly rendering ZJ Bio-Tech discourse power in the international market.
For example, WHO (World Health Organization) officially announced to approve to list the Ebola virus nucleic acid detection reagent kit developed by ZJ Bio-Tech in its official procurement list as the sole supplier in Asia Pacific area. This is the first Chinese diagnostic reagent earning the official recognition and recommendation from WHO. Junbin Shao said proudly, “As per the independent science testing result from the WHO’s cooperative reference lab in Germany, the Ebola virus diagnostic reagent of ZJ Bio-Tech is 10 times more responsive than the German reagents previously approved by WHO.”
Pic: The Success of Shanghai ZJ Bio-Tech Ebola Virus Detection Reagent Kit
At present, ZJ Bio-Tech owns many competitive products, including HPV detection reagents which account for 36% of the company’s revenue and is the main interest maker of the company. As one of the fast growing molecular diagnostics and detection projects, HPV detection is with low penetration rate in the screening of cervical cancer in domestic, yet it is with the fastest growth rate and is being used more and more in the front-line screening of cervical cancer. It is said that ZJ Bio-Tech owns fluorescence quantitative PCR detection products for 15 kinds of HPV parting, which is the only domestic detection reagent in the cervical cancer screening project by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
It is worth mentioning that the cervical cancer vaccine of GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) has recently been approved in Chinese market, which not only provides new method to prevent cervical cancer but also strong impetus for the HPV detection market.
Junbin Shao said with a smile, “This is a free marketing.”
Since the approval of GSK vaccine, ZJ Bio-Tech has received many consultations regarding our HPV detection reagent products. With the gradual approval of HPV vaccines from GSK and other international pharmaceutical giants in Chinese market and the general public’s gradual improvement of the awareness of cervical cancer prevention in China, HPV detection market will be further activated. ZJ Bio-Tech will benefit directly from the synergistic effect by HPV prevention and detection market.
Besides, ZJ Bio-Tech is trying to make its Autrax fully automatic extraction platform of nucleic acid which is its potential interest growth maker. It is acknowledged that the company has launched out the fully automatic Autrax work station which can realize nucleic acid extraction with magnetic beads method in 2014 and installed equipment in hospitals in 2015 through its years’ prospective development and international cooperation. Autrax can process 96 samples at a time with at most 10 kinds of PCR reagents, which is compatible with domestic reagents and can greatly improve accuracy and efficiency when used together with the company’s magnetic beads method detection reagents.
Junbin Shao introduced that the company now owns 40 complete sets of Autrax products and has earned praises from customers. In the future, relying on public praise of Autrax from the benchmark customers in medical industry, ZJ Bio-Tech will accelerate its market distribution and Autrax products will comprehensively promote ZJ Bio-Tech’ s technology edges in the molecular diagnostics, enhancing the company’s advantages in real time fluorescence quantitative PCR techniques. “Comparing our equipment with the same products of Roche, we enjoy not only the advantages of higher comprehensive cost-performance ratio of “equipment + reagents”, but also some better functions of the equipment, better satisfying the needs of domestic top three hospitals and other high end customers” said Junbin Shao.
Regarding the future products and market expansion plan of ZJ Bio-Tech, Junbin Shao pointed, “Relying on the promotion of competitive products and expansion of sales net, ZJ Bio-Tech will increase its market share in hospitals, strengthen its edges in disease control market, improve its penetration in customs, agriculture, industry and commerce and other emerging markets.” In terms of marketing, ZJ Bio-Tech will actively cultivate the business mode of clinical academic promotion, equipment sales, diagnostics services based on current sales model of molecular diagnostics products with inspection department as its core center, further improve company’s brand and market influence in molecular diagnostics.
Figure 50. Revenue Structure of ZJ Bio-Tech in 2015
Sales of other products 4.3%
Sales of reagents 95.70%
Source, Corporate Annual Report, Shenyin Securities
Seizing the Opportunity of “Accurate Diagnostics”
When actively cultivating the molecular diagnostics market, ZJ Bio-Tech has got into another market segment of accurate diagnostics——gene sequencing. Which is the third competitive product ZJ Bio-Tech is developing currently—— high-throughput sequencing(NGS, which is also known as “next generation sequencing”) platform. As predicted by Morgan Stanley, the end marker of high-throughput sequencing will reach USD 25.5 billion in 2018, which is mainly used in tumor including tumor diagnostics, monitoring and genetic analysis etc, accounting for over 50% market share of USD 13.5 billion. It can be seen that while developing molecular diagnostics techniques, ZJ Bio-Tech has sensitively seize the opportunity of “accurate diagnostics”.
In January this year, ZJ Bio-Tech owns 12.93% shareholding of Korean ChunLab, Inc. with RMB 275 million capital, officially entering into the market of high-throughput sequencing. It is revealed that Korean ChunLab, Inc. mainly provides services of metagenomics sequencing, bacterial genomics sequencing, RNA-sequencing and bioinformatic analysis. This investing is beneficial to the construction of high-throughput sequencing platform for ZJ Bio-Tech.
It is said that high-throughput sequencing can be divided into four links of DNA database building, sequencing platform, sequencing services and data analysis in terms of its vertical industry chain. ZJ Bio-Tech starts from the upper end of DNA database building and lower end of bioinformatic analysis which are with high technology barriers and high synchronization with its current techniques, thus avoid the sequencing platform monopolized by foreign companies and the highly competitive sample sequencing service.
Junbin Shao further analyzed that the horizontal application of high-throughput sequencing covers the four directions of genetic diseases, reproduction and fertility, tumor and microbiology. In aspect of data analysis ZJ Bio-Tech has developed the most various microbiology diagnostics reagents products in this industry ans has rich experience in bioinformatics of molecular diagnosis of pathogenic microorganisms. In terms of database building, the Autrax platform solely developed by ZJ Bio-Tech is one of the key techniques in the upper end automatic database building system of NGS, enjoying great technology collaborative advantage.
Regarding the further plan of high-throughput sequencing in the future, Junbin Shao said frankly, “ZJ Bio-Tech will choose the points of entry which are with best synergistic effect with its current products and business, expanding through the drives of overseas investment, mergers and acquisitions and independent research and development.”