2009 marks 40 years of China’s liberalization and opening up under then-Premier Deng Xiaoping. Servier China also bears the distinction of having been established that year, celebrating its 40th anniversary in tandem with its host country.
The success of Servier China is based on the quality of the people who have been associated with the company over [the past 40 years]
Stephane Mascarau, Servier China
In addition, Servier China also has the unique privilege of being the largest affiliate for the Group globally in terms of both revenue and employee number. For the second-largest French pharmaceutical company and the 30th largest biopharma company in the world, this is no mean feat, reflecting the company’s four decades of investment and commitment to the country.
GM Stephane Mascarau states, “I could share many figures, numbers and milestones to review these last 40 years but, for me, the success of Servier China is based on the quality of the people who have been associated with the company over this time.”
Following the 2018 acquisition of Shire’s oncology portfolio, Servier entered the US market directly for the first time. However, it is clear that the China market will retain its paramount importance. Investment in China continues apace, with Servier having invested EUR 40 million in the expansion of their Tianjin manufacturing plant, expected to be completed in 2021. This would increase the annual production capacity from 40 million to around 100 million boxes.
As an R&D powerhouse with 25 percent of their revenues reinvested in R&D each year, Servier also considers China an important market in that space, establishing a new branch within their Servier International Research Network (SIRN) in Beijing, China, to identify and take advantage of potential early development opportunities in China.
Little wonder, for the affiliate grew 19 percent between 2017 and 2018 compared to the average Chinese market growth rate of five percent. This, Mascarau explains, was due to their active expansion of their distribution/penetration into community hospitals in lower-tier cities, as well as the strengthening of their product portfolio in chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart failure, their bread-and-butter within China.
He adds, “today, Servier China is the leader in the management of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. In total, three million people are treated with our medicines every day.” Commercial success is not the only metric for success that Mascarau has set his sights on.
Digital transformation is a major priority. He shares, “digital technology will play a large role in supporting our mission to transform the lives of patients suffering from chronic diseases. We are providing innovative solutions for doctors and patients by working with technology companies, digital service providers, as well as internet hospitals and pharmacies,” adding, “through WeHealth by SERVIER, we are closely following and working with Chinese start-ups, seeking innovative solutions to assist doctors in their clinical diagnoses through the use of Artificial Intelligence, and to develop new devices and systems to improve disease control and management.”
Clearly, the next 40 years of Servier in China is expected to be as ambitious and successful as the past 40.