Roche confirms interest in Chinese market: new deal with Ascletis (hepatitis B) reached

Switzerland-based Roche has increased its focus on the Chinese market, now the second-largest in the world after the US. This week, indeed, the company and its Shaoxing, China-based biotech partner Ascletis have expanded their agreement signed in 2013, allowing Ascletis to market Pegasys, a new hepatitis B treatment developed by Roche. Over the last five years, the companies have focused on launching and distributing Ganovo (Danoprevir), which has caused the China-based biotech to grow so much that it made its IPO last July (Hong Kong), raising as many as $400m.

Hepatitis B is spreading at alarming rates in China: approximately 86 million ill people–that is about 15% of Chinese adult population–has suffers from the disease, experts say.

(Source: PRNP)