The New York Times reported that Shire, which completed its $32-billion takeover of Baxalta in June, is looking to double Asian sales by 2020, as it targets markets including China, where it hopes to put its haemophilia drugs on a reimbursement list being updated this year.
Peter Fang, Shire's newly appointed head for the Asia Pacific region, said low diagnosis and treatment rates for rare illnesses have left plenty of room for growth, adding "there could be 100 million people affected."
The company estimates there may be 200 000 patients with haemophilia in the region as defined by the group, which excludes India and Japan, but only 26 000 are diagnosed. For rarer illnesses like Fabry Disease, there may be 40 000 sufferers in the region, but only 2000 are diagnosed.
Shire, which generated sales of $164 million in Asia in the third quarter, wants to double its annual sales in the region by 2020, when the company aims to hit global revenues of $20 billion, up from over $12 billion in 2015.
According to the news source, key to the push is China, where Shire hopes to get its haemophilia treatments on China's main National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL) in the current update process, which began in late September.
"This is a rare opening of the NRDL. It is a window of opportunity," Fang said, adding the company is also tackling improved diagnosis in China. However, Fang declined to comment on pricing, where he said the company implemented a "responsible" policy.
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