The Shanghai Stock Exchange and Technology Innovation Board (STAR Market) recently celebrated its second anniversary. The past two years have been busy ones. As of June 2, 2021, a total of 517 companies had applied for registration with STAR Market, of which 314 were successfully listed, 109 were unsuccessful, and 148 are still undergoing the registration process.
Source: China Daily
STAR Market, comparable to the Nasdaq, is the most common choice for listing biomedical companies in China. Due to its emphasis on technological innovation within AI, aerospace, biotech, IT, new materials and new energy, many pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies have chosen to go public there. STAR Market provides financing channels for a large number of newly established innovative biotech companies. In general, companies listed there usually have high valuations, a further component attracting biotech companies to list there. Since operations began on July 22, 2019, STAR Market has quickly gained prevalence worldwide, with the second largest number of IPOs and the third largest amount of IPO financing for biotech companies in the world.
5 Medical device companies expected to be listed this year
In order for biotech companies to register on STAR market, they have to go through the review process of “acceptance-inquiry-listing committee meeting-registration submission-registration results”. If all goes well, it can take 8-10 months for the process to conclude. Thus, companies registering on STAR Market can usually expect to register and go public within a year. We will provide some insight into some of the medical device companies currently undergoing registration with STAR Market and some characteristics they have.
According to available data on June 2, 2021, there are currently 5 medical device companies in the registration phase: Canwell Medical (科惠医疗), Aohua Endoscopy (澳华内镜), MGI (华大智造), WEGO (威高骨科), and Baihe Medical (百合医疗).
- Canwell Medical
Canwell Medical is an orthopedic medical device company with international engineering manufacturing capabilities, original innovation, and a range of products. The company’s main business is the research and development, production, and sales of orthopedic medical devices. The business modules are divided into independent products and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Their products consist of orthopedic implants, surgical instruments, and rehabilitation equipment.
Since 2004, Canwell Medical has provided OEM services for orthopedic surgical instruments to companies such as Zimmer Biomet, Smith & Nephew, and Wright. Meanwhile, the company has 21 registration certificates for class III medical devices, 6 registration certificates for class II medical devices, and 79 registration certificates for class I medical devices.
The company has enjoyed steady revenue growth and good development momentum. Sales were at RMB 200 million in 2017 and RMB 320 million in 2019. From a start in OEM production, Canwell has been gradually switch its focus to products developed in-house. Between 2017 and 2019, the percentage of overall revenue from in-house products rose from 60.1% to 71.6%.
Looking toward the future, Canwell Medical aims to accelerate its product registration process. In the next three years, the company’s product types are expected to cover orthopedic trauma, spine, joints, and vertebroplasty, achieving one of the more complete product lines in China and with high competitiveness.
- Aohua Endoscopy
Founded in 1994, Aohua Endoscopy is mainly engaged in the research and development, production, and sales of endoscopic devices and endoscopic diagnostic and surgical consumables. In 2005, it launched the first-generation endoscope system VME-2000, which was one of the earliest flexible endoscopes in China.
According to the company’s annual report, Aohua’s revenue has gradually increased, reaching RMB 290 million in 2019 and achieving a net profit of more than RMB 50 million. R&D investment accounts for more than 10% of revenue and is expected to reach 20% this year.
The company’s vision is to “become the world leading provider of endoscopy solutions”. In the future, the company will continue to increase R&D efforts in technical fields such as precision processing and manufacturing, image processing algorithms, software development and application, optical system design, new materials, and artificial intelligence.
MGI was established in 2016. The company’s main products and services cover gene sequencing, laboratory automation, and new business sectors. Gene sequencing gene sequencers and supporting equipment, reagents, data processing systems, etc. Laboratory automation includes automated sample processing systems and pipelines. New business sectors include remote robotic ultrasounds and more.
The company is experiencing rapid income growth and has good development momentum. MGI annual income increased from RMB 800 million in 2017 to RMB 1.09 billion in 2019. With the novel coronavirus epidemic, driven by the demand for nucleic acid testing, the company in 2020 has experienced explosive growth, reaching RMB 1.74 billion in the first three quarters.
WEGO is one of the first Chinese manufacturers to enter the field of high-end orthopedic implants. According to a research report from Punctuation Information, in 2019, WEGO’ overall market share in the field of orthopedic implants in China ranked first among domestic manufacturers and fifth in the industry.
The company’s main products are spine implants, orthopedic trauma products, joint implants, and surgical instruments. In 2020, revenue from spinal implants reached RMB 810 million, accounting for 44.8% of total revenue. Orthopedic trauma products comprise the company’s second largest business category, accounting for 29.5% of total operating revenue in 2020. WEGO’s third largest business category is joint implants, with rapid growth reaching about RMB 400 million in 2020, or about double that of 2018.
As a leading export in the field of orthopedic medical devices, WEGO has participated in the drafting and formulation of 4 industry standards, 2 national high-tech research and development plans (863 plan), and 3 national key research and development plans. The company also participated in national biomedical research and the construction of a demonstration platform for material production and application.
- Baihe Medical
Baihe Medical’s main business is the research and development, production, and sales of disposable medical devices in the fields of anesthesia, blood purification, and infusion management. As of March 2021, Baihe Medical and its subsidiaries have obtained 75 Chinese medical device certifications, including 23 category III. Furthermore, more than 40 of their products have passed CE certification, and 5 products have passed FDA certification.
Infusion management is the company’s largest business category, with an income of RMB 580 million in 2020, accounting for 56.2% of the company’s total income. Blood purification is the second largest business category, accounting for 27% of the company’s total profits.
Baihe Medical has built three major technology and industrialization platforms for aseptic infusion management, blood purification treatment, and modern biological dressings, forming a good industrial layout and becoming a domestic medium-to-high-end disposable medical device company with a wide range of products. In the future, they plan to accelerate the market deployment of mid-to-long-term implants, minimally invasive surgical treatments, blood purification and modern biological dressings, and other high-end medical devices with urgent clinical needs, build a clinical support platform with global service capabilities, and enhance the brand’s reputation in China.
With medical device companies in China improving their innovation and R&D capabilities, some companies have begun to distinguish themselves from the pack. For example, Canwell Medical is moving from agency products and OEM production to products developed in-house; WEGO brought in high-value domestic orthopedic products; and MGI, which is gradually showing its strength in the field of genetic testing. STAR Market provides better financing channels for innovative medical device companies. In the future, more and more of China’s medical device companies will likely enter the overseas market and become international leaders.