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The Chinese hepatitis B market is set to triple by 2019

15 Mar 2011, by Informa Insights

Melbourne, March15, 2011 – Fueled by the world’s largest hepatitis B patient pool, uptake of new therapies such as PEGylated interferons and Viread (tenofovir), and the government’s latest healthcare reforms, the Chinese hepatitis B market is set to continue its recent growth, and to triple in size by 2019, according to the latest analysis by Datamonitor.

Datamonitor’s latest infectious disease report* reveals that the Chinese hospital hepatitis B antiviral drug market generated sales of $227.4m in 2009, with an annual growth rate of 30.9 percent between 2008 and 2009, and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 56.4 percent between 2006 and 2009, according to IMS Health.In terms of volume, the Chinese hepatitis B drugs market grew by 31.1 percent between 2008 and 2009, with a 2006–09 CAGR of 47.5 percent.

“Small molecule antiviral drugs held the lion’s share of the Chinese hepatitis B market in terms of sales in 2009, with smaller roles for interferons and traditional Chinese medicine,” says Ling Sun, a Datamonitor healthcare analyst and author of the report.

Chinahas a very large hepatitis B patient pool, translating into a significant commercial opportunity for hepatitis B drug makers. The exact number of patients in China is unknown, and different institutions give different estimations. According to the Ministry of Health, there may be 25 million to 30 million hepatitis B patients in China (World Health Organization, 2010), while the newly updated 2010 version of the Chinese Society of Hepatology guideline indicates that there may be 20 million.

Datamonitor forecasts that the hepatitis B virus market in China will more than triple in size between 2009 and 2019, reaching $701.5m in 2019. During this period, PEGylated interferons will exhibit the highest CAGR (21.3 percent), while the small molecule antiviral nucleos(t)ide analogs will grow at a CAGR of 10.1 percent.

“Over the forecast period, the Chinese hepatitis B market will see a significant shift in brand use,” surmises Ling. “Currently widespread drugs such as lamivudine or adefovir dipivoxil will increasingly lose market share to newer additions to the treatment portfolio, including Baraclude (entecavir), Viread (tenofovir), and PEGylated interferon therapies.”
In terms of pharmaceutical companies, multinational corporations dominate the market. Five foreign pharmaceutical companies accounted for 45.7 percent of total sales volume and 76.1 percent of total sales value in the Chinese hepatitis B market, while 26 domestic players competed for the remaining market share.

GlaxoSmithKline is the undisputed market leader, with Hepsera (adefovir dipivoxil) and Heptodin (lamivudine) leading its Chinese hepatitis B drug portfolio. However, “with Heptodin and Hepsera facing generic erosion over the next 5–10 years and strong competition from newer therapies like entecavir and PEGylated interferons, GlaxoSmithKline’s continued leadership will largely depend upon the launch of Viread (tenofovir),” concludes Ling.

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