R&D is Imexpharm's opportunity to accelerate growth

By Thy An   May 11, 2024 | 05:00 pm PT
Companies like Imexpharm, which prioritizes research and development (R&D), are charting a course for a more innovative Vietnamese pharmaceutical industry.

High-quality medicine at an affordable price

Imexpharm Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company (IMP) has announced the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with the pharmaceutical group Genuone Sciences Inc.

The two companies will cooperate in the production and distribution of drugs, including the transfer of Genuone’s advanced technology to IMP.

Accordingly, IMP can accelerate its own capacity to produce high-quality brand-name drugs to serve the needs of the domestic and export markets.

Strategic cooperation signing ceremony was held between Imexpharm and Genuone Sciences Inc., a Korean pharmaceutical corporation. Photo courtesy of IMP

Strategic cooperation signing ceremony was held between Imexpharm and Genuone Sciences Inc., a Korean pharmaceutical corporation. Photo courtesy of IMP

According to the Ministry of Health, Vietnam aims to become a high-value pharmaceutical production and export center in the region by 2030.

Specifically, Vietnam aims to develop industrial pharmaceutical production of original brand-name drugs, drugs with new dosage forms, and biological drugs.

Additionally, Vietnam seeks to achieve level 4 of the WHO's assessment classification and partially shift from generic drug production to innovator pharmaceutical products.

Innovator pharmaceutical product: a promising outlook

Pharmaceutical companies like IMP, developing advanced domestic drugs to replace imported products, will create many opportunities not only for themselves but also for others.

Thanks to the support of the law amendment, which supplemented a number of articles of the Pharmacy Law (bill), Vietnamese people ultimately have the opportunity to access the highest quality, safest drugs at reasonable prices and the latest technology.

R&D at Imexpharms EU-GMP drug factory. Photo courtesy of IMP

R&D at Imexpharm's EU-GMP drug factory. Photo courtesy of IMP

The IMP1 plant cluster continues to make a significant contributions to the firm, generating 50% of the company’s total revenue by 2023.

Meanwhile, the IMP3 plant, which produces high-value injectables, accounts for 32% of total revenue.

In its first year of operation, IMP4 contributed a remarkable VND80 billion to the company's total revenue.

Particularly, the IMP 5 factory is implementing an investment plan and is expected to bring high growth momentum to IMP soon.

In addition, IMP is the first pharmaceutical company in Vietnam to apply world-class solutions, the SAP-ERP, in system management.

IMP understands that following the path of developing innovative drugs helps reduce fierce competition in the generic drug market, reducing direct competition as well as diversifying products in order to increase competitiveness with foreign businesses.

Escalating race for investment in R&D

To continue to lead the market, the company invests 5% of its annual net revenue in research and development (R&D), which lags behind the world's innovative biopharmaceutical industry, where R&D spending can reach as high as 15.4% of revenue.

Nguyen An Duy, IMP’s CFO, announced the company’s profits and growth at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. Photo courtesy of IMP

Nguyen An Duy, IMP’s CFO, announces the company’s profits and growth at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. Photo courtesy of IMP

In 2024, the company targets gross revenue growth of 24% and net revenue growth of 19%, along with a pre-tax profit growth forecast of about 12%.

People’s Doctor, Pharmacist Tran Thi Dao, General Director of IMP, said that 2022-2023 is the year Imexpharm began to see the benefits of establishing EU-GMPcertified factories, laying the foundation for future growth.

According to the IMP board of leaders, the Vietnamese government is paying increasing attention to the healthcare industry, helping the nation to become one of the countries with the highest pharmaceutical industry growth in the region, with a forecast of a CAGR of 10.3% in 2022–2027.

In Vietnam, antibiotics (J01) still account for the highest proportion (12%) of all drug-groups’ total pharmaceutical market value, and are expected to continue to grow at a compound annual rate growth (CARG) of about 9.2% in the period 2022–2027.

In addition, due to environmental impacts, the group of respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, and diabetes drugs will become an essential group of drugs in treatment because the growth rate of CAGR 2022–2027 is forecast to be 11.6%–13.2%.

Thanks to the strategy of expanding the EU MA license portfolio, IMP has initially identified 30 potential target products so it can expand foreign partnerships to bring new technology into the Vietnamese market.

Dao also said that IMP’s ability to produce high-quality pharmaceuticals in Vietnam that meet European quality standards allows the company to better approach many large export markets.

These markets include neighboring countries like Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar, as well as other ASEAN nations.

"Pioneering investments in GMP-ASEAN standard factories since 1997 and currently holding the most EU-GMP-certified facilities in Vietnam, IMP also sees significant opportunities in further markets, particularly Europe, for its products, especially antibiotics," Dao added.

According to Dao, the company will expand cooperation with many other international companies to exchange new technology.

She also remarked that to promote the production of innovative drugs in Vietnam, it has been necessary to establish many incentives to attract investment in the pharmaceutical industry, explore fundraising avenues for enhancement and sponsorship for new pharmaceutical development projects, and last but not least, increase investment in the industry at all stages of the pharmaceutical development process.

Specifically, there must be the most and highest incentives for research and development as well as transferring technology in order to produce innovative drugs, vaccines, and other biological products.

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