Successful Turnaround to Profit-making with Record-High Turnover
Expanding R&D Activity in Nanobody Drug to Diversify Product Portfolio
HONG KONG SAR – EQS Newswire – 27 August 2021 – A fully integrated biopharmaceutical company – Uni-Bio Science Group Limited (“Uni-Bio Science”, together with its subsidiaries referred to as the “Group”, stock code: 0690.HK), is pleased to announce its interim results for six months ended 30 June 2021 (the “Period”), as well as its comparative figures for six months ended 30 June 2020.
Key Accomplishments in the First Half of 2021
During the Period, the Group achieved a spectrum of accomplishments, for both of its marketed products and innovative biologics. The key highlights include:
1. Coupled with its ongoing cost control measures, the Group achieved a profit for the Period of HK$1.9 million as compared with a loss of HK$11.5 million for the corresponding period of last year. This is the first time that the Group has recorded profit solely from its core business operations. It signifies that the Group has started yielding fruits and has entered the path of sustainable profit growth.
2. On 3 February 2021, the Group’s Pinup® (Voriconazole Tablets 50mg) was the first one to be selected among the same category in the Fourth Batch of the National Centralized Procurement. After being included in the volume-based procurement, Pinup® recorded a noticeable increase of 257.3% YoY in turnover from approximately HK$15.7 million to approximately HK$56.1million during the Period. Market access, especially hospital listing, had always been the biggest challenge to Pinup®. After being included in the volume-based procurement, Pinup® is in a great position to quickly penetrate into the public hospital markets. Moreover, being listed in the national volume-based procurement is the local regulator’s push to reduce intermediaries in the sales channel, further enhancing the efficiency and reducing the cost of the healthcare industry in China.
3. During the Period, GeneTime® and GeneSoft® generated remarkable turnover, sales of GeneTime® and GeneSoft® registered significant increase of 116.8% YoY and 45.8% YoY respectively.The sales of GeneTime® exceeded the pre-epidemic level and the demand for the product was far beyond the supply during the first half of 2021.
4. Boshutai® was officially approved for marketing in China by the National Medical Products Administration (“NMPA”) and being qualified for GMP manufacturing in 2020, the Group had started the production of Boshutai® in the first quarter of 2021 and the sales of Boshutai® had made immediate contribution to the Group during the Period.
5. During the Period, the Group was in preparation for the bridging clinical trial for 2nd Generation liquid form Uni-PTH as planned. The clinical trial will be officially launched in August 2021 and is expected to be finished by the end of 2021, following by a New Drug Application (“NDA”) in 2022.
6. The Group has been preparing for the clinical trial-related works for Uni-GLP, which is expected to carry out in the third quarter of 2021. The Group has been in constant communications with the NMPA regarding the optimization of the bridging clinical trials. If the results are satisfying, phase III of the clinical trials may not be needed and this will accelerate the approval process of Uni-GLP.
7. During the Period, the Group developed strategic partnership with DotBio Pte. Ltd. (“DotBio”) to co-develop multi-specific nanobodies for people with retinal diseases. Leveraging on DotBio’s unparalleled technology capability in the ophthalmology space, together with the Group’s extensive experience in fermentation, purification, quality assurance and quality control of E.coli-expressed proteins, this partnership is able to diversify the Group’s pipeline and capture the rising needs of the age-related macular degeneration (AMD) treatment market.
During the Period, the Group recorded a turnover of HK$ 157.0 million, representing a noticeable increase of approximately 132.8% year-on-year (first half of 2020: HK$ 67.4 million). The increase in turnover was mainly attributable to the strong rebounded sales of the Group’s core products after the effective pandemic control of COVID-19 in China and the resumption of hospital services. Turnover generated from GeneTime® reached HK$82.4 million, representing a significant increase of 116.8% from approximately HK$38 million in first half of 2020, mainly due to the strong recovery from hospital sales as well as the additional turnover from the digital marketing and pharmaceutical e-commerce platform. Sales of GeneSoft® had been fully recovered during the Period, recorded an increase in turnover from approximately HK$11.8 million to HK$17.2 million. Pinup® has recorded a noticeable increase of 257.3% in turnover from approximately HK$15.7 million to approximately HK$56.1million during the Period. Turnover of the Group’s newly launched product Boshutai® (Acarbose tablet) was approximately HK$1.3 million.
Gross profit was HK$124.4 million, representing an increase of 117.1% as compared with approximately HK$57.3 million for the first half 2020. Gross profit margin was at 79.3% (first half of 2020: 85.0%) as the pricing of Pinup® for the centralized procurement was significantly lower but was partly offset by the economies of scale from mass production volume. The Group continued its strict control in general and administrative expenses, which only accounted for 14.2% of turnover for the Period as compared with 29.0% for the same period last year. The selling and distribution expense for the Period also decreased to 48.5% of turnover from 63.1% that of the same period last year due to the Group’s further optimization of its direct salesforce. The R&D expenses increased by 164.6% to HK$21.4 million and the amount was in step with the Group’s product research status.
For the Period, the Group recorded a profit of HK$1.9 million with a basic earnings per share of HK$0.03 cents, registering a turnaround from a loss of HK$11.5 million or a basic loss per share of HK$0.18 cents in the first half of 2020. This was the first half-year that the Group achieved a profit from operations, which marked the beginning of yielding fruits of the Group’s biopharmaceutical investment and efforts over the past years.
China’s healthcare industry has been growing rapidly over the past few years and has become the second biggest in the world since 2016. The growth is not only driven by the aging population, which leads to an increasing number of people diagnosed with chronic diseases, but also with the support of government policies. As one of the innovative pharmaceutical companies in China, the Group believes that these catalysts will drive greater business growth in the future.
As the Group’s exclusive distribution and promotion rights of GeneSoft® with its partners, CR Zizhu, came to an end in June 2021, the Group has started leveraging its well-established direct sales team to promote GeneSoft® in multiple channels. With shared resources with GeneTime®, the sales as well as the profitability are expected to significantly improve going forward. To address the unmet need of medical aesthetic, the Group is in discussion with various potential partners to explore innovative formulations of EGF products. Leveraging on its innovative material technology, the Group is able to diversify the formulation of EGF products and potentially expand its application scope.
Looking into the future, Mr. Kingsley Leung, Chairman of Uni-Bio Science said, ” This was the first half-year that the Group achieved a profit solely from its core operations. It also marked the beginning of profit-making of the Group’s biopharmaceutical investment and efforts over the past years as it is expected to enter the path of sustainable profit growth. In order to expand the product capacity to meet the growing demands of GeneSoft® and GeneTime®, we decided to relocate the production site to Dongguan. The new production base will be equipped with new technology that would further reduce production and transportation costs as well as overheads while enhancing the overall production capacity. To explore new business opportunities in ophthalmology field, the Group is cooperating with Dotbio and potential partners to develop potential best-in-class therapeutic products that can compete in a global setting. To capture more value in the dermatology space, we may also develop a third molecule with Dotbio. The Group will also continue to focus on the research and development of the innovative drugs, including Uni-PTH and Uni-GLP. We believe that aforementioned strategies will enhance operational efficiency, accelerate product pipelines and sustain its growth momentum. These would in turn generate more fruitful returns for its shareholders.”
About Uni-Bio Science Group Limited
Uni-Bio Science Group Limited is principally engaged in the research and development, manufacture and distribution of pharmaceutical products. The research and development centre is fully equipped with a complete system for the development of genetically-engineered products with a pilot plant test base which is in line with NMPA requirements. The Group also has two GMP manufacturing bases in Beijing and Shenzhen. The Group also has a highly efficient commercialization platform and marketing network. The Group focuses on the development of novel treatments and innovative drugs addressing the therapeutic areas of endocrine such as diabetes and osteoporosis, ophthalmology and dermatology.