On March 29, 2023, the 7th China Biomed Innovation and Investment Conference (CBIIC) opened in Suzhou and lasted for three days. I attended the whole conference as a member of HK Bio-med Innotech Association (HKBMIA) to experience first-hand the current condition of the healthcare industry in Greater China.
CBIIC is benchmarked against J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. CBIIC has been held for seven consecutive years, with a total of nearly 20,000 attendees, over 5,000 domestic and foreign pharmaceutical enterprises and investment institutions participating, and nearly 700 domestic and foreign innovative projects showcased through roadshows. In accordance with the usual practice, the current congress was supposed to be held in September 2022, but was postponed to March 2023 due to the epidemic control.
Since the beginning of 2023, the previously severely constrained convention and exhibition industry has been recovering rapidly. The scale of this year’s conference has been restored to the pre-pandemic level, including 7 topic roadshow sessions and 12 forums, covering pharmaceutical policy, pharmaceutical innovation, clinical research, international pharmaceutical cooperation, pharmaceutical innovation investment, pharmaceutical digitalization, etc.
State Drug Administration Deputy Director, State Drug Administration Medical Device Review Center Director and a number of government officials conducted policy interpretation answered a variety of questions from enterprises. I can feel from this that the government is very supportive of enterprise research and development of innovative drugs and devices, especially hopes that enterprises can develop the most cutting-edge new drugs and devices.
In terms of investment and financing, investment institutions expressed a short-term cautious and long-term optimistic attitude. Due to the turbulence in the global capital market, the valuation of companies in the primary and secondary markets is under pressure, so investment institutions are cautious about the valuation of companies in the short term, but believe that innovative companies have great potential to grow in the Chinese market in the long term. In this environment, M&A and product licensing are more popular approaches for all parties, especially cross-border M&A and product licensing.
There was only one part of this year’s conference that has not yet returned to its pre-pandemic state, and that was the International Roadshow Session which still was in the online form, continuing the way it has been done for the past three years. Seven Canadian and U.S. companies participated in the online roadshow at this year’s conference, which were highly sought after by Chinese companies. Chinese companies are looking forward to having their overseas counterparts on site to communicate and conduct business discussions.
With three consecutive days of meetings and nearly 3,000 participants, people in the industry from all over the country are busy trying to make up for past delays, and you can see that everyone is energetic. In the face of more changes and challenges, the government is striving to shape the pharmaceutical innovation ecosystem for high-quality development, and enterprises are stimulating innovation energy. In this environment, business opportunities are unlimited.