Achieved Record-High Turnover and EGF Products Recorded Strong Rebound
Successful Expansion Into Ophthalmology and Other Potential Therapeutic Areas
HONG KONG SAR – EQS Newswire – 22 March 2022 – 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 annual results for the year ended 31 December 2021 (the “Year”), as well as its comparative figures for the year ended 31 December 2020 (“2020”).
During the Year, the Group achieved a spectrum of accomplishments, for both of its marketed products and innovative biologics. The key highlights include:
- During the Year, the Group achieved a record high turnover of HK$ 353.4 million, representing a noticeable increase of 69.3% year-on-year (“YoY”). The revenue growth was mainly attributable to the strong rebound of the Group’s core products. Sales of GeneTime® and GeneSoft® had fully recovered and exceeded the pre-COVID-19 level, registered an increase of 24.3% and 14.8% YoY respectively. The Group started the mass production of Boshutai® and the sales of Boshutai® met the Group’s expectation.
- During the Year, the clinical trial for the 2nd Generation liquid form Uni-PTH had been successfully completed and the Group has planned to apply for New Drug Application (“NDA”) in 2022. Currently, the Group is in preparation for data collecting for the development of the 3rd Generation oral form Uni-PTH.
- Clinical trial-related works for Uni-GLP-1 liquid formulation were launched during the Year as planned and the Group is going to accelerate further clinical work in 2022. Moreover, the Group is in process of developing oral form Uni-GLP-1 to expand the value of the product and offer convenience to users.
- The Group developed a strategic partnership with DotBio Pte. Ltd. (“DotBio”) to co-develop next-generation best-in-class compounds in ophthalmology and other potential therapeutic areas. Under the agreement, DotBio’s Hong Kong subsidiary, DotBioHK, is responsible for generating multiple multi-valent and/or bi-specific stabilized and humanized single-domain antibody candidates for various targets using DotBio’s proprietary DotBody technology. The Group is responsible for chemical manufacturing control (CMC), investigation New Drug (IND) submission, clinical trial and commercialization.
- The Group formed a strategic partnership with Alephoson Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. (“Alephoson”) to explore new technology in retinal diseases as well as to overcome the limitations of intravitreal injection treatment. Forming partnerships and alliances with Alephoson not only aligns with the Group’s long-term development plan of expanding the pipeline of next-generation drugs, but it also diversifies formulation choices of the Group’s marketed and pipeline products.
- During the Year, the Group collaborated with Nano and Advanced Materials Institute (“NAMI”) to co-develop an innovative formulation of rhEGF (recombinant human epidermal growth factor) products including GeneTime®. Leveraging NAMI’s innovative material technology, the Group can diversify the formulation of rhEGF products and potentially expand application scope in the future.
In 2021, the Group recorded a turnover of HK$353.4 million, representing a significant increase of approximately 69.3% year-on-year (2020: HK$208.8 million). The increase in turnover was mainly attributable to the impressive sales growth of EGF products. During the Year, turnover generated from GeneTime® reached HK$170.5 million, representing a significant increase of 24.3% from approximately HK$137.2 million in 2020. The remarkable turnover growth was mainly due to the strong recovery from hospital sales as well as the additional turnover from the digital marketing and pharmaceutical e-commerce platforms. GeneSoft® recorded an increase in turnover from approximately HK$31.6 million to HK$36.3 million, representing an increase of 14.8%. Growth in sales of GeneSoft® was attributed to the recovery from hospital sales as well as the efforts of the Group’s direct sales team. 2021 was the first year for Boshutai®‘s commercialization and the turnover of Boshutai® was approximately HK$4.5 million. The remaining sales of HK$142.2 million is attributed from Pinup®. Although there was an strong volume growth for Pinup® during the year, the decrease in pricing due to the centralized procurement has reduce the overall profitability of the product.
Gross profit was HK$277.0 million, representing an increase of 53.0% as compared with approximately HK$181.1 million in 2020. Gross profit margin decreased to 78.4% from 86.7% in 2020, mostly due to Pinup®‘s price concession for the national centralized procurement. The Group continued its strict control in general and administrative expenses, which only accounted for 13.4% of turnover in 2021 as compared with 17.2% in 2020. The selling and distribution expense for the Year also decreased to 52.5% of turnover from 69.7% in 2020. The R&D expenses increased by 23.3% YoY to HK$50.2 million as the Group continued to develop new products. Operating loss for the Year was HK$20.0 million as heavy investment in R&D continued. However, the operating loss was significantly reduced from HK$70.9 million in 2020. In 2021, the Group recorded a loss of HK$19.6 million (2020: loss of HK$71.3 million), with a basic loss per share of HK$0.31 cents (2020 basic loss per share HK$1.11 cents).
The healthcare market in China has been burgeoning. The growth is driven by the increasing aging population, better social health insurance policies as well as government regulatory reforms which promote industrial innovation and streamline the new drug approval process. Riding on the favorable government policies and market environment, the Group believes that it would propel forward and drive further business growth.
To capture the new opportunities in medical cosmetology, functional skincare and high-end skincare market, the Group formed joint cooperation and investment with Global Cosmetics (China) Company Ltd. (“Global Group”) to develop new competitive and effective skincare raw materials, to be used widely in a variety of areas including medical cosmetology, functional skincare and high-end skincare. Leveraging on Global Group’s expertise in daily cosmetics and its well-established partner network, together with the Group’s extensive experience in pharmaceutical R&D, this collaboration has laid a strong foundation for the two parties to tap into the vast functional skincare and upstream raw material market. It is expected that new medical beauty, functional and high-end skincare products under this collaboration will be launched as early as the end of 2022.
Looking forward, Mr. Kingsley Leung, Chairman of Uni-Bio Science said, “We continue to focus on all-round research innovation of patented biologics. Since 2021, the Group had formed a stronger partnership with Alephoson and DotBio to co-develop next-generation best-in-class compounds for patients with retinal diseases and other potential therapeutic areas. The collaboration is going to further advance patient care with treatment alternatives and explore further applications in the ophthalmology and dermatology industries. The Group is also going to accelerate the clinical process of Uni-GLP-1 and begin preparation for the commercialization of both Uni-PTH and Uni-GLP-1.”
In terms of the Group’s marketed products,
Mr. Leung added, “We have planned ahead for its production capacity expansion years ago. Production of Boshutai® tablets, which launched in 2021, will be taken care of by the Group’s strategic partner, Suzhou Yingli in 2022 with more than ten times larger supply capacity. The other strategic partner Sinopharm Wiqida will be in charge of raw material Acarbose active ingredient (API) registration and manufacturing; the registration is expected to complete in 2022. All these would facilitate Boshutai® to win the bid of the coming national centralized procurement in 2022. The Group had also decided to relocate the production site of its EGF products to Dongguan in order to catch up with the growing order book of GeneSoft® and GeneTime®, as well as expand the product line of our EGF product series. The new production base is expected to commence operation in 2025.”
The Group believes that the aforementioned strategies will further push forward its product R&D with higher efficiency, widen its product applications, so as to accelerate the commercialization of its innovative drugs, and finally generate fruitful and sustainable returns for its shareholders.