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Sanofi announces investment to boost healthcare innovation in China

By He Wei in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-06-22 13:18
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Pius S. Hornstein, general manager for general medicines and country lead for Sanofi China, and Cai Mingpo, founder and president of Cathay Capital, attend a celebration ceremony in Shanghai on Friday. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi has announced an investment in a global venture capital fund in a bid to support worldwide innovation and technology, especially in China, its second-largest market.

The capital injection in Cathay Innovation at an undisclosed amount will serve to strengthen Sanofi's connection to innovative healthcare ecosystems and help the company better navigate China, its strategic priority of development and innovation, Pius S. Hornstein, general manager for general medicines and country lead for Sanofi China said.

Hornstein said the bet placed in China is due to the expectation that 30 percent of GDP growth will be driven by China over the next decade, and the healthcare market is expected to claim roughly 10 percent of that growth.

"From the Healthy China 2030 strategy and the recent national two sessions, we find that new infrastructure, new technologies and new healthcare have been re-emphasized by the Chinese government," he said.

"By exposing Cathay to healthcare, us to innovation in a global context, it is beneficial to us in the future."

By leveraging diversified expertise and capabilities of different industries, Cathay Innovation has built a unique platform where the disruptive start-ups and industry leaders such as Sanofi can find each other and combine their complementary strengths to create new transformative innovations for the society.

"We will work closely to leverage new emerging health trends by collaborating with the most promising start-ups in health sector," Cai Mingpo, founder and president of Cathay Capital, a related company of Cathay Innovation, said.

Sanofi has been steadfast in its digitalization push in China, represented by its latest team-up with Chinese app WeChat Work to professionalize interaction with employees in a highly local context.

Hornstein said the company is ready to digitize chronic disease management in the future.

"If you want to contribute to the next 10-15 year to the Healthy China 2030, we really need to join force with the government to really tackle the key things of healthcare, which is not only building hospitals…but to make the infrastructure even more powerful to influence patient health."

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