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    Tonghua Dongbao: Product sales show steady growth in 2022, securing the largest human insulin market share in China


    Tonghua Dongbao Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (stock code: 600867, hereinafter referred to as "Tonghua Dongbao" or the "Company") released its 2022 Annual Report on April 20. In 2022, the Company recorded RMB 2.778 billion in revenue, RMB 1.582 billion in net profit attributable to owners of the parent company, RMB 841 million in net profit attributable to owners of the parent company excluding non-recurring gains and losses, and a return on equity of 24.52%.

    Rapid growth in product sales and market share

    Our revenue during the reporting period decreased due to: (1) declines in insulin product prices, resulting in a revenue reduction of about RMB 885 million from drug products (DPs); (2) a one-time write-off or rebate of about RMB 201 million for price differences before and after centralized procurement of inventory products for distributors. Nevertheless, our effective business strategies, sensible planning, and strong commercialization capabilities propelled an impressive growth in product sales. This growth resulted in additional revenue of about RMB 643 million from DPs, largely offsetting the adverse impact of price declines.

    In 2022, Tonghua Dongbao saw nearly double-digit growth in sales of human insulin and a doubling in sales of insulin analogs. This remarkable growth increased our market share and set a solid base for the rapid expansion of newly launched products. According to Pharmcube data, our human insulin market share surged to 40.5% in 2022, surpassing Novo Nordisk and claiming the top spot in China. In addition, our insulin glargine market share grew steadily to 5.9% in 2022.

    With the approval of Premixed Insulin Aspart 30 and 50 for marketing, the Company now offers a complete range of rapid-acting, basal, and premixed insulin products for both human insulin and insulin analogs. The insulin aspart products are expected to replicate the sales success of insulin glargine. The steady growth of our current products and the market potential for the new products will drive the long-term development.

    Expansion into new therapeutic areas and R&D acceleration

    We focus on diabetes treatment while extending our reach to other endocrine and metabolic diseases like gout and hyperuricemia. We are working on products with high clinical value for lowering blood sugar levels, reducing weight, and resolving nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). These R&D projects are making quick headway.

    In terms of novel drug development, we enrolled the first subject in the Phase I clinical trial of a URAT1 inhibitor for gout and hyperuricemia in April 2022. The clinical trial met the primary endpoint in January 2023. The first subject was enrolled in the Phase II clinical trial in February 2023. The clinical trial application for THDBH151 Tablets, a Class 1 novel dual-target inhibitor for gout (a potential best-in-class drug), was approved in December 2022. The clinical trial application for a dual GLP-1/GIP receptor agonist was accepted in January 2023. We will explore the drug's potential for treating obesity and other conditions.

    Two new products are expected to be approved for marketing in 2023: the GLP-1RA liraglutide injection and the oral anti-diabetic drug (OAD) empagliflozin, repaglinide, another OAD, is already available for sale in 2023. The approved brand-name OADs, sitagliptin phosphate and sitagliptin/metformin, will be released into the market upon expiration of the patents, generating revenue and presenting new growth opportunities for the Company.

    Accelerated global expansion

    A number of our products have reached their milestones in overseas markets since 2022. With the increasing diversification of its product portfolio, the Company will speed up its global expansion with more high-quality products.

    In December 2022, the Company inked a partnership agreement with Kexing Biopharm, aiming to boost the sales of GLP-1RA liraglutide injection in 17 emerging overseas markets. In February 2023, the European Medicines Agency accepted the marketing authorization application for Human Insulin Injection. If the application gets approved, the Company's human insulin products will be approved in many countries much more quickly. The Company is selling or registering its insulin drug substances, human insulin products, and insulin analog products in many countries and regions, laying the groundwork for its global expansion.

    Long-term dividend and buyback

    The Company strives to generate positive returns for shareholders through long-term, high dividends. Since its listing, the Company has distributed a total of over RMB 4 billion in cash dividends. During the reporting period, the Company distributed a cash dividend of RMB 2.50 per 10 shares (tax included) for the first half of 2022, totaling around RMB 500 million. We intend to continue this dividend plan for the second half of 2022. If the annual profit distribution proposal is approved at the shareholders' meeting, the total cash dividends for 2022 will reach around RMB 1 billion. During the reporting period, we completed two rounds of share repurchases and cancellations, amounting to about RMB 400 million. These efforts further enhance the return on investment for shareholders.

    Innovation, the key to win in the future

    In 2023, Tonghua Dongbao will continue to explore both domestic and international markets while enhancing its innovation and R&D capabilities. In the home market, we anticipate growth opportunities due to the increasing prevalence of diabetes and adoption of insulin, rising market shares of homegrown insulin products fueled by centralized procurement, and our expanding product portfolio. Meanwhile, we will continue to expand globally, introducing our products to more countries quickly. In terms of innovation and R&D, we will focus on two approaches: in-house R&D and working with external partners. We will enhance our own R&D capabilities while collaborating with external partners to explore innovations in the therapeutic area of endocrine and metabolic disorders. This will ensure sustainable growth for our Company.

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