MicroPort Sorin CRM Launches China's First Domestic Pacemaker Production Line

Shanghai, China – 29 June, 2015 – China's first domestic cardiac pacemaker production line with international advanced standards was launched in MicroPort Sorin CRM (Shanghai) Co ("MSC") located in Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, which means imported cardiac pacemakers will no long monopolize the China market in the near future and also represents a solid step forward for Shanghai to build a global technology innovation center.
 
With the advancement of China's medical and healthcare reform and Shanghai's steps to build a global technology innovation center, a precious opportunity of developing domestic cardiac pacemaker is emerging. To take advantage of such opportunity, Shanghai MicroPort Medical (Group) Co ("MicroPort") has carried out large R&D investments in implantable pacemakers since 2010; and in 2014 MicroPort formed the joint venture MSC with Sorin Group to market and develop cardiac rhythm management ("CRM") devices (implantable pacemakers, defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization devices and related devices) in China, with MicroPort holding a 51 percent stake in the joint venture entity.
 
"By introducing world-class pacemaker production line and advanced technologies, MSC aims to develop and produce pacemaker technologies and products with independent intellectual property rights, so as to revolutionize China's pacemaker industry from Made-in-China to Innovated-in-China with domestic cardiovascular experts and research institutions," said MicroPort Chairman and Chief Executive Officer ("CEO") Zhaohua Chang and Sorin Group CEO André-Michel Ballester.
 
Currently, implanting pacemakers is the only effective way to treat bradycardia, which has been wildly used and accepted in developed countries. In China, as early as 1960s, physicians and research engineers had developed pacemakers and used them to successfully treat patients. However, due to lack of core technologies and industrialization experience, up to date China has to almost solely rely on imports for pacemaker devices, the high price of which has deterred many patients and hampered the development of the industry. In fact, the global pacemaker market is still monopolized by only five multi-national enterprises.
 
Every year, there are around 540,000 patients suffering from sudden cardiac death and 600,000 patients with bradycardia in China, and they all need to implant medical devices such as the pacemakers, which brings the business of domestically made pacemakers a broad market opportunity, according to experts of Chinese Society of Pacing & Electrophysiology ("CSPE"), including Professor Congxin Huang, President of CSPE, Professor Shu Zhang, Former President of CSPE, and Professor Dejia Huang, President-Elect of CSPE.
 
"The launch of the world-class pacemaker production line is a milestone in China's pacemaker industry. It means we can produce pacemakers with advanced international standards here in Zhangjiang," said Qiyi Luo, MSC Chairman and MicroPort Chief Technology Officer. "We believe, China's pacemaker industry will have a similar developmental trajectory as its coronary stent industry which witnessed domestically made devices gradually replace imported products. As the leading player, MicroPort gained rich experience from the revolutionary change of China's coronary stent industry, with which MSC can more effectively push the development of domestic CRM business."
 
Junbo Ge, Director of Cardiology in Shanghai Zhongshan Hospital, added, China's coronary stent market was monopolized by imported products but in only 10 years domestically made stents take up 80% market share. "So we are confident that in the near future Chinese physicians can use domestic pacemakers to save patients in China and even all around the world."