In 2019, Grifols and Shanghai RAAS announced a strategic alliance agreement to manufacture, market and develop plasma products and transfusion diagnostic solutions in China in compliance with international quality and safety standards.
Grifols will be the second-largest shareholder in Shanghai RAAS, with a 26.2% stake (economic and voting rights) in exchange for the non-majority share (40% voting rights and 45% economic rights) in Grifols Diagnostics Solutions (GDS), a 100% Grifols subsidiary.
This transaction will represent the first share swap made in China with shares of a foreign company (GDS) and a non-state-controlled Chinese listed company.
Over the past 35 years, Grifols has progressively built its presence in China, which is currently its third-largest sales market. Grifols has operated in the Chinese market since the 1980s. In 2019, the company had 28 registered products: five (5) Bioscience Division products and 23 from the Diagnostic Division, eight (8) of which are NAT donor-screening solutions and 15 blood-typing products. Grifols plans on expanding its portfolio of registered products in the coming years.
At present, China leads sales of albumin and is third in sales for the Diagnostic Division, as it is the country with the highest sales for gel cards (DG-Gel®) and second in sales for NAT technology solutions (Procleix® NAT Solutions).
For Grifols, this transaction will represent a singular opportunity to continue its global expansion and bolster its position in China, one of the markets with the highest growth potential for plasma products and transfusion diagnostics.
In January 2019, Grifols signed an exclusive license agreement with the U.S.-based biotechnology company Rigel Pharmaceuticals to commercialize fostamatinib in all potential future indications in Europe and Turkey. This drug is used as a second line of treatment for chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).
In January 2020, Rigel Pharmaceuticals received market approval from the European Commission for TAVLESSE® (fostamatinib). The market launch of this product, expected in the second quarter of 2020, reinforces Grifols’ sales strategy and reflects its commitment to enhance its product portfolio for patients and offer more therapeutic options for healthcare professionals.
In the second quarter of 2019, Grifols exercised its call option on the remaining 51% capital of Interstate Blood Bank Inc (IBBI) and its subsidiaries for USD 100 million. Grifols had controlled a 49% stake since 2016.
This operation forms part of Grifols’ strategic plan to expand and diversify its access to plasma. Through this transaction, Grifols incorporated 35 FDA-approved centers (26 plasma centers and 9 blood donation centers), as well as an analytical laboratory.
In the third quarter of the year, Grifols signed an agreement with Soludia Maghreb, a provider of hemodialysis solutions headquartered in Morocco, to build a new manufacturing plant in the country. The initiative represents Grifols’ first industrial project on the African continent.