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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Ping An Insurance has acquired 6.356 million shares of the Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi

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(Photo : Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay)

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

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Chinese insurance firm Ping An Insurance has acquired 6.356 million shares of the Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi. The acquisition of shares from the Japanese firm best known for developing the statin medication Crestor is Ping An Insurance's latest move to expand into the lucrative healthcare sector.

Ping An Insurance acquired the shares in a deal worth an estimated 2.18 billion yuan. The acquisition will effectively make Ping An the seventh-largest shareholder of one of Japan's largest and oldest pharmaceutical companies. As part of the deal, Ping An Insurance will obtain an exclusive agency for two new drugs developed by Shionogi for markets outside Japan.

Apart from the share sale, Ping An Insurance and Shionogi are reportedly in talks to establish a joint venture company that will be based in Hong Kong. According to sources with knowledge of the discussions, the new joint venture firm will primarily be focused on developing new drug therapies for central nervous system-related diseases. Once it develops viable products, the joint venture company will reportedly be transitioned into the manufacturing and sales of its new drugs.

Both companies plan to utilize the latest technologies to ensure the success of the joint venture. This will include the implementation of AI-based manufacturing processes and quality management systems to develop better products and provide enhanced medical services.

In a published statement, Ping An Insurance stated that health concerns and the importance of medical supplies have taken center stage amid the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus. The company stated that innovation and development of new drug therapies and treatments have become increasingly important given the current state of affairs.

Through the partnership it has formed with Shionogi, Ping An Insurance hopes that the two sides can maximize their respective advantages to tackle different healthcare issues. Ping An stated that Shionogi's treatments and innovative drugs can take full advantage of its solid health service platform and its continually growing user base.

Shionogi mirrored Ping An's sentiments and added that both companies do share the same vision of a better future in the medical and healthcare sector. With their combined abilities, Shionogi hopes that their strengths will result in the development of better solutions to meet the needs of the society while at the same time enhance corporate value for both parties.

The Japanese firm, which was founded in 1878 and incorporated in 1919, develops, manufactures, and distributes a variety of treatments that include antimicrobial and antibiotics. The company is currently listed in two Japanese exchanges and is a constituent of the Nikkei 255 stock index.

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