Chinese heparin maker's stock falls after strong debut

The pairing of the words "heparin" and "China" in the same sentence has usually involved disconcerting reports of lethal contamination and supply chain inadequacies. But last week, it appeared there could be some good news. Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical, a Chinese maker of a highly purified form of the blood thinner, provided overnight riches for married co-founders Li Li and Li Tan at its Shenzhen stock market debut late last week. Shares rose 18 percent after the stock's first day of trading.

But the backslapping and cigar smoking ended Monday morning when the stock fell 10 percent. The Financial Times reports that the initially high valuation stems from Shenzhen Hepalink's status as the only Chinese heparin exporter accredited by the FDA and the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare. The share price plummet, according to People's Daily Online, came because the stock was initially overvalued.

The highly purified heparin comes from the mucous membranes of pig intestines in a process developed by the Shenzhen Hepalink. The company is not among the 12 Chinese suppliers identified in the high-visibility contamination case, which still remains under investigation. The tainted drug caused 149 deaths in 2007 and 2008. Most recently, Congress took FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to task over the ongoing case.

- see the Financial Times report
- here's the People's Daily Online story
- read this NYT article