Analyst: China's vax industry poised for fast growth

A Chinese venture capital firm expects the country's booming vaccine business to accelerate at the jaw-dropping rate of 25 percent a year. By 2012, says investment banker Zero2IPO, the sector will mushroom to $1.12 billion (eight billion yuan). And investors from around the world will tumble into China to take advantage of the rapid ramp up and wide profit margins.

Zheng Yufen, senior manager for healthcare at Zero2IPO, says the Chinese government has ambitious plans to improve public health in the country. And much of the 26 billion yuan budgeted for health over the next two years will be funneled into vaccines.

According to the People's Daily, 40 vaccine manufacturers dot the landscape in China. But aside from big players like Tiantan Biological Products and Sinovac Biotech, many are privately owned and small. "Money is their biggest concern when they plan to expand," adds Zheng.

The boom hasn't escaped the notice of the world's biggest vaccine companies. Novartis recently snapped up a controlling interest in one of the country's private manufacturers. And GlaxoSmithKline has been working away, setting up joint ventures on R&D for new vaccines.

- here's the story from the People's Daily