Australian manufacturer signs 10-year agreement with Chinese medical distributor

22 Jan 2020

Queensland-based Capricornia Contact Lens has signed a 10-year strategic distribution agreement with one of China’s leading pharmaceutical and medical equipment distributers, Shenzhen Relin Medicine.

Relin Medicine, located in Shenzhen, distributes medicines and medical equipment to over 3,000 hospitals and medical clinics to treat ophthalmology, orthopaedic, otorhinolaryngology problems and other illnesses such as digestive disorders. The company also supports work to assist disadvantaged patients regain sight through access to medical consultations and technologies.

Capricornia Contact Lens is a prescription contact lens manufacturing and distribution company. The firm’s designs include lenses for Orthokeratology, irregular corneas and specifically the treatment of Keratoconus. Capricornia also manufactures a comprehensive range of custom soft and rigid gas-permeable lenses using state-of-the-art computer-controlled lathes.

‘There are currently no satisfactory solutions to keratoconus at the middle and late stages in China and to ametropia after keratoplasty,’ says Xintao Xia, General Manager, Shenzhen Relin Medicine.

‘We had been looking for the right partners across the globe in Australia, the United States, Japan and Europe to help resolve these clinical pain points. With the assistance of leading ophthalmic experts in China and colleagues from Austrade, we were connected to Capricornia, a professional company in the field of contact lens with a history of 35 years.

‘The sclera lens Capricornia produces solved the issue perfectly. As Capricornia is also looking to develop in Asia and bring their premium products to China, we happily reached a consensus on cooperation,’ says Xia.

‘We are very excited to be collaborating with Relin and their partners,’ says Tony Capitano, Managing Director, Capricornia Contact Lens.

‘There is huge scope for us to make a positive impact in the treatment of eye disorders throughout China through our current advanced processes for lens manufacture but also by combining our research capability. Large diameter scleral lenses are relatively new to China and at Capricornia we have a long history and huge experience in this specialty lens sector.

‘It is early days and there is much to do, including relevant regulatory approvals and understanding the China hospital and eye clinic environments but we believe it's a great first step and important for the future growth and continued internationalisation of Capricornia,’ adds Capitano.

In April 2018, China’s State Council released a policy allowing Hainan Province to develop a special pilot zone to develop its international medical tourism industry. The State Council has allowed the Hainan provincial government to directly approve the import of certain medical devices which are in need by medical organisations, but not previously registered and approved by the National Medical Products Administration . This policy will allow foreign medical device firms market access to China via Hainan first, before needing to meet the necessary requirements for access to China as a whole.

Relin executives on the negotiating team acknowledged the important role played by Austrade as a neutral third party to assist with communications, advice and leveraging networks important to concluding the deal.

Contact Selina Yuan, Austrade’s Business Development Manager in Shenzhen, for more information on doing business in Shenzhen.