Production capacity of hematology reagents is to be doubled
Handle expansion in medical services driven by economic growth
HORIBA Group's local subsidiary in Brazil, HORIBA ABX Ltda. (*1), acquired a 10,000 m2 site(*2) on the outskirts of Sao Paolo, Brazil, and will construct a plant there for the manufacture of hematology reagents(*3) for hospitals where hematology analyzers are used. The intent is to double current plant production capacity and to completely transfer all production, marketing and sales functions to the favorably-situated new plant.
HORIBA acquired the French company ABX (presently HORIBA ABX SAS) (*4) in 1996 and made a full-scale entry into the medical business centered on blood cell counters. In recent years HORIBA made active investment in not only the automotive and semiconductor-related businesses but also the medical business - by increasing hematology reagents production facilities in France and China, etc. - as a generator of sustained profits. In 1997 a local subsidiary, ABX HEMATOLOGIA Ltda. (presently HORIBA ABX Ltda.), was established in Brazil for the production of reagents as supplemental as well as for marketing and other services. Our mainstay mid-sized automated blood cell counter (*5) currently ranks top in Brazil, and the sales of hematology reagents and other business activities there are expanding. With Brazilians enjoying increasingly affluent lifestyles, the medical services they require are expected to see greater diversity in future, and in view of even greater demand, the HORIBA's aim is to bolster its supply structure by building and transferring over to a new plant. The land was thus purchased for the construction of this new plant, where HORIBA will build up a new factory to enhance production capacity. Taking advantage of the favorable geographical location of the new plant site, with its easy access to trunk roadways linking major cities, HORIBA will introduce round-the-clock operations, product maintenance courses and other enhancements as service system.
Medical care in Brazil
Brazil's public medical insurance program enables participants to receive medical services for free (medication costs are borne by patients) but this insurance coverage is only applicable at public hospitals. Private insurance offering medical coverage at private hospitals as well is becoming increasingly popular, and the state of Sao Paolo, home to the country's largest number of private insurees (17 million), features many hospital users to whom high added-value medical services are provided. Brazil is expected to continue seeing rapid economic growth, so a rise is anticipated in the number of hospital users due to improved living standards and an accompanying increase in the rate of private medical insurance enrollment. HORIBA will seek to bolster its reagent supply and service structure to meet the increasing demands for products arising from greater demand for medical services.
Explanations of terms
(*1) HORIBA ABX Ltda.
Established in 1997 in the city of Sao Paolo as a subsidiary of ABX, and operating medical business. It is the sole company in Latin America of HORIBA.
[Sales: approx. 2 billion yen; Employees: 70; Reagent production capacity: 2,000 tons; Location: City of Sao Paolo, State of Sao Paolo, Federal Republic of Brazil; Director-General: Hamilton Ibanes (as of December 2009)]
(*2)Site for new reagent plant
Lot area: 10,000 m2
Address: Road Dom Gabriel Paulino Bueno Couto, km 67,7 City of Jundiai, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Solutions for diluting blood and solutions for washing device parts used when measuring the numbers and types of red/white blood cells and platelets in blood samples. By way of analogy, these reagents are consumables in the same fashion as telephone charges are for the cell phone market or toner is for copy machines, and they have become a key pillar in our profit structure, accounting for about 60% of our sales in this field.
(*4) HORIBA ABX SAS
A blood cell counter manufacturer established in 1983 that provides technical resources for small and mid-sized blood cell counter devices through a domestic sales/manufacturing license agreement signed in 1987. After the acquisition of ABX by HORIBA in 1996, the company is presently engaged in the manufacturing and sales of equipment for medical examinations for overseas markets, playing a central role in such areas as reagent sales and incidental services.
[Sales: approx. 16 billion yen; Employees: 750; Reagent production capacity: 13,000 tons; Location: Montpelier, Republic of France; President: Bertrand de Castelnau (as of December 2009)]
(*5) Mid-sized blood cell counter
A testing device that measures the numbers and types of red/white blood cells and platelets within blood samples, diagnosing anemia from red blood cells and the presence of infection from white blood cells. Capable of testing dozens of samples at a time, it is a mainstay product in HORIBA's medical business in Europe and North/South America.