1 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic liver diseases: viral hepatitis B and C, fibrosis, cirrhosis, non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis. 2 million people die of these diseases every year.
Until 2001, liver biopsy was the only existing medical technology to diagnose liver disorders. Problem: this technology is invasive as it consists in extracting a small piece of liver to analyze it.
In 2000 Laurent Sandrin presented a thesis on pulse elastography by ultrasound. A surgeon and a radiologist from the Montsouris Institute recommended he apply his research on shear waves and on the measurement of the elasticity of biological tissues to the liver.
Fundamental research has just demonstrated its applications and thus immediately opened a new market: non-invasive liver diagnosis.
The Fibroscan was launched in 2001: through shear waves whose speed depends on the elasticity of the medium through which it passes, it allows the measurement of key health parameters of the liver.
The market remained to be invested. Who better than Cathay to open up the Chinese market to such an innovative French technology?
Who better than Cathay and its two teams in Beijing and Shanghai to understand the strategy of Furui, the Chinese pharmaceutical group listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange which bought Echosens in 2011?
Who better than Cathay and its managers from Paris to New York to explain the Chinese and American market to Laurent Sandrin and his team?
We acquired a 24% stake in April 2015: 24% for 40 million. A minority shareholder but a leader on strategy: alongside an American MedTech fund and a Chinese family office, we unleashed the company’s potential.
A custom-made sales force of 30 people is created in the USA to manage distribution and share the uses of the Fibroscan device with American hospitals: in two years sales increased from 7 to 22 million euros. At the same time in China, a new version of the Fibroscan was launched to make this revolutionary technology, enabling diagnosis and predictions of liver diseases, accessible to hospitals in category 3 (249 cities) and 4 (368 cities). There is no difference between a sick Chinese liver and a sick American liver.
In less than 3 years, the company has built up its leadership thanks to our expansion strategy in Chinese and American markets and to its efficiency and autonomy gains in the field of governance.
Over this period, our IRR reached 36.7% and our performance x 2.45.
Cathay is at the heart of the world’s top 3 economies: without the creativity of the American market and the intelligence of the Chinese market Echosens would have remained a brilliant French research laboratory.
Cathay’s and entrepreneurs’ minds meet in believing in the power of their ideas: understanding entrepreneurs means helping them turn their ideas into businesses for the greatest benefit of all. Why invent a revolutionary method for diagnosing liver disease if not to save as many lives as possible?
Cathay is at the crossroads of global trends transforming markets: the ideas that change the world are not made in China, made in France or made in the USA, they are made in Brains. We are here to connect them to each other and to the markets, through the capital we invest and through our cross-border culture and ecosystem spanning 4 continents.