Recently listed Chinese CRO Tigermed launches charm offensive for South Africa.

After a stellar debut in which it raised close to US$1.4 billion, the Chinese clinical research services provider looks to establish a presence in South Africa.



Founded in 2004, the Chinese contract research organization made a strong debut in its Hong Kong listing back in August. The listing which saw the company’s stock jump by as much as 19 percent in its trading debut was the biggest listing for 2020 by an Asian health care provider. The CRO, whose stock was reportedly overbought 20 times, is one of many Chinese companies to have made the most of Hong Kong’s relaxed listing requirements for pharmaceutical research teams.


The company indicated it planned to use much of the nearly US$1.4 billion raised to fund expansion across other geographies, including potential acquisitions in the mix. Keeping true to its word, the company is looking to recruit a Global Project Manager and at least one Clinical Research Associate to be based in South Africa as it looks to plant its flag abroad. Tigermed is one of the major Chinese players who have serious inroads into research services. Its peers include other heavyweights such as WuXi AppTec and Pharmaron.


While the company can seemingly hold its own, having supported more than 300 trials and employing more than 5,200 according to its website, the South African market is one of the more mature markets for clinical research services, with most of the largest CROs already boasting a presence in the country. Only time will tell if Tigermed manages to meaningfully establish a foothold in Africa’s most developed economy, and if it will be looking to expand further north.