J&J buys first Chinese medical device company

Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) made a big move in China this week with the purchase of its first medical device company in that country. The healthcare titan picked up Guangzhou Bioseal Biotech, which develops a porcine plasma-derived biologic product for controlling bleeding during surgery, for an undisclosed sum.

Bioseal will work closely with J&J's Ethicon unit, whose biosurgery brands Surgicel and Surgiflo are already on the market in China.

"This transaction reinforces our commitment to China and delivering innovative medical device solutions to the Chinese market," said Xie Wen Jian, president of J&J Medical China, in a statement. "We are very pleased to add the Bioseal brand to our growing portfolio of hemostasis products in China and we look forward to working with our new Bioseal colleagues to bring their innovative products to more physicians and patients."

Like other medical device and pharma companies, J&J has been eyeing Asian markets--and China in particular--for a number of years now. As the healthcare giant notes in a statement, it has done business in China for around a quarter century and last year established a new innovation center there to design and develop devices and diagnostic products specifically for the region's emerging markets.

In an interview with Bloomberg late last month, newly installed J&J CEO Alex Gorsky said he'd focus on medical devices such as heart valves in order to expand the company's presence in China and other emerging markets. So the Guangzhou buy could be the first of many we can expect in the coming months and years.

- check out the J&J release