Local firm secures capital boost to set up more dialysis centers

Published November 16, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

Pioneering dialysis chain operator MedLine announced that it has secured funding from ARQCapital for the establishment of stand-alone dialysis centers in key areas in the country, giving Filipinos better access to affordable dialysis treatment.

The MedLine-ARQCapital partnership is a welcome development for the country’s health sector, which is now seeing a rising need for more dialysis centers.

Brothers Alexander and Sonny Lim and their family established MedLine in 2015, with the goal of becoming the leader in the fast-growing but highly fragmented US$300-million Philippine hemodialysis market.

To grow faster and make affordable dialysis available across the country, the group partnered with Francorp to design the first dialysis franchise program in the Philippines.

Since 2018, the brand has been adding an average of 1 to 2 new franchises every month and is planning to add 20 franchises over the coming 12 months, in locations such as Baguio, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro.

ARQCapital, meanwhile, was established in 2014 and has since become a leading boutique investment firm focused on providing growth capital to promising entrepreneurs and SMEs in the Philippines in key sectors such as food and agriculture, consumer, social infrastructure, and financial services.

Kidney-related diseases are consistently among the top 10 most common causes of death in South East Asia. Chronic Kidney Disease regresses towards end-stage renal disease (ESRD) which can be described by the necessity to perform life-saving dialysis or kidney transplantation, although the issue with the latter is that there is a shortage of donors.

Worldwide, the number of patients receiving renal replacement therapy (RRT) is estimated at more than 1.4 million cases with incidence growing at approximately 8% annually.

In the Philippines, this number is even greater. As of 2018, it is estimated that the number of cases of kidney diseases are increasing at a rate of 10% to 15% each year. However, it is also estimated that only 2 out of 3 patients diagnosed with ESRD are going through dialysis. This leaves a huge portion of patients with this illness in desperate need for proper treatment for their condition.

There are several reasons as to why it can be difficult for patients with ESRD to receive treatment. One of the biggest issues is the cost related to medical expenses.