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"Pharma in China Being Held to Higher Standard, Says Greg Scott, ChinaBio"
Week in Review: WuXi PharmaTech Contributes to Syros Pharma Funding
Deals and Transactions
Syros Pharmaceuticals, a Boston area startup, raised $30 million to develop treatments for cancer and other diseases by controlling the switches that regulate gene expression (see story). The WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE: WX) Corporate Venture Fund participated in the funding, which was led by ARCH Venture Partners and Flagship Ventures.
A subsidiary of Hua Han Bio-Pharma (HK: 00587) signed a framework agreement to set up a JV with National Vaccine & Serum Institute (see story). NVSI is a Beijing-based company that is part of the China National Biotec Group. Hua Han’s subsidiary will fund the JV with between 30 and 50 million RMB of capital ($5-8 million), while NVSI will contribute rights to three biopharma products.
Tasly Pharma (SHA: 600535), a TCM maker, paid $240 million to acquire Jiangsu TaslyDiyi Pharma, a maker of chemical drugs (see story). TaslyDiyi was 75% owned by Tianjin Tasly Group, Tasly Pharma’s corporate parent. The remaining 25% belonged to Chongshi Ventures. In 2003, Tasly Group and Chongshi Ventures bought Diyi Pharma for 67 million RMB, which means their 10-year holding returned 22 times their initial investment.
3SBio (NSDQ: SSRX) received a much-higher offer from the consortium that wants to take the company private. The offer now stands at $16.70 per ADS, up from $15.40 (see story). Rumors have surfaced that other bidders would bid up to $20 per ADS. But 3SBio effectively quashed the offers by threatening that the majority of senior management would leave the company unless the winning consortium includes 3SBio’s Chairman/CEO, Jing Liu. Dr. Liu is the man behind the original offer and the now-increased bid.
Takeda (TO: 4502) and Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) agreed to co-promote Takeda’s Alogliptin, a DPP-4 treatment for type 2 diabetes, in China (see story). Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi will have the exclusive right to promote the drug in certain defined territories in China. Alogliptin is currently being reviewed for marketing by the SFDA; Takeda expects an approval sometime this year. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Eisai (TO: 4523) of Japan announced plans to build a new production facility in Suzhou, alongside its current China plant (see story). The new facility will make injectible drugs, especially Methycobal®, a treatment for peripheral neuropathies and one of Eisai’s major products in China. According to Eisai, its China sales are growing, a trend it expects to continue, and the company wants to insure a steady supply of products.
Using lasers as optical tweezers, China scientists have picked apart a blockage in the capillaries of a mouse ear, cell by cell (see story). The work was done by Yin-Mei Li, PhD, and her team from the University of Science and Technology in China in Hefei. The researchers explained that the weak forces generated by light passing through molecules were strong enough to allow the cells to be manipulated.