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Week in Review: Xinbang Pharma Acquires Chinese Peptide Co. for $323 Million
Deals and Financings
Guizhou Xinbang Pharmaceutical (SHE: 002390) paid $323 million to acquire Chinese Peptide Company, located in Hangzhou, from the nine companies that owned it (see story). In addition, Xinbang raised as much as $106 million, which it will use to expand CPC's peptide production capacity. Founded in 1997, CPC describes itself as a high-quality, reasonable-cost maker of peptides and IVD reagents.
FibroGen (NSDQ: FGEN) of San Francisco received a $15 million milestone from AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) for roxadustat, a novel clinical-stage treatment for anemia (see story). AstraZeneca in-licensed US and China rights for roxadustat in 2013, paying $350 million upfront and up to $450 million in milestones. In China, FibroGen is in charge of obtaining CFDA approval of roxadustat, but AstraZeneca will be responsible for marketing the drug there. FibroGen expects to submit an NDA for approval of roxadustat in China in 2016, before a planned 2018 filing in the US.
Provectus (NYSE: PVCT), a Tennessee clinical-stage biopharma, reiterated that the company remains committed to finding a China partner for its lead molecule, PV-10, a cancer treatment (see story). In August 2014, Provectus signed a MOU with Sinopharm, a state-owned company, for China rights to PV-10. That agreement has been extended past its original 3-month limit, but it expires again next week, on May 16. Provectus said it hopes to sign a deal with Sinopharm prior to the date.
BGI, the giant Shenzhen genomic sequencing company, struck a deal with Qiagen (NSDQ: QGEN) that allows BGI to be a reseller of Qiagen's bioinformatics program, Ingenuity® Variant Analysis™, to all of BGI's sequencing customers (see story). BGI customers, who will receive their sequencing data through the cloud-based platform, will be able to use Qiagen's gene variant data and genomic interpretation applications. BGI said the addition will speed up workflow. Qiagen is a Dutch sample, assay and bioinformatics company.
Concord Medical (NYSE: CCM), which operates radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging centers in China hospitals, will collaborate with the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas to develop state-of-the-art cancer care programs (see story). Concord has begun operating oncology-focused hospitals, and it will implement the cancer program in its hospitals in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The agreement is a first for MD Anderson in Asia. It will cover most provinces in China and in Singapore, and it will be an exclusive relationship for the Beijing and Shanghai hospitals.
Trials and Approvals
Bayer AG (XETRA: BAYN) announced that the CFDA has approved Xarelto (rivaroxaban), a once-daily oral anticoagulant, for two new anti-clotting indications: strokes and deep vein thrombosis (see story). Xarelto has been on the China market since 2009 to prevent clots following hip or knee replacement surgeries. Both of the new indications were approved based on data submitted from Bayer's large-enrollment global trials.
Shanghai Generon Corporation has been granted FDA approval to begin a US Phase IIa clinical trial of its novel recombinant human interleukin (see story). The molecule will be tested as a treatment for graft-versus-host disease in the lower intestines of patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplants, a side-effect with incidence as high as 50%. Generon says the drug offers a treatment alternative that, instead of increasing immune suppression, aims to regenerate the intestines.
PharmaEngine (TWO:4162) of Taiwan announced that its licensing partner, Merrimack Pharma (NSDQ: MACK) of Boston, and its sublicensing partner, Baxter International (NYSE: BAX), have applied for European marketing approval of MM-398, a liposome-encased form of irinotecan (see story). The drug is indicated to treat metastatic pancreatic cancer in patients previously treated with gemcitabine. PharmaEngine retains rights to the drug in Taiwan, but out-licensed the global rights (ex-Taiwan) to Merrimack in 2011 for $10 million upfront and $210 million in milestones, plus royalties.