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Week in Review: Shanghai Pharma Considers $4 Billion Bid for Germany's Stada
Deals and Financings
Shanghai Pharma (SHA: 601607; HK: 02607) may bid $4 billion to acquire Stada Arzneimittel (DE: STAGn), a German generic drugmaker (see story). Stada has already accepted a similar offer from a consortium formed by two private equity firms -- Bain and Cinven. However, Shanghai Pharma has until June 8 to make an offer at a higher price. One of the problems with Shanghai Pharma's entry will be Beijing, which recently introduced restrictions on foreign investment. Shanghai Pharma may team up with European PE fund, Advent, or some other PE firm. Earlier, Fosun Pharma considered making a bid for Stada, though it is no longer in contention.
Athenex, a US-China biopharma, filed to raise $100 million in a US IPO on the NASDAQ exchange. Athenex has developed a platform that develops oral formulations of existing chemotherapies (see story). Its lead product is an oral form of paclitaxel (Oraxol), which it is developing along with oral irinotecan, docetaxel and topotecan. In 2016, Athenex raised $200 million from New York State -- the company is headquartered in Buffalo, New York -- in return for a promise to provide manufacturing jobs. One year earlier, Athenex struck a similar deal with Chongqing, China to build two manufacturing facilities there.
Beijing Sinobioway added five new Conditionally Active Biologic antibody targets to its collaboration with BioAtla, a San Diego-Beijing biotech (see story). Sinobioway will pay $50 million to BioAtla for China rights to the new targets, consisting of $30 million in cash and $20 million in manufacturing and development costs (at a discounted rate). In 2015, Sinobioway in-licensed greater China rights to four CAB candidates from BioAtla. The two companies have also signed a new services agreement that calls for Sinobioway to provide BioAtla with development and manufacturing services.
Aslan Pharma (TT: 6497) of Singapore completed the competitive auction part of its Taiwan IPO, selling 10.4 million shares at a weighted average bid of NT$68.92 ($2.29) (see story). The company will now start a five-day public subscription offering of 2.6 million additional shares at the average price, indicating Aslan's IPO will raise $30 million. Aslan has also announced that, in conjunction with the IPO, it has opened a new office in Taiwan that will support its growing business in Taiwan and Asia. The company's shares will begin trading on the Taipei Exchange on the first day of June.
3SBio (HK: 1530) of Shenyang entered a strategic cooperation agreement with Lilly China under which 3SBio will promote and distribute Lilly's (NYSE: LLY) well-established Humulin®, an insulin product (see story). Originally formulated in 1982, Humulin was the first recombinant insulin product in the world. It has been available in China since 1997. In October 2016, 3SBio paid $100 million for rights to market two AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) diabetes products in China: Byetta and Bydureon, both of which are injectable Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 antagonists for type 2 diabetes.
Beijing's CANbridge Life Sciences partnered with Amoy Diagnostics of Xiamen, China to develop a companion diagnostic assay for CANbridge’s lead candidate, a treatment for glioblastoma multiforme (see story). In European trials, CAN008 provided a significant overall survival benefit for recurrent GBM patients with high expression of the CD95 ligand, or low methylation of a CD95L promotor, CpG2. CAN008 is currently being tested in Phase I/II clinical study among GBM patients in Taiwan. CANbridge plans to start a China Phase II trial of CAN008 next year.
Germany's Boehringer Ingelheim officially opened its $77 million China biologic drug contract manufacturing facility for biologic drugs in Shanghai (see story). The project, which is a joint venture with Shanghai Zhangjiang Biotech and Pharma Base Development, will join BI's three existing biologic CMO facilities, located in Europe and the US. BI also announced a long-term, early science collaboration with Peking University. The collaboration aims to discover new drug candidates for cardiometabolic disease and cancer immunology, using regenerative medicine and gene therapy.
Government and Regulatory
The CFDA has begun circulating draft proposals for broad-based reforms that will bring China's drug regulatory system closer to western procedures (see story). Among other changes, the CFDA plans to begin approving INDs automatically if the agency doesn't issue a ruling within two months -- a much shorter timeline than the current practice. It will also allow conditional access to better treatments for rare diseases after Phase I trials. The agency loosened its controls over China clinical trial sites and improved IP protection of novel drugs. And the National Reimbursable Drug List will be updated continuously (the February update was the first in eight years).