Deals and Financings
Innovent Biologics of Suzhou announced a significant $100 million C round funding, which the company will use to advance its portfolio of eight biologic drug candidates (see story). Founded in 2011, Innovent already has filed four IND applications in China. The company's portfolio consists of a combination of innovative candidates and biosimilars. In addition, Innovent also offers biologic CMO services to other companies from its large EMEA/FDA/cGMP compliant facility in Suzhou's BioBay Park. Innovent's goal is to provide high quality biologic drugs to China at a reasonable price, with products in the oncology, diabetes and autoimmune sectors.
Hubei Biocause Pharma (SHE: 000627) raised $1.6 billion in a private placement from its largest shareholder, Yiqian Liu and his family. Hubei Biocause will allocate $1.2 billion of the capital to purchase a 44% stake in Guohua Life Insurance, a China company based in Shanghai (see story). The purchase gives Hubei Biocause majority control of Guohua, since it already owned a 7.4% stake. The private placement will raise the Liu family's holdings in Hubei Biocause from 24% to 76%.
Meinian Onehealth Healthcare, a Shanghai-based network of China clinics that offer health checkups and disease screening, has made an investment in a rival, Ciming Health Checkup Management of Beijing (see story). The size of the investment was not disclosed. The two companies will remain independent, but they will share data and help each other expand. Combined, Meinian and Ciming operate about 200 clinics in China.
Kingworld Medicines (HK: 1110), a company that imports healthcare and medical device products for distribution in China, signed a cooperation agreement with Sinopharm Capital Management (see story). The agreement calls for Kingworld to market certain Sinopharm products in China, while Sinopharm will continue to distribute them. Sinopharm will distribute the products to pharmacies and hospitals, but Kingworld will grow into a niche marketer, specializing in e-business, clinical marketing services and up-stream manufacturing.
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company of Tokyo entered an Asian CRO biologics partnership with US-based Catalent Pharma (NYSE: CTLT) (see story). Using its GPEx® technology, Catalent will engineer cell lines for the partnership's clients, and MGC Pharma will provide Phase III and commercial manufacturing. In addition, MGC will use the GPEx technology to offer biosimilar cell lines to clients.
PerkinElmer (NYSE: PKI), a US lab services company, opened a medical lab in Suzhou to provide prenatal and infectious disease screening in China (see story). The Suzhou PerkinElmer Medical Laboratory will expand the company's lab services to include molecular cytogenetics detection, screening for inherited metabolic diseases and viral loads testing. In China, PerkinElmer sells its portfolio of instruments, kits and software to diagnostic and research labs.
Trials and Approvals
The CFDA approved the world's first inactivated Sabin strain polio vaccine, which was developed by the Institute of Medical Biology of the Academy of Medical Sciences in Kunming, Yunnan province (see story). The inactivated vaccine is considered safer than the weakened form of the polio virus currently in use, which can, in rare cases, actually cause the disease. The IMB will produce and market the new vaccine under the brand name Ai Bi Wei for use in newborns. It will also supply vaccine to WHO's polio eradication program.
Government and Regulatory
At a recent executive meeting, China's State Council, with Premier Li Keqiang presiding, addressed the disparity of healthcare availability between China's urban and rural areas (see story). China's ruling body said China's rural areas should have one doctor per 1,000 residents. To make this happen, the State Council declared pay will be increased for rural doctors, and it further liberalized rules for private ownership of hospitals.
source: ChinaBio® Today. Copyright ©
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