Deals and Financings
Eddingpharm, a China in-licensing company, signed a deal worth up to $169 million for China rights to Vascepa®, a prescription omega-3 drug from Amarin Corp. (NSDQ: AMRN), an Irish-US pharma (see story). Vascepa lowers triglyceride levels. The deal includes a $15 million upfront payment. The remaining $154 million consists of development, regulatory and sales-based milestones. In addition, Eddingpharm will pay tiered double-digit royalties, which are capped in the high teens. Vascepa was granted US approval in 2012.
Georgia State University out-licensed China rights for a potential leukemia-fighting drug to Cisen Pharma, which is headquartered in Jining, Shandong Province (see story). The drug increases levels of p53, a naturally occurring protein that induces cell death in mutated genes. The drug was discovered by Dr. Binghe Wang of Georgia State, together with Professor Muxiang Zhou of Emory University. As part of the GSU-Cisen collaboration, Cisen will support research in Dr. Wang's lab.
Eisai Co. (TO: 4523) of Japan announced plans to build a second new plant in the Suzhou Industrial Park, which will make oral solid dose products (see story). The new facility, which will replace an existing Suzhou plant, will be built next to the parenteral facility that Eisai completed in December. Because Eisai anticipates increased demand for its products in China, the new facility will expand capacity to provide stable supply of oral solid dose drugs, including Methycobal, Aricept and Pariet for the China market.
TWi Pharma (TW: 4180) of Taiwan reacquired US distribution rights to two of its products from Teva (NYSE: TEVA), which TWi will now market through its own US subsidiary (see story). The two products are Megace® ES (megestrol acetate oral suspension), a treatment for weight loss, and Lidoderm® (lidocaine patch, 5%), a topical anesthetic. TWi makes difficult-to-make generic products, often with a controlled release delivery, with the US market as its primary target.
Trials and Approvals
MicuRx Pharma, a US-China company, was granted FDA approval to begin a US Phase II trial of its lead molecule, MRX-I, a novel oral antibiotic for drug-resistant Gram-positive infections (see story). MicuRx, which has already begun a parallel Phase II trial of the antibiotic in China, believes its antibiotic is both safer and more effective than others in the class. Headquartered in the San Francisco area, MicuRx also operates a lab in Shanghai’s Zhangjiang High-Tech Park.
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