Skip to main content
Home > Week in Review > ChinaBio

ChinaBio Today
All content provided by: ChinaBio® Today Published on August 30, 2014

ZAI Laboratory Lands $30 Million in Initial Funding

Deals and Financings

ZAI Laboratory, Inc., an innovative drug startup based in Shanghai, raised more than $30 million from an international group of healthcare investors including Qiming, KPCB and Sequoia (see story). ZAI's founder and CEO is Dr. Samantha Du, previously founder and CEO of Hutchison MediPharma, who led healthcare investments at Sequoia Capital in China prior to launching ZAI Lab earlier this year. Dr. Du told ChinaBio® Today that ZAI, which roughly translates to “one more time,” will adopt a semi-virtual business model to develop a pipeline of five or six drug candidates with the intent of repeating the management team’s past success in China.

FortuneRock(China), a Beijing developer of novel protein drugs, closed a $24 million funding from China investors (see story). The company will use $19.5 million of the capital to build a GMP production facility in Tianjin, which it will spin off into a new company. The remainder is allocated toward pre-IPO and other general corporate expenses. FortuneRock(China) uses two proprietary platforms to generate novel molecules: one produces timed-release recombinant protein molecules and the other is a high-efficacy yeast expression system.

Luye Pharma (HK: 2186) of China will pay $599 million to acquire a 58% stake in Beijing Jialin Pharmaceutical Co., a company that makes drug products for cardiovascular diseases and cancer (see story). In 2013, Jialin produced $185 million of revenue. Last month, Luye staged a $764 million IPO in Hong Kong, and the shares have risen 41% since the IPO. According to Luye, the deal will add to its portfolio of cardiovascular drugs and broaden its sales network.

Hony Capital sold $528 million of its shares in CSPC Pharmaceutical (HK: 1093), lowering its stake in the company from 62% to 51% (see story). Just three months ago, Hony raised $570 million through a similar sale of CSPC shares for a total exit of $1.1 billion so far this year. In 2007, Hony bought CSPC, then known as China Pharmaceutical Group, from the municipal government of Shijiazhuang for $114.5 million.

China Biologic Products (NSDQ: CBPO), a plasma-based biopharma, will pay $87.1 million to purchase an additional 20% stake in Guizhou Taibang Biological Products (see story). The acquisition raises China Biologic's holding in Guizhou Taibang from 56% to 76%. In March, Guizhou Taibang completed the GMP certification of its new facility, making the company compliant with China's more stringent plasma production standards. 

The venture capital arm of WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE: WX) participated in the $24 million Series B funding of Aldea Pharmaceuticals, a California company that is developing innovative drugs to treat aldehyde metabolism disorders (see story). The funding will underwrite a Phase II proof-of-concept trial of Aldea's lead drug candidate, AD-6626, a treatment for acute alcohol intoxication. 

Amerigen, a generic drugmaker with a US/China focus, and China's Ningbo Menovo Pharma will collaborate to develop generic drugs for the US market (see story). Menovo will manufacture the APIs and finished products, while Amerigen will obtain US regulatory approval and commercialize the drugs. In addition, Amerigen will help Menovo gain FDA approval of its finished dose manufacturing facility in Daxie, China. Further details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Government and Regulatory

In a bid to increase private funding for hospitals, China's Ministry of Commerce announced foreign companies will be allowed to own 100% of China hospitals (see story). Previously, the limit was 70%. Although China has recently encouraged privatized investment in healthcare institutions, the government's goals for private funding were not being met, prompting the MOFCOM to liberalize its restrictions over foreign ownership.

Trials and Approvals

SciClone Pharma (NSDQ: SCLN), a California company that in-licenses drug products for the China market, received CFDA approval for DC Bead®, a minimally invasive treatment for liver cancer made by BTG plc (LSE: BTG) of the UK (see story). SciClone has exclusive China distribution rights to DC Bead, which it will purchase from BTG at an agreed-upon price. SciClone's current major product is Zadaxin®, a treatment for the liver diseases hepatitis B and C. 

Company News

Shanghai Fosun Pharma's (SHA: 600196; HK: 02196) diagnostics subsidiary announced the China launch of the MyCare assay tests, which were developed by Saladax Biomedical of the US (see story). The MyCare assays determine optimal chemotherapy dosing based on an individual patient's absorption and clearance rates. In March 2013, Fosun bought $22.4 million of Saladax's D shares, a deal that included China rights to the MyCare assays and gave Fosun majority ownership of Saladax.

Dehaier Medical Systems (NSDQ: DHRM) of Beijing is planning the China launch of its Sleep Respiratory Solutions, a diagnosis tool for obstructive sleep apnea (see story). Dehaier assembles the product from China-approved third-party components. Patients wear a watch-sized monitoring device, allowing at-home diagnosis of sleep disorders. Dehaier is a China medical device company that makes its own products and distributes devices for foreign device makers.  

Disclosure: none.

source: ChinaBio® Today. Copyright © 2014 ChinaBio® LLC. Redistributed with permisssion. All rights reserved.

About ChinaBio®

ChinaBio® Today is the most widely read source for news and insights on the rapidly evolving life science industry in China. From our offices in Shanghai and California, we provide daily news, commentary and analysis on China life science companies and industry events, as well as global issues affecting the China life science market.
Our parent organization, ChinaBio LLC, provides consulting services to assist Western companies seeking partners, technology or funding in China, as well as China companies seeking products or partners in the West. We are also well known for our conferences in China, including our ChinaBio Partnering Forum, which attracts over 700 attendees annually, our ChinaBio Investor Forums, connecting investors and innovation, and our invitation-only ChinaBio Leadership Retreat.