Deals and Financings
MID Labs, a California medical device company that develops novel products for vitreoretinal surgery, closed a $51 million funding from China investors (see story). The investment was led by OrbiMed and Frontline BioVentures, and it included Softbank China Venture Capital (SBCVC), Allen Chao and Sungent BioVenture. The proceeds will be used to continue development of MID Labs' products and increase production capacity in the US and China.
Invitae Corporation, a San Francisco genetic testing company, raised a huge $120 million in a Series F funding round (see story). One of the participants was Decheng Capital, a Shanghai-based investment company focused on life science. Decheng was spun out of San Francisco's Bay City Capital in 2011. Invitae has developed a single test for 218 genes that are associated with significant health problems. The test, which costs only $1500, provides a genetic reading in three weeks. Invitae says the new capital be used to build its infrastructure.
Sihuan Pharma (HK 0460) announced a second anti-viral collaboration with the Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS). The newest project involves BR-01, an anti-adenovirus drug (see story). The collaboration follows less than a week behind an agreement between Sihuan and AMMS for joint development of an AMMS-developed Ebola treatment. Sihuan expects BR-01 will prove effective as both a preventative and treatment for a broad spectrum of virus-caused illnesses. Financial terms of the collaboration were not made public.
Fosun International (HK: 656) won a takeover battle for a 51% stake Espirito Santo Saude, a Portuguese chain of hospitals, clinics and nursing homes (see story). Fosun upped its bid to $607 million, raising the price 4% from its previous offer of 4.82 euros per share to 5.01. Fosun's latest bid narrowly tops the 5 euro offer from UnitedHealth of the US, one of Fosun's chief rivals in the drama. The competition between bidders underscores the desire of investors to own hospital assets.
BravoVax (SHA: 600079) of China in-licensed a rotavirus vaccine (RRV-TV) that can be administered to newborns, unlike competing vaccines, which are approved only for infants over the age of two months (see story). The vaccine was developed by the International Medica Foundation of the US. BravoVax, a joint venture between Shanghai BravoBio and Humanwell Group of China, owns global rights to the vaccine except for the US, Europe and Japan. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Hangzhou Joinstar Biomedical Technology, a China IVD company, and Response Biomedical (TSX: RBM; OTCBB: RPBIF) of Canada will co-develop multiple assays to run on Joinstar's high throughput rapid immunoassay analyzer (see story). Joinstar said its new analyzer has much higher throughput than the current crop of point-of-care machines. Response will receive $8.82 million for its work.
Yew Bio-Pharm Group (OTCBB: YEWB), a Harbin company that grows yew trees for sale to China's TCM industry, will distribute a medical device in China that aims to treat carpal tunnel syndrome (see story). Carpal Aid, made by a US company with the same name, is a butterfly-shaped adhesive strip designed to lift the skin over the Carpal Tunnel ligament, relieving the pressure on the ligament and allowing it to heal. Yew will seek CFDA clearance for the device.
Trials and Approvals
In a call with investors, Sihuan Pharma (HK: 460) announced its newly acquired Ebola treatment, JK-05, could file for China approval by year-end if the drug is fast-tracked under CFDA green-light rules (see story). The company cited the ten-year-old history of the SARS vaccine as an example of regulatory efficiency. Sihuan acquired the drug from China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS).
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