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All content provided by: ChinaBio® Today Published on September 13, 2014

Beike Biotech In-Licenses Cancer Drug in $200 Million Deal

Deals and Financings

Shenzhen Beike Biotechnology acquired China rights to a novel cancer immunotherapy developed by Altor BioScience of Florida (see story). ALT-803 is Altor’s proprietary Interleukin-15 (IL-15) based superagonist complex that is currently in four US Phase I/II clinical trials. Beike made an upfront payment of $4 million and invested another $5 million in Altor. Beike also agreed to a package of over $200 million in development and sales milestones and will pay a tiered double-digit royalty on sales. 

OrbiMed Advisors closed its pan-Asia healthcare fund, OrbiMed Asia Partners II L.P., with $325 million in capital (see story). That is much higher than the $188 million raised for the company's first Asia fund and slightly above the $300 million target. OrbiMed plans to make between 15 and 20 investments from the fund with a $40 million cap on any one transaction. However, if appropriate, OrbiMed's global fund could contribute and bring the total up to $100 million. 

Institute Curie, a major French medical research center and hospital, will partner with a Shenzhen investor to build a large, international cancer-focused hospital in the Qianhai area of Shenzhen (see story). The total cost for the facility will be $486 million. The investor, Shenzhen Qianhai Zhongtian Kecheng Investment Management, said the 1,000-bed hospital will have a pay-back of six years. The hospital will be called the Shenzhen Curie (France) Cancer Treatment and Rehabilitation Center. 

Lee's Pharm (HK: 950) in-licensed China rights to distribute a second prescription drug product from Abiogen Pharma of Italy (see story). In the latest deal, Lee's will market Thorens® Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Earlier this year, Lee's gained China rights to Abioden's Attila®, an orphan drug for brittle bone disease (see story). Vitamin D deficiency is a common cause of osteoporosis, especially in dialysis patients, whose kidneys often cannot process the vitamin.

Trials and Approvals

Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharma (SHA: 600332; HK: 0874) was granted CFDA approval to market the first generic version of Viagra in China (see story). Viagra (sildenafil citrate) is Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE) blockbuster treatment for erectile dysfunction. China's ED market -- comprised of Viagra, its western competitors and now Baiyunshan -- is estimated at almost $300 million a year. Baiyunshan will price its generic Viagra at about half the $15 that Pfizer charges for a single Viagra pill in China. 

Aslan Pharma, based in Singapore, has begun dosing patients in a Taiwan Phase I trial of its lead compound, ASLAN001, in patients with solid tumors, especially gastric cancer (see story). ASLAN001 is a small molecule, oral pan-HER inhibitor that Aslan in-licensed from Array Biopharma (NSDQ: ARRY) in 2011. The molecule successfully completed a Phase IIa trial as a second-line treatment among a similar patient population in South Korea last year. 

Mazor Robotics (TASE: MZOR; NSDQ: MZOR) of Israel received CFDA approval to market its Renaissance® guidance system in China (see story). Renaissance is a guidance system for spine surgeries. The system will be marketed in China by Cicel, a medical device distribution company that is based in Beijing. Cicel believes that several hundred China hospitals are viable candidates for the system. 

Company News

ACM Global Central Laboratory, a US-headquartered central lab, upgraded its clinical trial support service network with the official opening of ACM Shanghai, a company-owned facility (see story). In January 2014, ACM acquired Phoenix Labs, which operated a central lab in Singapore and was constructing the Shanghai facility. Prior to the acquisition, ACM has been operating in Singapore, Shanghai and other Asia-Pacific countries for 15 years through affiliates. 

Disclosure: none.

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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.
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