Deals and Financings
Jacobson Pharma (HK: 2633), Hong Kong's largest generic drug maker, completed an $85 million IPO on the Hong Kong exchange (see story). Eight of Jacobson's nine production facilities and almost all of its sales are in Hong Kong. According to the company, it has a 30% share of Hong Kong generic drug revenues, more than the next two companies combined. Jacobson makes generic drugs and TCM products, which it sells to public hospitals and private clinics and pharmacies. The company says it will allocate 45% of the proceeds to strategic acquisitions.
TenNor Therapeutics of Suzhou announced a $25 million Series B financing led by Northern Light Venture Capital (see story). TenNor is developing novel dual-acting antibiotics for unmet needs.The company's lead product, TNP-2092, is an oral capsule that treats gastrointestinal tract bacterial infections, especially digestive diseases associated with Helicobacter pylori. The funding will be used to support a China Phase III trial of TNP-2092.
Golden Meditech (HK: 00801; TW: 910801), a Hong Kong company with a China cord blood banking subsidiary, formed an autoimmune-focused biotech, Cellenkos, with the University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center (see story). Cellenkos will combine the T-reg stem cell technology developed at the Anderson Center and Golden Meditech's banked cord blood samples. Golden Meditech, along with an unidentified strategic investor, invested $10 million in the newco and owns warrants to purchase an additional $10 million of shares. If they exercise the warrants, the investors will own 51% of Cellenkos.
Shenzhen Nuokang Medical Equipment, a company that has developed a continuous, non-invasive blood pressure measurement device, raised $10 million in a funding led by JD Capital (see story). JD Capital, founded in 2007 and headquartered in Beijing, is a China venture capital and private equity firm. Nuokang will use the proceeds to improve the technology of its device, which is already approved in China, and to launch the device in China, the US and Europe.
PharmaLegacy Labs, a Shanghai preclinical CRO, formed a strategic alliance with Normalline of Beijing (see story). Normalline offers regulatory guidance for medical device companies seeking entry to China's market. The two companies positioned the alliance as a combination of Normalline's regulatory device expertise, which has a 100% approval success rate since its founding in 2008, with PharmaLegacy's animal models and bone/orthopedics capabilities.
FountainVest Partners, a China private equity investor, closed its third fund, FountainVest China Capital Partners Fund III, L.P., with $2.1 billion of committed capital (see story). Healthcare and pharmaceuticals are an important sector for FountainVest. The firm said the fund was oversubscribed, with support from existing investors and new international global institutional investors. FountainVest seeks opportunities in which its expertise can help create additional value, with a focus on China's growing consumer economy.
Trials and Approvals
Hua Medicine of Shanghai successfully completed a Phase II trial of HMS5552, a novel fourth-generation oral Glucokinase Activator (GKA) for type 2 diabetes (see story). Hua in-licensed global rights to the candidate from Roche (SIX: ROG) in 2011, its first program. The proof-of-concept trial, which enrolled 258 patients in 22 hospital centers across China, was led by Professor Dalong Zhu, President-elect of the Chinese Diabetes Society. Hua will release topline safety and efficacy results by mid-October.
Huons Global, a Korean pharma, expects approval to begin production of its China manufacturing facility very soon, making good on the company's plan to become a global pharma (see story). China is important to Huons, the company said, already contributing 30% of its ex-South Korea revenues. The plant opening will help Huons expand in China. Huons is developing six innovative drug products, which it hopes to make available globally.
The China National GeneBank, located in Shenzhen, opened this week (see story). The GeneBank will serve as a collector of genetic information from all forms of biology, including humans, animals, plants and microorganisms. Besides preservation of China's genetic heritage, the CNGB will serve as a clearing house for information, furthering research. China's national genomics information source was established by Shenzhen's BGI, the genomics sequencing company, and will be operated by the company with support from China's government.
WuXi Biologics, a division of WuXi AppTec, a China CRO/CMO, completed construction of the first phase of a commercial-scale cGMP biologics perfusion manufacturing facility in Wuxi city, China (see story). The entire project, announced in 2015, is expected to cost $150 million. The first phase includes two 1000L disposable bioreactors for perfusion processes. WuXi says the plant is the largest perfusion biologics manufacturing facility currently operating in Asia that uses disposable bioreactors.
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