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All content provided by: ChinaBio® Today Published on April 18, 2015

Menarini Acquires China Rights to Novel Cancer Drug for $100 Million

Deals and Financings

Menarini (F: VSC) of Italy in-licensed China and Asia-Pacific rights to a proposed liver cancer treatment developed by Germany's 4SC AG for $100 million in upfront and milestone payments (see story). Resminostat, 4SC's lead oncology compound, is an oral histone-deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor currently in Phase II trials in Europe and Japan. According to 4SC, resminostat has a novel epigenetic mechanism of action that could be effective against several types of cancer, most likely in combination with other drugs. 

TVM Capital Life Science of Germany closed the first tranche of its China BioPharma Capital I fund at $50 Million (see story). With support from the fund, Chongqing Lummy Pharma (SHZ: 300006), the fund's strategic partner and only named investor, in-licensed greater China rights to Arcelis®, a cancer immunotherapy platform developed by Argos Therapeutics (NSDQ: ARGS) of North Carolina (see story), with financial support from the fund. 

The Lummy-Argos agreement calls for an upfront purchase of $10 million worth of Argos stock by Lummy and the TVM China BioPharma Capital I Fund. There are an additional $30 million in milestone payments. TVM Capital Life Science describes itself as a group of independent investment advisors and fund managers with offices in Munich, Montreal and, now with the new China emphasis, Hong Kong. 

Shanghai Fosun Pharma (SHA: 600196; HK: 02196) raised $940 million in a private placement with eight institutional investors (see story). The company, which is a contender for first place in the "China's Biggest M&A Player" competition, has a large appetite for capital to fund its desire to make deals. After the announcement, Fosun gained 17% on the Hong Kong exchange and hit the 10% daily limit in Shanghai.

Guided Therapeutics (OTCBB: GTHP) of the US booked $720,000 from a group of unidentified investors. The two groups also signed an MOU to negotiate China distribution rights for a cervical cancer screening device, the LuViva® Advanced Cervical Scan (see story). The investment bought 4 million shares Guided Therapeutics stock and warrants for an additional 2 million shares. The shares are worth $560,000 at the current price. 

Trials and Approvals

Jiangsu NHWA Pharma (SHE: 2262) and its Israeli partner, D-Pharm Ltd. (TASE: DPRM), were approved to begin China clinical trials of their epilepsy treatment, DP-VPA (see story). The drug was granted China Fast-Track status last year. Because DP-VPA has completed Phase II trials outside of China, NHWA will initially complete a bridging safety study and then conduct a large dose-ranging Phase IIb China trial among epilepsy patients. NHWA in-licensed greater China rights to the drug from D-Pharm in 2011.

PerkinElmer (NYSE: PKI), which offers products for human and environmental health, was granted CFDA approval to market a new fully automated analyzing device, the Genetic Screening Processor®, along with a test that screens for congenital hypothyroidism in newborns (see story). PerkinElmer said the GSP instrument is capable of testing for a wide range of prenatal and neonatal disorders using a spot of dried blood from the infant. 

Company News

Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX), a global medical device maker, enlisted Suzhou's Frankenman Medical Equipment Company to provide training to China physicians in the use of BSX's endoscopic surgery devices (see story). Although specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed, Boston Scientific will make an unspecified equity investment in Frankenman. The two companies have also agreed to collaborate on developing and marketing additional medical devices for China's market. 

Disclosure: none.

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