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Deals and Financings

Simcere Pharma (NYSE: SCR) has joined the stampede of China pharmaceutical companies that may go private (see story). Simcere, a Nanjing maker of branded generics and proprietary drugs, received an offer of $9.56 per ADS from its chairman and several related entities. The offer values Simcere at $503 million and represents a premium of 19% from its previous close. Simcere has formed a number of very interesting partnerships, whose payoffs, if they occur, remain in the future.

Shanghai Pharma (SHA: 601607; HK: 02607) paid $72 million to purchase an additional 20% stake in Chiatai Qingchunbao Pharmaceutical, a Hangzhou maker of TCM preparations and western chemical drugs. The 20% equity increases Shanghai Pharma's holdings from 55% to 75%.

Catalent Pharma Solutions of New Jersey announced two transactions that will increase its presence in China. First, Catalent will acquire a majority holding in Zhejiang Jiang Yuan Tang Biotechnology, a Haining maker of nutritional softgel products for China and other Asia Pacific markets. And second, Catalent formed a JV with ShangPharma that will provide supplies of drugs for clinical trials. Catalent is involved in drug delivery systems, including soft gels, and it also provides clinical and commercial supplies of drugs world-wide.

Domain Associates has set up a partnership with Elite Consulting, a consultant service for China's drug and medical device industry. Domain is a US venture capital firm focused on life science. The two companies formed a new entity called Domain Elite that will bring new healthcare products to China. Domain Elite will provide Western companies with financing, regulatory advice and marketing support. The initial products will be drawn from Domain's life science investments.

Pathwork Diagnostics, a California company that makes molecular diagnostic tests for cancer, will collaborate with Kindstar to provide the IVD kit version of Pathwork's Tissue of Origin Test for China distribution. The test is used to identify challenging tumors, including poorly differentiated, undifferentiated, and metastatic cancers. No financial details of the collaborative agreement were disclosed.

Government and Regulatory

China has given the State Food and Drug Administration responsibility for monitoring the safety of the nation's food supply.. However, the Ministry of Health will continue to formulate food safety policies, which the SFDA will administer. The SFDA will remain an agency of the Ministry of Health, even though reports surfaced last week that the SFDA would become a cabinet-level department by itself, a move that would have given the agency greater stature.

Trials and Approvals

Sinovac Biotech (NSDQ: SVA), a vaccine maker headquartered in Beijing, reported positive, preliminary top-line data from the Phase III clinical trial for its Enterovirus 71 vaccine, a human inoculation that protects against hand, foot and mouth disease (see story). The vaccine, which was administered to infants from 6 to 35 months, produced an efficacy of 95.4%.

Company News

BravoBio was named the 2013 BioSpectrum Asia Pacific Emerging Company of the Year. BravoBio, which is a biotech company located in Shanghai's Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, focuses on human-use vaccines. It also expects to develop diagnostics, MAbs and fusion proteins. For BioSpectrum, the company won the award because of its platform that helps China vaccine makers share their vaccine development expertise with international colleagues.

Disclosure: none.

Source: China Biotech In Review: Simcere Receives $503 Million Privatization Offer