China Biotech In Review: Lilly Invests $100 Million In China Animal Healthcare

Includes: GSK, LLY, PKI, SDIX
by: ChinaBio Today

Deals and Financings

Eli Lilly's (NYSE: LLY) animal health division, Elanco, will make a $100 million investment into China Animal Healthcare Ltd. (SG: CAL; HK: 940) (see story). The capital, which will give Elanco a 20% stake in China Animal Health, will be used, in part, to de-list China Animal Health from the Singapore Stock Exchange. China Animal Health IPO'd in Singapore in 2007, and then instituted a secondary listing in Hong Kong in 2010. Elanco said the two companies have set up a framework for future collaborations.

OriGene Technologies acquired the assets of SDIX (NSDQ: SDIX) for $16 million, adding SDIX's signature platform, Advanced Genomic Antibody Technology™, to OriGene's collection of research tools, notably its cDNA library (see story). OriGene has global operations, including three facilities in China, which will give greater visibility to SDIX products. Two weeks ago, OriGene raised $21.3 million from China-focused investors in a C round.

Tong Ren Tang Technologies (HK: 01666), a maker of Traditional Chinese Medicines, is moving forward on its long-term plan to spin off and IPO a subsidiary, TRT Chinese Medicine, on the ChiNext exchange, probably within the next three months. TRT Chinese Medicines is China's largest exporter of TCM products. Details of the offering are not yet available.

The National Center for Drug Screening of China, located in Shanghai's Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, will collaborate with PerkinElmer (NYSE: PKI) to validate new diagnostic tests for diabetes in Asian populations (see story). Their partnership will be called the Translational Medicine Collaboration Center. Using next-generation sequencing technologies, the Center will seek to bring personalized medicine concepts to diabetes treatment in China.

Eddingpharm, a Shanghai company, signed a collaboration agreement with GlaxoSmithKline China (NYSE: GSK) that gives Eddingpharm exclusive rights to market and distribute Tykerb in China (see story). Tykerb was recently approved by the SFDA as a treatment for patients with HER2 positive breast cancer. The drug was indicated as a second-line treatment in patients with advanced or metastatic cancer. Terms were not disclosed.

Government and Regulatory

Last week, China issued its new 2012 Essential Drug List, a list that will have a profound effect on the pharmaceutical scene in China. Original research by ChinaBio discovered a revolutionary change in the new rules: China's Ministry of Health told provincial/municipal governments to consider quality - not just price - when choosing a drug supplier for the list. Under the new guidelines, provincial and local governments must provide their citizens with high quality drugs at a reasonable price. For drug companies, the change means that having one of their drugs included on the list can be a positive event, rather than a negative one.

In President Obama's new 2014 budget request, the FDA asked for $4.7 million to carry out inspections of China pharmas that export products to the US during the fiscal year 2014. The request includes funding for nine full-time equivalent employees. In previous years, the agency did not break out separate line items for China drug safety inspections. Once the employees are trained and up to speed, the FDA projects they will conduct 120 inspections per year by 2016.

In the wake of the growing bird flu outbreak, China's SFDA will fast-track approvals of a flu treatment - not a vaccine - known as peramivir. The drug is a neuraminidase inhibitor, which works by preventing the virus from moving from an infected cell to infect other cells. Guangzhou Nanxin Pharma has been approved to produce the medicine, and it expects to begin distributing the drug in 30 days. Other China pharmas have also filed for approval to make the drug or conduct human clinical trials.

Disclosure: none.