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Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) won the prize for last week’s most innovative business plan. The company is transforming itself from a fully integrated big pharma to a partnership model, which it calls a Fully Integrated Pharmaceutical Network (FIPNet). The goal is to foster open collaboration between Lilly and global laboratory researchers. To implement that collaboration, Lilly unveiled a new program last week: the Phenotypic Drug Discovery Initiative, or PD2 (pronounced PD-squared) (see story). Lilly is offering a free-of-charge use to outside researchers of its disease-state assays, complete with a secure web portal, which will evaluate the therapeutic potential of externally-developed synthesized compounds. In return, Lilly will have an exclusive right to make the first bid on a partnership deal for any promising discoveries.

Another big pharma, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), announced it will use acquisitions and partnerships in an effort to become the number one drug seller in emerging markets such as China (see story). At present, Pfizer occupies the number three position. The emerging markets sector is worth $80 billion currently, and is expected to grow to $120 billion by 2012. Asked if acquisitions figured in the company’s future, Jean-Michel Halfon, President of Emerging Markets for Pfizer replied, "We see opportunities coming from the financial crisis ... opportunities to build partnerships in emerging markets."

NeoStem (NYSE Amex: NBS) is making good on its strategy of providing regenerative medicine therapies in China. Last week, the company announced an exclusive 10-year agreement with Enhance BioMedical Holdings Limited of Shanghai (see story). Using NeoStem-developed techniques, Enhance will build a stem cell collection and treatment network. The facilities are targeted for Shanghai, Taiwan, and the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Anhui and Jiangxi.

In regulatory news, China Aoxing Pharmaceutical (OTC:CAXG) reported it completed the registration trial of Codeine Phosphate, an oral solution that treats acute moderate to severe cough (see story). The company plans to announce top-line results from the trial by the end of Q3 of 2009, and it hopes to launch its codeine product in China in 2010, assuming positive trial results.

NeuroLogica Corporation, a privately held medical imaging company based in Massachusetts, will begin marketing its CereTom portable CT scanner in China, following approval of the machine by the SFDA (see story). NeuroLogica will open a business liaison office in Beijing to facilitate sales. CereTom is a portable eight-slice head and neck CT scanner that can be used in hospitals or medical clinics.

Vital Images (NSDQ: VTAL) will distribute its visualization software for CT and MR scans in China through Chindex International (NSDQ: CHDX) (see story). Vital Images has already obtained SFDA approval for its product, which Chindex will market to hospitals throughout China.

Sundia MediTech Company, a Shanghai CRO, reported its recently opened animal facility passed an audit from an unnamed major European pharmaceutical company (see story). The European company said Sundia’s lab has instituted the highest level of animal care and research practices. The inspection and audit took place in May.

As a sign that the worst part of the economic crisis may be past, Guilin Sanjin Pharmaceutical Co., a maker of traditional Chinese medicines, announced it will be the first China IPO of any sector in 2009 (see story). The company is planning to make its debut on June 29 on the Shenzhen exchange. China regulators banned IPOs nine months ago, after the Shanghai Composite Index fell 60% in 2008. Guilin Sanjin will issue up to 46 million new shares to fund 10 projects that will require 634 million RMB ($93 million) of investment.

In earnings news, Tianyin Pharmaceutical (NYSE AMEX: TPI), whose fiscal year ends in two weeks on June 30, announced it expects to report revenues of $42 million and net income of $7.5 million in its 2009 fiscal year (see story). Both numbers reflect an increase of 25% over year earlier results. Tianyin also issued guidance for further growth of 40% in fiscal 2010.

China Medical Technologies (NSDQ: CMED), a company that is prospering by focusing on in vitro diagnostic devices, reported preliminary financial data from its fiscal 2008 year, which ended March 31, 2009 (see story). The company said revenue increased 51% to $121 million, while net income jumped 80% to $2.3 million on a non-GAAP basis.

Disclosure: none.

Source: China Biotech in Review: New Developments