There was a particularly strong international flair to news from China biopharma last week. Almost all of the stories (with just two exceptions) involved the crossing of international lines. And not all of these stories involved money or technology heading toward China. There was a definite reciprocity, because some of the articles showed China companies expanding by reaching out to markets outside their own borders.
Boehringer Ingelheim of Germany became the latest big pharma to recognize that future revenue growth was most likely to occur in emerging markets (see story). The company announced it will invest an additional $149 million in China with the goal of increasing its market share in China and the Far East. The company will use the money to expand capacity at its existing drug production facility in Shanghai's Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, and it will also establish an R&D facility there to develop vaccines for viruses that are specific to the Far East.
Simcere Pharmaceutical Group (NYSE: SCR) acquired the China rights to a dual-mechanism cancer drug from OSI Pharmaceuticals (NSDQ: OSIP) (see story). Before marketing the drug, Simcere must first obtain regulatory approval for OSI-930, and then it will produce and market the drug in China. In the US, OSI-930 is also in early stage clinical development: the drug has completed a Phase I trial.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) announced an agreement to collaborate on stem cell research (see story). The pact will make it easier to form cross-border teams that are working in similar areas. If the teams’ funding requests are approved, the researchers in each country will be supported by their respective agency, CIRM or MOST. The announcement was made this week, adding details to a story that ChinaBio Today originally broke late last week.
Next month, CRO Shanghai ChemPartner will open a European headquarters office in Denmark that will be known as ChemPartner Europe ApS (see story). The office, which will function as a liaison to Europe’s biopharma industry, will be sited in Scion Research Park in Hørsholm, in the outskirts of Copenhagen. This area is called Medicon Valley and is home to many pharmas and service companies.
BioTime, Inc. (BTIM.OB) announced that Dr. David Jin, Chief Medical Officer of BioTime’s newly formed subsidiary, OncoCyte Corporation, presented the keynote address at the Fifth Chinese Congress on Stem Cell Therapy in Beijing (see story). The presentation, which was delivered Friday, October 23, discussed OncoCyte’s technology that uses hemangiogenic stem cell technology to target and destroy tumors.
China Medical Technologies (NSDQ: CMED) received SFDA approval for its Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) diagnostic technology, a molecular biology biosensor (see story). China Medical Technologies has developed SPR as a diagnostic test for human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that causes warts and can ultimately cause cervical cancer. Although the approval was expected, it is nevertheless important, because one year ago, China Medical paid a very substantial $345 million to acquire the technology.
China Medicine Corporation (OTCPK:CHME) announced that Levocarnitine Dried Powder Injection has been registered in Pakistan (see story). Levocarnitine is used to treat coronary heart disease and acute myocardial infarction. For China Medicine, the event is significant because it is the company’s first sales foray outside the PRC.
Sinovac Biotech (SVA) received a Certificate of Approval to distribute its swine flu vaccine, PANFLU.1, in Mexico, the first swine flu vaccine to be registered there (see story). However, before vaccine can be shipped to Mexico, China’s government must approve its export.
Advanced BioMedical Technologies (OTCQB:ABMT) of Shenzhen and Middletown, NY reports it has used its Polyamide (PA) Absorbable Orthopedic Implant Screw in 63 test subjects, as part of its China clinical trial (see story). The SFDA requires a minimum of 60 cases. As soon as the company prepares comparison data, it will apply to the SFDA for approval of its medical device.
Bonovo Orthopedics struck a deal to distribute surgical procedure products in China for elliquence, LLC of New York State (see story). Headquartered in the US, all of Bonovo’s operations are in China. Bonovo manufactures orthopedic and neurosurgical products in its China facilities, and it also distributes other companies’ medical devices through its China distribution network. Financial terms of the agreement were not announced.
And finally, China Biologic Products (CBPO) was named to the 2009 list of "200 Best under a Billion" for Asia, a list put together by Forbes Magazine (see story). China Biologic, which develops and markets plasma-based pharmaceutical products, has been growing through M&A transactions in China’s heavily regulated plasma sector. To create its list, Forbes selects listed companies with revenues of under $1 billion, solid growth history and excellent prospects.