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Deals and Financings

Amgen (NSDQ: AMGN) signed a memorandum of understanding with ShanghaiTech University to form a strategic partnership under which Amgen will open an R&D center at ShanghaiTech (see story). The purpose of the center will be biopharma discovery and translational research. Amgen will co-locate its China R&D center at two of ShanghaiTech University's life science institutes: the Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies and the iHuman Institute.

JHL Biotech, a biopharma startup formed by Genentech veterans and headquartered in Taiwan, will build a biologic manufacturing facility in Wuhan's Biolake Science Park. JHL and Biolake will form a JV to build the facility, with Biolake owning the majority share. The facility, which will be ready for operation in early 2015, will be used initially for JHL's contract manufacturing business.

Mindray Medical (NYSE: MR), the Shenzhen medical device maker, acquired Ulco Medical of Australia, its distributor in Australia, New Zealand and Oceana (see story). The purchase price was not disclosed. Mindray said it would continue Ulco's existing operations - presumably meaning distribution of its non-Mindray products - though the company would be renamed Mindray Medical Australia. Ulco has been distributing Mindray's patient monitoring and life support products since 2007, but not Mindray's extensive imaging or in-vitro diagnostic product lines.

Sinochem Jiangsu Pharma gained exclusive sales and distribution rights in China for generic mecobalamin immediate release tablets from Suzhou Amerigen Pharmaceuticals, the China subsidiary of Amerigen Pharma. Amerigen's business plan is to offer generic products, especially difficult-to-produce drugs, to the US and China markets. Suzhou Amerigen will manufacture the product in its Suzhou solid dose facility. The companies said the agreement was the start of a larger collaboration between them.

Company News

Boehringer Ingelheim completed a $95 million expansion of its Shanghai production facility, a process that included moving the company's China Center of Excellence from Waigaojiao to the Shanghai site. The Center of Excellence optimizes the vetting process for the APIs and intermediates that BI sources from its China partners. The site, located in Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, will also be the home for BI's $81 million biologics contract manufacturing operation announced in June.

Government

The Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen announced the first draft of a plan to develop a new biotech park, Shenzhen International Bio-Valley. It hopes to attract world-class companies to the park and establish cooperative relationships between the new companies and local biopharmas in Shenzhen. There are already 2000 relationships between Shenzhen pharmas and international entities. These will form a base for future growth.

Disclosure: none.

Source: China Biotech In Review: Amgen Partners With ShanghaiTech On China R&D Center