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Deals and Financings

BeiGene, an innovative Beijing biopharma, out-licensed the ex-China rights for a second novel cancer treatment to Merck Serono (Xetra: MRK). The terms of the latest deal exactly mirror the first. BeiGene retains China development and commercialization rights to a PARP inhibitor that it discovered, while Merck Serono will develop the drug in the rest of the world. BeiGene received an undisclosed upfront payment and is line to receive up to $232 million in development and commercial milestones. In addition, BeiGene will receive worldwide royalties on sales. In May, the two companies entered a similar deal for BeiGene's second generation BRAF inhibitor.

PW Medtech Group Limited (HK: 1358), a Beijing-based medical device company, completed a US$180 million IPO last week on the Hong Kong Exchange. PW Medtech offers orthopedic implants and infusion equipment. The company said it would allocate 30% of the proceeds to expand, a plan that includes making acquisitions and forming strategic alliances.

Shanghai Kinetic Medical (SHE: 300326) acquired an 80% stake in Jiangsu Ideal Medical Science & Technology for 528 million RMB ($86.7 million). Jiangsu Ideal produces orthopedic implants, including trauma and spine implants, along with surgical instruments for orthopedic procedures. KMC is also in the orthopedics market.

Medifocus (OTCQX:MDFZF), a US medical device company, will form a joint venture with Ideal Concept Group of Hong Kong (see story). The JV will seek to gain China approval of two Medifocus minimally invasive, microwave-based devices that target benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and cancer. ICG will own a majority 60% stake in the JV, while the remainder will belong to Medifocus.

BGI Health, the human health unit of China sequencing giant BGI, signed a MOU with Sidra Medical and Research Center to bring genomics technology and population studies to Middle Eastern and North African countries. Sidra, located in Doha, Qatar, is a new women's and children's medical and academic research center that is expected to open next year. The Center was founded with an endowment of $7.9 billion.

Industry Insights

The output from China's pharmaceutical sector will grow 20.5% in 2013, reaching 2.3 billion RMB or $372.6 billion, according to the Southern Medicine Economic Institute, a CFDA unit. Output for the first half of the year was up 21.6%, and revenues climbed 19.5%. These figures are roughly equal to the growth in 2012. However, net income is down sharply this year. In 2012, profits were 20.4% higher in the first half of the year. That number dropped to only 16.4% in the comparable period of 2013.

Company News

Merck KGaA (Xetra: MRK) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) each announced they will build new manufacturing facilities in China, signifying that multinationals regard recent problems in the China marketplace as a short-term phenomenon, not a long-term trend (see story).

Lilly (NYSE: LLY) will spend $350 million in China to increase its production of insulin cartridges (see story). The company emphasized that China is home to the world's largest population of diabetics - which numbers almost 100 million now and is expected to grow as China's population adopts western lifestyles. The China investment is part of a larger $1 billion building projects that Lilly has announced since the beginning of the year to increase diabetes drug capacity.

WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE: WX) said its CMO subsidiary, Shanghai SynTheAll Pharma, will produce commercial supplies of Imbruvica, a newly approved treatment for mantle cell lymphoma developed by Pharmacyclics (NSDQ: PCYC) (see story). WuXi has been manufacturing the drug during its clinical trials. Imbruvica was approved by the US FDA as a second-line treatment earlier this week under a Breakthrough program that OK'd the drug after it completed a Phase II clinical trial.

Disclosure: none.

Source: Lilly Will Spend $350 Million In China To Increase Production Of Insulin Cartridges