China Biotech in Review: More Money Raised in China IPOs in 2009 than in the U.S.

 |  Includes: CAXG, CLBS, CVD, NVO, SNBP, SVA
by: ChinaBio Today

Suzhou Natong BioNanotechnology Ltd. (Nanomed) announced it signed a funding agreement with Softbank’s SB China Venture Capital (SBCVC) (see story). In August 2009, Nanomed won the “Most Promising Company” Award in the Medical Device field at the BioBay Investor Forum co-organized by ChinaBio LLC and the Suzhou BioBay life science park. Nanomed’s FMA Intradermal Drug Delivery platform is based on nanoscale MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical) technology. Immediately after closing the funding, Nanomed signed an agreement with an outside company to distribute Nanomed’s Liteclear acne products. Financial details of the funding were not disclosed.

For the first time, China exchanges raised more money in annual IPO transactions during 2009 than the US did (see story). Hong Kong, by itself, recorded $31.3 billion worth of IPOs, more than the US total of $26.5 billion. The two mainland PRC exchanges, Shanghai and Shenzhen, were close behind at $24.4 billion.

Covance (NYSE: CVD), the global CRO, announced construction is underway on a pre-clinical facility near Shanghai, a facility that is currently expected to open late summer 2010 (see story). Joe Herring, Chairman and CEO of Covance, estimated the company will make an investment of between $20 to $25 million to establish the pre-clinical facility, part of which was spent in 2009.

Sinovac Biotech (NSDQ: SVA) upped its secondary stock issue to 10 million shares (from 8.65 million) and priced them at $5.75 each, a 6% discount from last night’s closing quote of $6.11 (see story). The company said it expects net proceeds of $53.8 million ($62 million if the underwriters purchase an additional 1.3 million shares for overallotments). Sinovac’s business focus is on the currently hot vaccine sector.

NeoStem (NBS) said its China subsidiary, Suzhou Erye Pharmaceutical, was granted SFDA approval for omeprazole 20mg capsules (see story). Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor prescribed to treat peptic ulcer disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The drug is on China's National Medical Reimbursement Insurance List, making it eligible for insurance reimbursement.

Sinobiopharma (OTC:SNBP) reported that its production facility for a capsule form of Perindopril, an ACE inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure, received production approval from the SFDA (see story). The company can now launch the product, which was granted SFDA approval in April 2009. Sinobiopharma will market the product under the name YiTai. It is the first capsule form of Perindopril available in China.

China Aoxing Pharma (OTC:CAXG) has completed its Phase III trial of Tilidine tablets, a synthetic oral narcotic drug that treats acute and chronic moderate to severe pain, including post-operative and cancer pain (see story). The drug, which is not currently available in China, is a Class III New Medicine that will enjoy at least four years of market exclusivity protection, post-approval.

Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO) reported that Victoza, its once-daily human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analog for type 2 diabetes, was submitted to the SFDA in August of last year (see story). The news came as Novo Nordisk celebrated approval of the product in the US and Japan this week. It has been marketed in Europe since last summer.

Bayer Schering Pharma announced it is beginning a Phase IV trial among an Asia Pacific population that combines two blood pressure medications: Adalat, Bayer Schering’s calcium channel blocker (CCB), and valsartan, an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) marketed by Novartis (NYSE: NVS) under the name Diovan (see story). The goal is to produce lower blood pressure readings than a high dose of valsartan alone.

Disclosure: none.