China Biotech In Review: Mallinckrodt To Distribute Imaging Agent In China

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Includes: MNK, QGEN
by: ChinaBio Today

Deals and Financings

Golden Meditech (HK: 801; TW: 910801), a China medical device company headquartered in Beijing, plans to raise about $32 million by offering existing shareholders one new share in the company for every two shares they already own. The price is a very low HK$0.50 each. At the time of the announcement, Golden Meditech was selling for HK$0.92, though the news dropped the stock 11% to HK$0.82. The transaction could provide a large benefit to Golden Meditech's three major backers, who collectively own 53% of the company's outstanding shares.

China Resources Pharma (HK: 0291) will partner with Mallinckrodt (NYSE: MNK) to distribute the latter company's imaging agent in China (see story). Optiray (ioversol injection) is used in X-ray, computed tomography and cardiovascular procedures. Mallinckrodt said China Resources is an ideal partner because it has broad coverage in China and expertise in imaging. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Company News

Gentris Corporation, a North Carolina pharmacogenomics company, opened a genomic biomarker testing and biorepository lab in Shanghai's Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park. Gentris Shanghai will provide GCLP-compliant testing and biobanking services at the lab. Because biospecimens cannot leave China, the company expanded to provide China-based pharmacogenomic services to its clients, who are increasingly conducting global trials with a China arm.

Catalent Pharma Solutions of the US began operations of its Clinical Supply Center in Shanghai's Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone. In March, Catalent formed a JV with ShangPharma, a China CRO, to provide clinical trial supplies in China. Catalent offers clinical supply management, comparator sourcing, primary packaging and storage/distribution. The Shanghai facility, which comprises 31,000 square feet, is the eighth center in Catalent's global clinical supply network.

Trials and Approvals

Researchers at Tsinghua University, led by Yongzhang Luo, PhD, announced the discovery of a novel cancer biomarker: heat shock protein 90 alpha (Hsp90 alpha). Along with the discovery, they have developed a quantitative detection kit for the protein, which will be produced by Protgen Ltd. of Beijing. The test has been approved by the CFDA in China and CE marked for use in Europe.

Qiagen (NSDQ: QGEN) was granted CFDA approval for its next-generation TB diagnostic, the QuantiFeron-TB Gold blood test (see story). Qiagen plans a commercial launch in China in early 2014. Because China is the world's second largest market for TB tests - the company told analysts it expects to sell "tens of millions" of the tests - Qiagen expects the approval to help make QuantiFeron-TB its best-selling product.

Disclosure: none.