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In a $1.6 billion deal, Charles River Laboratories (NYSE: CRL) acquired WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE: WX), the most visible of China’s indigenous pre-clinical CRO companies (see story). The transaction, the largest in a string of recent consolidations in China’s CRO industry, will extend WuXi’s services to include first-in-human testing. WuXi shareholders will receive $21.25 per ADS, a 38% premium to the pre-announcement price.

Aoxing Pharmaceutical (AMEX: AXN) and Johnson Matthey Plc of the UK will establish a JV to develop APIs for narcotic and neurological drugs (see story). The two companies plan to invest $15 million in the new entity over the next five years. An Aoxing subsidiary will own 51% of the venture, while Macfarlan Smith (Hong Kong), an affiliate of Johnson Matthey Pacific Ltd., will hold the remaining 49%. The goal is to produce APIs for the China market.

Bayer AG [XETRA: BAY] said its China revenues in 2009 totaled $709 million, a 28% increase from the year earlier (see story). This means the company met its yearly goal of beating the 20% growth of China’s pharma market last year. To help meet that target in the future, Bayer expects to introduce 20 new products over the next five years. The average of four new drugs per year is slightly better than 2009, when it completed three launches.

AlphaRx [OTCBB: ALRX] announced that its newly formed China subsidiary, AlphaRx Canada, signed a non-binding letter of intent to execute a reverse merger with Pacific Orient Capital, listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange(see story). The new company, which will be known as Pacific Orient Biopharma Group, will focus on branded generic drug development and distribution in China as well as other emerging markets.

PPD, Inc. (NSDQ: PPDI) has opened a vaccine clinical research center in China Medical City, located in Taizhou. PPD will use to center to provide clinical monitoring services for multinational and local companies that are seeking approval for new vaccines in China (see story). The new facility adds to PPD’s presence in China. In November of last year, PPD bought two China-based CROs, Excel PharmaStudies and BioDuro LLC, signaling the beginning of the major CRO consolidation in China.

China Biologic Products (NASDAQ:CBPO), which has been rolling up China plasma-based companies, said its Shandong Taibang Biological Products subsidiary was named one of twelve model Shandong-based biopharmaceutical companies (see story). The honor, conferred by the Shandong provincial government, makes Shandong Taibang eligible for financial subsidies and tax concessions to support new drug R&D.

China Pediatric Pharmaceuticals (OTCQB:CPDU), which completed its reverse merger in October 2009, said its revenues rose 14% in 2009 to $16.7 million, though net income declined slightly to $2.5 million (see story). The company ended its fiscal year with $900,000 in cash. Its only operating entity is Shaanxi Jiali Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., headquartered in Xi’an.

China Medical Technologies (NSDQ: CMED) has received approval from the SFDA for its AUTOMAGLIA 90 fully-automated ECLIA analyzer (see story). The machine is a fully-automated analyzer for immunoassay analysis in various types of diseases and disorders. China Medical is targeting its existing FISH customers, including 400 large hospitals in China purchase significant numbers of FISH tests, for the new ECLIA machines.

Disclosure: none.

Source: China Biotech Week in Review: CROs Consolidating