Deals and Approvals
iKang Healthcare Group (NASDAQ:KANG) filed for a $150 million IPO on the NASDAQ exchange in the US (see story). iKang, based in Beijing, claims to have the largest share of the private medical service sector in China, about 11% in 2012. It operates 42 medical centers in China's largest 13 cities, which provide medical examinations and diagnostic services, mainly to corporate clients. The centers are on track to treat nearly 3 million clients in fiscal 2013.
Shanghai-based PhageLux has received an investment from WuXi PharmaTech Healthcare Fund, the investment arm of CRO WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE: WX) (see story). PhageLux uses phages to solve bacterial problems in fields such as crop disease, animal health, food safety and general sanitary. This year, PhageLux will begin work on human health issues. PhageLux has taken offices in the ChinaBio® Accelerator located in the Biotech VC Plaza at Shanghai's Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park.
Shanxi Taxus Pharma announced plans to take over Cardium Therapeutics (OTCQB:CRXM) of San Diego by purchasing $5 million of unregistered Cardium shares (see story). Before the investment, Cardium had a market capitalization of $5 million. Cardium will use the money to continue development of two regenerative products. Taxus will help Cardium obtain approval of the products in China, and Cardium will return the favor by helping Taxus bring its Taxol-based drugs to the US. Cardium changed its name to Taxus Cardium after the investment.
Biostar Pharma (NSDQ: BSPM), a China maker of pharmaceuticals and health supplements, signed a letter of intent to develop Oleanolic acid injection as a treatment for liver cancer with Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine (see story). Biostar's best-selling product is its Xin Aoxing Oleanolic Acid Capsule, an OTC medicine for chronic hepatitis B. Terms of the proposed deal were not disclosed, but Biostar did say it was prepared to invest a large amount of capital and resources into the project.
Viva Biotech, a Shanghai biologics-based CRO, has formed a CRO alliance with HQL Pharmaceuticals of Israel. Viva offers structure-based and fragment based drug discovery services while HQL has built a drug discovery CRO using its proprietary ChemSpace Scanner (CSS™) computational technology. Together, the two companies will offer leads generation based on fragment screening.
ASPEC Technologies of Hong Kong has been selected as the exclusive distributor for CovalX's protein-protein interaction tools in China. CovalX is a Swiss company that provides technology and services for protein interaction analysis based on mass spectrometry. ASPEC, with offices in Shanghai and Beijing, provides bio-analytical instrumentation to life science researchers in Greater China.
Trials and Approvals
BioLight Israeli Life Sciences Investments (OTCQX:BLGTY) reported that a subsidiary, IOPtima, received CFDA approval for China marketing of the IOPtiMate™ system (see story). IOPtiMate is a non-invasive surgical device that treats glaucoma. BioLight also completed a secondary offering, raising $5.5 million, which it will use, in part, to promote IOPtiMate in China.
The partnership between Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and Novast Laboratories partnership began expanding a manufacturing facility in Nantong, China that will produce a line of Lilly branded generics for the China market (see story). The two companies formed a strategic partnership in 2012 when Lilly invested $20 million in Novast, its second investment in the company. The expansion, which will cost $60-$70 million, will add 260,000 square feet of manufacturing space. It will produce 2.2 billion units of sustained release and solid oral dosage pharmaceuticals annually.
Mindray Medical (NYSE: MR), China's largest medical device company, reported revenues climbed 14.5% to $1.2 billion during 2013, and net income was up 25% at $225 million (GAAP) (see story). Western European markets were especially strong, rising more than 20%. Mindray forecast that sales for 2014 would rise at least 15%, but non-GAAP net income will remain at 2013 levels. During 2014, the company expects to invest in sales, marketing and distribution as well as product innovation.