China Biotech Week in Review: Deals, Products

by: ChinaBio Today

China Construction Bank International's $400 million health care fund is in the "exploratory stage" of investing in ex-China companies, according to Keyong Ren, Chief Investment Director of the fund (see story). So far, the fund has invested only in China companies. However, any investment in a US company would be conditional on "obtaining exclusive China market right to the proprietary technology," he stated.

Tongjitang Chinese Medicines Company (NYSE: TCM) is selling off a few of is divisions, apparently a move to slim down as it prepares to go private (see story). A JV comprised of its founding Chairman/CEO, Mr. Xiaochun Wang, and Fosun Industrial, the Hong Kong conglomerate, offered $4.50 for each ADS in April 2010. Officially, the offer has been neither accepted nor declined. Tongjitang is currently trading for $3.54.

Shanghai Roche Pharma, the first China JV set up by Roche (Rhhby.PK), officially announced on its website that its cancer treatment Avastin has been approved for sale in China (see story). The announcement comes after Avastin received negative publicity in China. Apparently, a fake version of Avastin caused adverse reactions in 61 patients at Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital.

Bayer Schering (OTC:BYERF) announced the China launch of Betaferon® (interferon beta-1b), a treatment for relapsing-remitting forms of multiple sclerosis (see story).The drug received SFDA approval for distribution in China last December. Bayer has introduced several products recently as it strives to make good on its promise to increase its revenues at a better than 20% rate.

RHEI Pharma has fleshed out its China marketing agreement with Access Pharma (OTCQB:ACCP-OLD) for MuGard™, the latter company’s novel treatment for oral mucositis, a side effect of cancer treatment (see story). MuGard is a ready-to-use mucoadhesive oral wound rinse and coating. RHEI specializes in bringing Western drugs to China. The original agreement between the two entities was signed almost three years ago.

Disclosure: none.