China Biotech Week in Review: GSK Acquires Urology Drugmaker

Includes: BTX, CPHI, GSK, SNY
by: ChinaBio Today

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) will pay $70 million to purchase Nanjiing MeiRui Pharma, a company with natural products that treat urology and allergy conditions (see story). With the acquisition, GSK gains a company that has established relationships with urologists, which it will use to market Avodart, its own treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate).

Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY) has in-licensed a technology patent from Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences (SIBS) that may lead to an anti-angiogenesis cancer drug (see story). The patent covers SIBS’s discovery of the Slit-Robo signaling path, which is involved in tumor vasculature and tumor growth. Sanofi-Aventis paid $60 million upfront, plus payments for additional milestones and royalties on sales.

By 2020, China will be the world’s leader in innovation, according to a survey commissioned by Astra-Zeneca (NYSE: AZN) (see story). The US is considered the most innovative country currently, followed by Japan. But that ranking is expected to change over the next 10 years. China and India will replace them as the leaders in new technology, relegating the US and Japan to third and fourth places.

Qinghai Gelatin [SHEX: 000606] has reached a framework agreement to sell its drug making subsidiary, Sichuan Hezheng Pharmaceutical, to Chongqing Lummy Pharmaceutical [SHEX: 300006] for $13.5 million (see story). Hezheng Pharma produces TCM products in the form of pills, granules, capsules, tablets, and non-food health products.

BioTime (NYSEMKT:BTX) of California has signed up Shanghai Genext Medical Technology as the China marketer of its ACTCellerate cell lines, a highly purified source of progenitor cells (see story). Genext will also sell BioTime’s cell cultures, which are customized for each line. ACTCellerate is BioTime’s proprietary technology that allows the expansion of over 140 highly-purified primitive human embryonic progenitor cells (hEPCs) from hES or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

Shenzhen Beike Biotechnology has ended its partnership with SiriCell Technologies (see story). In 2008, the two companies formed a joint venture, Beike Holdings Limited, to spread Beike’s stem cell products throughout Southeast Asia. After the breakup, Beike will focus its efforts on China, while the JV’s ex-China business will belong to SiriCell.

China Pharma Holdings (NYSEMKT:CPHI) completed the clinical trials of a generic form of a statin-family cholesterol drug, rosuvastatin (see story). Rosuvastatin is marketed by AstraZeneca as Crestor. China Pharma intends to obtain SFDA approval for the drug and begin selling it next year in China.

Disclosure: none.