China Biotech Week In Review: BioBay Park Forms Partnership With Roche, Harvard

Includes: NVS, RHHBY, SHP, WX
by: ChinaBio Today

Deals and Transactions

BioBay, the Suzhou life science park, announced a drug research collaboration with Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) and Harvard University (see story). Harvard scientists will contribute a novel research approach for a cancer drug that is built around autophagy, the degradation of cell components. BioBay will add expertise in medicinal chemistry and preclinical development, and Roche will add R&D services. The project will be implemented and managed by the newly established Nimbus Innoworks, a joint-venture between BioBay and Wen Associates.

China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) will collaborate with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in a $300 million initiative to support innovative R&D in China that advances global health and agriculture. The two groups will select promising China projects. For every dollar the Gates Foundation grants to support the project, MOST will contribute two dollars.

WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE: WX) will acquire two related China clinical-stage CROs that will allow the company to offer clinical-stage services for its clients (see story). Previously, WuXi’s offerings were limited to pre-clinical drug development and contract manufacturing. WuXi has said its clients were requesting help in obtaining SFDA approval for their new products.

ShangPharma (NYSE: SHP) acquired a Shanghai research facility from Charles River Labs (NYSE: CRL). The purchase will allow ShangPharma’s main subsidiary, Shanghai ChemPartner, to expand its GLP tox study capacity. The lab comprises 31,990 square feet of in-vivo research facilities, which were designed for GLP tox studies, plus another 13,885 square feet of lab and office space.

Big Pharma in China

Novartis (NYSE: NVS), the Swiss multinational pharma, plans to eliminate 2,000 jobs, about 1,100 of them in Switzerland and the remaining 900 in the US. Meanwhile, the company will raise its headcount in China and India (see story). Apparently, Novartis plans to increase its clinical trial activity in the two Asian countries, because it will add 700 positions there in data management and trial monitoring. Many of the jobs being eliminated elsewhere are in those same fields.

Government and Regulatory

China’s State Council approved a plan that will increase the country’s system of vaccine protection with the goal of protecting China’s population against “epidemic emergencies.” Making a distinction between “regular” epidemics and the more serious “emergency epidemics,” the State Council wants to strengthen China’s entire system of protection against infectious diseases.

Company News

Shanghai Modern Hasen (Shangqiu) Pharma [SHA: 600420], a subsidiary of Shanghai Modern Pharma, announced plans to invest $43.6 million to build a production facility in Shangqiu, Henan province The new plant will produce drugs that are listed on the essential drug list.

Lansen Pharmaceutical Holdings [HKEX: 503] obtained exclusive China rights to a rheumatoid treatment from Ethypharm SA, a French pharma. Headquartered in Hong Kong, Lansen manufactures and distributes western-style drugs in mainland China, with a focus on disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

Lepu Medical Technology (Beijing) [SHE: 300003], a coronary artery intervention and anesthetics device maker, will transfer $15.6 million into a subsidiary, Shanghai Shape Memory Alloy Material. Shape Memory Alloy will use the money to expand production of its coronary occlusion products.

Disclosure: none.

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