Deals and Financings
Bain Capital of the US will pay $150 million for a majority stake in Asia Pacific Medical Group, a collection of five hospitals and several clinics in China and southeast Asia. The facilities serve both local and international clients. The investment allocates some capital for expansion in China's largest cities, though details were not disclosed. APMC was founded in 1992 by a group of 35 US-trained doctors, including its chairman, Michael Choy.
Hutchison China MediTech (Chi-Med) (NASDAQ:HCM) raised $101.5 million by pricing its initial US offering at a disappointing $13.50 per ADS, which is 17% lower than the expected price of $16.33. The size of the offering was increased from 6.1 million ADSs to 7.5 million, keeping the gross proceeds from the transaction just above the $100 million target. During today's London trading session, Chi-Med's ordinary shares also fell 17% as the price of the US offering was announced. In its first hours of US trading, Chi-Med's stock traded lower to $13.20.
Human Health Holdings, an operator of health clinics in Hong Kong, plans to list on the Hong Kong exchange and raise $13 million. The company will allocate $2 million of the proceeds to open three healthcare centers in Shanghai with a partner, China Ping An Insurance, a company with a significant interest in healthcare. Last year, the two companies teamed up to open their first Shanghai clinic. Human Health will use the rest of the money to add six additional clinics in Hong Kong to the 66 it already operates.
Prenetics, a Hong Kong DNA biotechnology firm, raised $10 million in a Series A funding led by China's Ping An Ventures. Prenetics is developing the iGenes test that makes pharmacogenomics available in the clinic. Based on an individual's genome, the test identifies the best medicine for a particular disease, avoids those that would cause an adverse reaction, and guides dosing levels. The test, according to Prenetics, avoids the "trial and error" method of prescribing medicines.
SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM), a Korean cellphone network company, joined with Cleveland HeartLab Inc., a company focused on cardiovascular disease management, to bring CHL's CV diagnostic tests to China. CHL has developed inflammation diagnostics that identify the risk for heart disease. SK Telecom, which is starting a healthcare business in China, already operates the SK Telecom Healthcare R&D Center and VISTA-SK Medical Center in Shenzhen. It has plans to expand its healthcare services to other cities in China.
Sinopharm, China's largest drug and medical device distributor, obtained exclusive China rights to a wound healing technology developed by Avita Medical of Australia (OTCQX:AVMXY). RES™ (Regenerative Epithelial Suspension) combines a small sample of a patient's skin with multi-phenotype skin cells that promote healing. RES™, which is available in 30 minutes, is used for burn and chronic wounds. The technology is CFDA approved for use in China.
Trials and Approvals
Bird Rock Bio, a San Diego-China biopharma, reported positive data from two clinical studies of gerilimzumab, Bird Rock's rheumatoid arthritis drug candidate. At a very low dosage level, gerilimzumab, a novel anti-IL-6 cytokine antibody, was safe and achieved target pharmacokinetic levels. Bird Rock envisions an every-eight-weeks treatment regimen for the drug and an annual drug cost of $2,000. That compares to an every-two-weeks injection and $30,000 for current treatments. In 2013, Bird Rock, then known as RuiYi Pharma, partnered gerilimzumab with China's Genor Biopharma for IND enablement, manufacturing process development and China commercialization.
Quark Pharma, a US-Israeli developer of RNA-interference drugs, has begun a global Phase II/III trial of its siRNA treatment for blindness, including a China arm. Two years ago, Quark established a China JV with Suzhou Ribo Life Science to develop the drug in China, funded with $7.5 million in venture capital. Quark said the approval is the first in China for an RNAi drug. QPI-1007 seeks to prevent deterioration of the optic nerve, a condition known as non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION).
Asieris Pharmaceuticals, located in Taizhou City presented positive preliminary results from its ongoing Phase II clinical trial of APL-1202, an oral MetAP2 inhibitor, in patients with bladder cancer. Asieris is focused on making breakthroughs in cancer treatment by repurposing available drugs. APL-1202 is nitroxoline, a wide spectrum antibiotic with an anti-angiogenesis effect that has been used in several countries for about fifty years.
The 8th annual ChinaBio® Partnering Forum 2016 life science partnering event will return to Suzhou, China, May 18-19. Suzhou is an active biopharma hub and the home of international and China pharmaceutical and medical companies. China is now the world's second largest and fastest growing major pharma market, and the event will bring together biotech and pharma leaders from around the world along with hundreds of China-based developers of novel technologies to capitalize on this high-growth potential. More than 858 delegates from 435 companies and 22 countries attended last year's Partnering Forum, making it the largest partnering conference in China.
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