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The international biotech and pharma community will converge on Suzhou, China for the ChinaBio Partnering Forum 2012 at the Kempinski Hotel Suzhou during May 23-24. Co-organizers ChinaBio and EBD Group report that over 700 industry leaders are set to attend the conference, including Aosaikang, AstraZeneca, Bayer HealthCare, BeiGene, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Fosun Pharma, Furen Pharma, Hanmi Pharmaceutical, Hengrui Pharmaceuticals, Hua Medicine, Janssen/J&J, Life Technologies, Lonza, Merck, Novartis, Shire, Simcere and Takeda.

Deals and Financings

Mindray Medical (NYSE: MR) bought a controlling stake in Hangzhou Optcla Medical Instrument, a medical device company specializing in endoscope and related surgical instruments (see story). The endoscope market is a rapidly growing segment of the surgical instrument market in China, growing at three times the rate of the global market, according the company. The surgical instrument acquisition takes Mindray into new territory; previously, the medical device maker concentrated on patient monitoring, diagnostic and ultrasound devices.

Enzon (NSDQ: ENZN) and Zhejiang Hisun (SHA: 600267) will initiate a strategic alliance to develop therapeutics using Enzon's Customized PEGylation Linker Technology (see story). As part of the agreement, Hisun licensed China rights for Enzon's novel anti-cancer drug, PEG-SN38. Enzon will receive an upfront fee, milestone payments and high single-digit royalties on net sales while retaining ex-China rights.

Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical (SHE: 600521) and Breckenridge Pharma of the US signed an exclusive marketing and distribution agreement for Huahai's HIV drug Nevirapine. Breckenridge will market Nevirapine, a generic version of Boehringer Ingelheim's antiviral HIV drug, Viramune, in the US after BI's patent on Viramune expires on May 22, 2012.

Trials and Approvals

Shanghai Generon will initiate a randomized, multi-center Phase II clinical trial in the US of its biologic drug among breast cancer patients. Generon completed a successful Phase I study among healthy volunteers in Australia in 2011. The company believes F-627 is one of the first innovative biologic drug candidates developed by a Chinese biotech company to enter global clinical development. Generon is located in Shanghai's Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park.

Disclosure: none.

Source: China Biotech In Review: Surgical Instrument Acquisition Takes Mindray Into New Territory