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Deals and Financings

Mindray Medical (NYSE: MR) has made another acquisition that adds a new class of products to its medical device portfolio. This time, Mindray paid $35.5 million for a controlling stake in Wuhan Dragonbio Surgical Implant Co., a company that makes trauma, spine, joint and other orthopedic products (see story). Until now, Mindray's traditional areas of business have been patient monitoring, in-vitro diagnostics, and medical imaging.

Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products (SHE: 300122) and Merck (NYSE: MRK) signed an MOU that expands the existing partnership between the two companies by entrusting Zhifei with the responsibility for China marketing of Merck's RotaTeq, an oral pentavalent live rotavirus vaccine (see story). Merck, known as MSD outside the US and Canada, already sells the vaccine in 85 countries. Last year, Zhifei took over the China marketing of Merck's MMR/rubella and Penumovax 23 vaccines.

CRO/CMO News

Four clinical-stage CROs, each one located in a major Asia Pacific country, have banded together to form the Alliance for Pacific Asia Clinical Trials (A-PACT). A-PACT will offer a one-stop option for pharmas that are conducting a clinical Asia Pacific study. The four founding members are Rundo International of Mainland China, ACM of Japan, C&R Research of South Korea and VCRO of Taiwan.

ShangPharma (NYSE: SHP) and Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) celebrated ten years of drug development partnership, a relationship that dates back to ShangPharma's founding in 2002 (see story). ShangPharma, a preclinical CRO based in Shanghai's Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, has long had a team exclusively dedicated to working on Lilly projects. In early 2012, ShangPharma opened a new 110,000 square foot facility to house its Lilly-dedicated staff. At the same time, the two companies announced a multi-year extension of their contract.

WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE: WX) reported that a former China employee has been convicted for the theft of chemical compounds (see story). The individual, whom WuXi characterized as a junior employee, tried to sell sample compounds belonging to Merck. According to WuXi, it was the first time in the company's eleven-year history that any employee has broken its strict IP protection procedures.

Industry Insights

India wants its generic drug industry to be self-sufficient. However, the country remains dependent upon China's API and drug intermediate companies, especially in the areas of penicillin-type antibiotics. Although India is home to a vibrant group of companies that produce finished generic drugs, these companies source many of their raw materials from China-about two-thirds of the total.

Trials and Approvals

Hutchison MediPharma [AIM: CHM], the innovative China drug company that is majority owned by Chi-Med, released positive Phase I data for its two most advanced cancer-targeting molecules: Sulfatinib (HMPL-012) and Fruquintinib (HMPL-013). Both drug candidates were well-tolerated and showed preliminary evidence of efficacy against multiple tumor types.

Disclosure: ChinaBio® has a business relationship with Merck

Source: China Biotech Week In Review: Mindray Medical Continues On Acquisition Path