The Week in Review: Joincare To Invest $157 Million For Antibiotic Facility

Includes: BSPM, KOOL, MRK
by: ChinaBio Today

Deals and Transactions

Joincare Pharmaceutical Group (SHA: 600380) announced its Board has approved the investment of $157 million to increase the company's production of carbapenem antibiotics. The project will be located in Fuping New Area, Shenzhen. Joincare is based in Shenzhen and sells its pharmaceutical products mainly in the southeast coastal provinces of China.

The Chengdu Institute of Biological Products (CDIBP) has licensed technology for producing less-expensive conjugate vaccines from Fina Biosolutions, a Maryland company that provides protein purification and bioconjugation services. CDIBP will use the technology to develop pneumococcal conjugate vaccines for the China market. CDIBP is a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group (CNBG), which is part of China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation (Sinopharm). CDIPB will pay FinaBio an upfront fee, milestone payments and royalties.

Golden Meditech Holdings (HK: 801; TW: 910801), a China medical device company with a specialty in blood processing devices, has signed an agreement with ThermoGenesis (NSDQ: KOOL) to distribute the AXP® AutoXpress® System in China (see story). The AXP device separates stem cells from cord blood and prepares them for cryopreservation. The five-year agreement requires Golden Meditech to meet a minimum level of annual purchases in return for exclusive rights to distribute the product in China.

CRO/CMO Services

Hangzhou Tigermed Consulting (SHE: 300347), a China CRO, signed a letter of intent with MSD China that calls for Tigermed to provide MSD with clinical trial services for a three-year period, from August 15, 2012 to July 31, 2015. Neither the range of services, the type of drug(s) involved, nor the financial details of the relationship were disclosed, probably awaiting a closing agreement. MSD is the name for Merck (NYSE: MRK) outside of the US and Canada.

PRA International, a global clinical-stage CRO that is headquartered in the US, has opened a new office in Beijing to augment its offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong. According to PRA, the latest addition to its China infrastructure reflects the growing importance of China and the Asia Pacific region. In addition, the new Beijing office is co-located with many of the company's clients.

Government and Regulatory

By year's end, China will release its revised Essential Drug List, the catalog of drugs that are covered by all insurance plans. According to industry sources, the new list will include 700 drugs. There are two ways to view this number: it is more than twice the 307 drugs on the current EDL. But it is 100 lower than the 800 drug list that was predicted earlier this year

Trials and Approvals

FortuneRock of the US has received SFDA approval to begin China clinical trials of its long-acting formulation of Interferon-α2a. Fortune developed the product using its proprietary fusion technology to create a drug that is administered every 14 days. Existing forms of interferon require patients to receive an injection every day or once per week. FortuneRock operates in China through its wholly owned foreign enterprise company, FortuneRock (China) Ltd.

Biostar Pharma (NASDAQ:BSPM) received an Army New Drug Certificate for Zushima Analgesic Spray, a topical pain relief drug (see story). Zushima spray was developed in cooperation with Lanzhou Military Institute of Drugs and Instruments specifically for the needs of China's military. The spray relieves pain and topical swelling, joint pain due to rheumatic conditions, and helps improve blood circulation near affected areas.

Disclosure: none.