China Biotech In Review: PerkinElmer Buys Haoyuan Biotech, A Diagnostics Company

Includes: PKI, RHHBY, SCR, TMO
by: ChinaBio Today

Deals and Financings

PerkinElmer (NYSE: PKI) paid $38 million to buy Shanghai Haoyuan Biotech Co., a company that has developed four SFDA-approved infectious disease diagnostic tests (see story). The owners of Haoyuan may also receive future payments based on revenues hitting targets. The four assays, which test for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, are intended for use by blood banks and clinical labs.

Innovent Biologics, a Suzhou antibody development and manufacturing company, officially announced a $25 million Series B financing. The investors were Lilly Asia Ventures and two Fidelity funds: Fidelity Biosciences and Fidelity Growth Partners Asia. Innovent is using some of the new capital to build a new campus in Suzhou BioBay that will house monoclonal antibody lab and manufacturing facilities.

Hainan Haiyao (SHE: 000566) signed a letter of intent to acquire a 40% stake in SinoMab Bioscience Limited, a company that is headquartered in Hong Kong with offices and manufacturing facilities in Shenzhen. Established in 2001, SinoMab is seeking to discover therapeutic antibodies that treat life-threatening and debilitating diseases. Terms of the proposed transaction were not disclosed.

Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals (BSE: 524372) of India will exit from its ten-year-old JV with North China Pharma, selling its 50% stake to its partner for $13.9 million. Orchid originally invested $5 million to set up the enterprise. The JV operated a cephalosporin API manufacturing facility in Shijiazhuang, China.

Company News

To increase China sales of its biologic drugs, Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) is using a strategy that works in the west: insurance (see story). The company is working with Swiss Re (OTCPK:SSREF) to offer insurance at a nominal amount to China's residents. Although China offers a basic level of insurance to its citizens, the plans do not cover Roche's high-priced cancer drugs. So far, according to a Bloomberg article, six million Chinese have signed up, and ten million are expected before the end of the year.

Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO) opened a new manufacturing plant in Suzhou that will produce life sciences consumables and equipment (see story). The plant, which was built at a cost of $20 million, will supply lab equipment to China and other Asia Pacific countries. It will employ 150 people, with room to expand.

Promega Corporation, a US-based provider of biotechnology research tools, has opened a new China manufacturing facility, called Shanghai Promega Biological Products. The new facility, which replaces an existing plant, provides additional research, development and cGMP manufacturing capabilities for molecular diagnostics products that will be distributed in the China market. Promega has been active in China since 1985.

Trials and Approvals

Simcere Pharma (NYSE: SCR) was given SFDA approval to begin China clinical trials of BD0801, an anti-angiogenesis drug that will be tested as a treatment for cancer (see story). The IND for the molecule was filed in March 2011, 19 months ago. Simcere partners the drug with Apexigen, a California company that developed a rabbit-based monoclonal antibody platform. Simcere owns China rights to BD0801, which will be the first of Apexigen's molecules to start human trials.

Disclosure: none.