China Biotech Week in Review: Raising Funds

by: ChinaBio Today

Sagent Pharmaceuticals of Schaumberg, Illinois raised $40 million in two tranches of a series B financing from China sources (see story). Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical (SHA: 600267) invested $10 million, which we reported earlier, and the remaining $30 million was contributed by an unnamed China-focused private equity investment fund. Sagent is building a large portfolio of generic injectable products that are “high quality, low cost,” using a global network of partners.

Beijing YiCheng Bioelectronics Technology Co. Ltd., China’s leading manufacturer of OTC blood glucose monitoring devices, closed a $10.3 million Series A funding, raising money from Sequoia Capital and PreIPO Capital (see story). Sequoia Capital China runs a $1 billion fund, and PreIPO Capital has been involved in China private equity and venture capital investing since 1999.

PhytoMedical Technologies, Inc. (PYTO.OB) of Princeton, NJ, has signed a letter of intent with Shanghai Medicilon, a preclinical CRO. Under the terms of the proposed agreement, Medicilon will seek to find a China partner for PhytoMedical’s pre-clinical cancer compound (see story). The price for the China rights to the drug will be payment for the compound’s pre-clinical development, which will be conducted by Medicilon. PhytoMedical and the partner will each be responsible for submitting the IND package to their respective agencies.

Singapore reported that biomedical companies invested $860 million in fixed assets during 2009 with multinational companies building either regional headquarters (Medtronic (NYSE:MDT), Quintiles, Takeda (OTCPK:TKPHF), first-in-Asia and global manufacturing facilities (GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN), Lonza (OTCPK:LZAGF), Medtronic, ResMed (NYSE:RMD), Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY)) or Asian R&D bases (Abbott (NYSE:ABT), 3M (NYSE:MMM), Merck (NYSE:MRK), Roche, Inviragen, Forma) (see story).

Radient Pharmaceuticals (NYSE Amex: RPC) currently expects prospective purchasers of its China subsidiary, Jade Pharmaceutical, Inc. to complete their due diligence by the end of May 2010 (see story). Radient, which announced plans to divest itself of Jade in Q3 of 2009, places a $20 million value on Jade. It owns 98% of the China enterprise, though Radient doesn’t expect to realize nearly that much upon the sale.

Novozymes (OTCPK:NVZMF), the Danish manufacturer of enzymes, said its first biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in China will be ready for operation in Q1 of 2011 (see story). The facility, which began construction a year ago, is being built in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) at a cost of between $35 million and $50 million.

Charles River Shanghai, a joint venture between Charles River Labs (NYSE: CRL) and Shanghai BioExplorer, has been GLP certified by an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member country, the first preclinical CRO in China to achieve the milestone (see story). The award certifies that the facility is compliant with OECD principles of GLP for both toxicology and laboratory services.

Disclosure: none.