Deals and Financings
DXY Group, China's largest healthcare portal, received a $70 million investment from Tencent Holdings (HK: 00700, OTCPK:TCEHY) in return for an unspecified minority stake in DXY. Tencent is a China internet and mobile phone services company. As part of the deal, Tencent will add some of its internet/mobile services to DXY's internet offerings, and it will help DXY develop its new consumer healthcare portal.
GC-Rise Pharma, a Beijing company that in-licenses women's and children's healthcare products for the China market, closed a $15 million Series B financing from OrbiMed. Dr. Jonathan Wang, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director of OrbiMed Asia, joined the GC-Rise Board of Directors. OrbiMed Asia, with offices in Shanghai and Mumbai, manages the first pan-Asia healthcare and life sciences private equity fund.
Eddingpharm paid $2.3 million upfront to in-license Greater China rights for an Ablynx (BR: ABLX) anti-TNFa Nanobody®, a prospective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Ozoralizumab (TN-103) has completed a Phase II trial in which it compared favorably with the blockbuster arthritis drug Humira. This is the second agreement between Eddingpharm and Ablynx: last October, Eddingpharm and Ablynx agreed to a very similar deal for an anti-osteoporosis drug candidate. Ablynx is headquartered in Belgium.
Zhejiang Huahai Pharma (SHA: 600521) and Tianjin Pharma Group signed a framework agreement to form a partnership that will develop products for the US market. Because the partnership process is at a very early stage, no further details are available, except that the partnership will last for ten years, starting from the date a final agreement is signed.
Hainan Sinotau Pharma and Navidea Biopharma (NYSEMKT:NAVB) of the US struck a deal under which Sinotau will have rights to develop and commercialize Lymphoseek® Injection in China. Lymphoseek is a radiopharmaceutical developed by Navidea to detect lymph nodes in patients with breast cancer or melanoma. Sinotau will be responsible for obtaining China approval of Lymphoseek. It will also be liable for up to $2.5 million in milestones, including a $300,000 upfront payment, along with payments based on unit sales and a royalty on sales.
Guilin Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of Fosun Pharma (SHA: 600196; HK: 2196), and CleveXel Pharma of France will collaborate to increase production of artemisinin, Guilin's treatment for malaria. Guilin is one of the world's largest producers of artemisinin, a drug that was originally a TCM but is now grown in yeast. Guilin has WHO pre-certification to sell artemisinin-based malaria products in developing countries.
BeiGene, a Beijing innovative drug development company, signed a contract manufacturing agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim that calls for BI to produce BeiGene's drugs at its Shanghai biopharma facility. BI's $82 million plant, located in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, is currently under construction and should be complete next year. Last week, in a separate announcement, BeiGene said its third molecule had started a clinical trial, underscoring its need for a CMO partner.
Trials and Approvals
NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NYSEMKT:NBY), a California company, reported that its NeutroPhase® Skin and Wound Cleanser was cleared for China sale by the CFDA. NeutroPhase is a non-antibiotic anti-infective product. Two years ago, China Pioneer Pharma Holdings (HK: 01345) acquired rights to market NeutroPhase in China. Since then, Pioneer has become NovaBay's largest shareholder. The approval triggers a $625,000 milestone from Pioneer to NovaBay.
Tasly Pharmaceuticals (SHA: 600535) officially opened its North American headquarters in the state of Maryland earlier this week in anticipation that its TCM for angina, Dashen dripping pill (also known as Dantonic), will ultimately gain US approval. Three years ago, Tasly announced it would spend $40 million to build a North American headquarters and production facility.
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