China Biotech in Review: Thermo Fisher Scientific Displays Increased Commitment

Includes: MNOV, MR, PARD, SVA, TMO
by: ChinaBio Today

Fosun Pharma [SHA: 600196] announced plans for a secondary listing on the Hong Kong exchange (see story). The company hopes to raise as much as $913 million in an offering that would increase its outstanding shares by up to 20%. Fosun is no stranger to the Hong Kong Exchange: both its parent and a subsidiary have listed there.

Shijiazhuang Xingbai Pharma of Hebei, a maker of biological pesticides, received a private equity investment of $18.3 million from Israel-based Infinity (see story). The financing is meant to increase Shijiazhuang Xingbai’s biotech capabilities, as the company makes plans for an IPO in the A-share market in three years.

Renhe Pharmacy [SHE: 000650] has plans for a 50 million share private placement, priced at 18.36 RMB per share, which will bring in $140 million (see story). Renhe, which makes and distributes OTC drugs, will use the money to buy stakes in four companies

Mindray Medical (NYSE: MR) will acquire a controlling stake in Shenzhen Shenke Medical Instrument Technical Development Co. (see story). Mindray characterized Shenke as one of China’s leading makers of infusion pumps. The company also manufactures syringes and infusion monitoring management systems, which it sells in China as well as in international markets.

MediciNova (NSDQ: MNOV) of San Diego signed a letter of intent with Zhejiang Medicine [SHA: 600216] to set up a joint venture (see story). The JV will develop MediciNova’s asthma drug candidate in China. MN-221 is targeted to treat acute exacerbations of asthma or COPD that do not respond to normal bronchodilator or corticosteroid therapy. Terms of the JV were not disclosed.

Regulatory Milestones

China announced its vaccine regulatory system has met World Health Organization standards for the first time, following a comprehensive review by experts from six countries (see story). The certification will eventually allow China’s vaccine makers to supply products to WHO vaccine programs for developing countries. The PRC had previously been failed the WHO certification process three times.

New Facilities

Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO), the multinational laboratory equipment maker headquartered in the US, signaled its increased commitment to China by announcing it will build a new manufacturing facility in the Suzhou Science and Technology Town (see story). Scheduled for a 2012 completion, the new facility’s laboratory instruments, equipment and consumables are earmarked for China’s growing life sciences markets.

Life Technologies (NSDQ: LIFE), a US company that makes molecular diagnostic and research tools, opened a regional distribution hub in Singapore's Tuas Biomedical Park (see story). The facility will serve China and other Asia-Pacific countries. The Asia Distribution Center (ADC) was built in response to increasing Asia-Pacific sales, which represents the company’s fastest growing market in the world.

Clinical Trials

Poniard Pharma (NSDQ: PARD) was granted SFDA approval to conduct two Phase III trials in China of its lead drug candidate, picoplatin, as a treatment for second-line small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and second-line ovarian cancer (see story). Poniard, which is a US company without any China operations, said the approval would increase the drug’s value to prospective development partners.

Sinovac Biotech (NSDQ: SVA) filed an application with the SFDA to begin clinical trials of its 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) (see story). The target market for the vaccine is infants under the age of two, a population that currently numbers 34 million in China. Sinovac also anticipates participating in a United Nations program that supplies PCV to developing nations.

Disclosure: none.