China Biotech Week in Review: Deals and Transactions, Trials and Approvals

May 29, 2011 8:02 AM ETHAIN, SVA, MR-OLD, WX
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At the recent ChinaBio Partnering Forum, three scientists were selected to receive ChinaBio’s Most Promising Technology Award, based on their novel life science research. The Partnering Forum, held May 11-13 in Beijing, was built around the theme “Capturing Innovation.” The Forum featured an Innovation Showcase where 29 China life science invited researchers presented their novel projects. Out of this highly qualified group, the three winners were selected. Each has completed early research on novel drugs: two seek better treatments for cancer and one is aimed at patients with hyperlipidemia.

Deals and Transactions

Hutchison China MediTech [AIM: CHM] formally announced it is forming a JV with Hain Celestial Group (NSDQ: HAIN) that will enter the Chinese infant-formula milk powder market (see story). The goal is a premium-priced, organic product; Hain is a US-based producer of natural and organic food products. The project has been in the works for two years: the JV was originally announced in 2009.

The Institute of Biophysics, a division of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, announced a neuroimaging collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania. The two institutions will set up a joint Center of Excellence in Brain Mapping to carry out collaborative research and education in neuroimaging. Also, CAS Vice President Li Jiayang and Penn President Amy Gutmann signed an MOU to establish a cooperative research relationship and to facilitate international exchange of ideas between the two institutions.

Trials and Approvals

Sinovac Biotech (NSDQ: SVA) reported positive results from a Phase I trial of its vaccine for human enterovirus 71 (EV71), the virus that causes Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (see story). Sinovac needs to expand its portfolio of vaccines to regain profitability. The company prospered in 2009-10 on its H1N1 flu vaccine, but those revenues have disappeared as Chinese consumers became afraid of vaccine-borne illnesses. Sinovac also announced

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China has become the #2 pharmaceutical market years ahead of projections and continues to be the fastest growing market in the world. China is $50 billion dollars a year into life science and healthcare development through over 160 government funding programs. VC investment, M&A transactions and cross-border partnering deals in China were all up significantly in 2012. ChinaBio® Today focuses exclusively on the rapidly evolving life science industry in China, including biotech, pharma, medical device, diagnostics, services and tools. From our offices in Shanghai and San Diego, our industry analysts provide daily news, commentary and analysis on public and private China life science companies, as well as events and global issues affecting the China market. Visit: ChinaBio Today ( ChinaBio LLC (

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