Deals and Financings
BGI Genomics, a Shenzhen sequencing and diagnostics company, completed an $81-million IPO Friday on Shenzhen's Chi-Next exchange, offering 40.1 million shares at 13.64 RMB per share (see story). BGI surged in open market trading, rising 32% to an initial limit, where it was halted temporarily, and then climbing further to 19.64 RMB per share. The closing quote represented a 44% increase over the IPO price, the limit for an opening day in Shenzhen. At the IPO price, BGI's valuation was $802 million, which rose to $1.15 billion at the close of trading.
Shanghai Fosun Pharma will invest $73.5 million over nine years in an innovative technology incubator (see story). The incubator will search worldwide for innovative projects, which Fosun said will help meet its strategic innovative and global goals. Professor Tian Xu, deputy head of Genetics at Yale University and Chief Science Advisor to Fosun, will serve as the chairman of the incubator’s academic committee, which will oversee platform operations and management.
ShangPharma Innovation, Inc. (SPII) will collaborate with the University of California, San Francisco, by providing UCSF scientists with funding and other support to accelerate the development of promising life science discoveries (see story). ShangPharma plans to bring industrial development to UCSF's academic projects. SPII agreed to provide "several years of funding" to underwrite R&D in UCSF labs. It will also pay for CRO services at ChemPartner for joint SPII-UCSF projects. SPII and UCSF will own the projects jointly, though no further financial details were provided.
Imsight Medical, a Shenzhen-Hong Kong start-up developing an AI-assisted medical imaging analysis program, raised $3 million in a Series A round from Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group (see story). Founded in early 2017, Imsight's products combine image analysis and AI to automate medical image reading. The program completes the initial image read with 90% accuracy, says Imsight/ The reading is then reviewed by a doctor. Imsight, which was developed in Lenovo Capital's incubator, cooperates with Lenovo Group's (OTCPK:LNVGF) big data and smart healthcare initiatives.
Laekna, Inc, a biotechnology company, announced that it acquires world-wide rights from Novartis (NYSE:NVS) for a CYP17 inhibitor (CFG920) for the treatment of prostate cancer. CFG920 is an oral drug candidate of androgen inhibitor. Novartis has conducted a clinical “proof of concept” study in metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer patients and received positive results.
Novogene, a Beijing genomics services company, partnered with San Diego's TrovaGene (NASDAQ:TROV) to validate and use TrovaGene's NextCollect™ in China. NextCollect is a proprietary urine collection and nucleic acid preservation device that stabilizes up to 200 ml of a urine sample for two weeks at room temperature. According to TrovaGene, the device increases the quality and quantity of DNA that can be isolated from urine. Presently, NextCollect is a research-only device, but Novogene intends to develop clinical applications.
Cochlear (OTCPK:CHEOY), an Australian medical device company that makes cochlear implants to treat hearing loss, announced plans to build a $38.6 million manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China. Cochlear said it needs to expand before it reaches capacity constraints in its Australian facilities. The company declared the China facility would save only a small amount in manufacturing costs, although Cochlear's hearing products were not granted China tenders this year, presumably because of price. The tenders were split between Austria's Med-El at $5490 per device and China's own Nurotron, located in Hangzhou, at $5916.
Trials and Approvals
Canada's Resverlogix (OTCPK:RVXCF) has begun a Phase III trial in Taiwan of its lead drug, apabetalone, in high-risk patients with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Two years ago, Shenzhen Hepalink (SHZ: 002399), a heparin company, acquired greater China rights to the drug in a $440-million deal. Hepalink will underwrite the costs of the greater China trial, and its start triggers a $1-million payment to Resverlogix. The trial will be expanded to include China. The Taiwan-China arm is part of Resverlogix's global apabetalone trial, which will eventually enroll 2,400 patients.