Deals and Financings
CanSino Biologics (HK:6185), a Tianjin vaccine company, rose 58% in its first trading day on the Hong Kong Exchange after staging its $161 million IPO. At the IPO price, CanSino was valued at $617 million; its market capitalization is now $968 million. The company is the seventh China biopharma, and its first vaccine company, to complete an IPO in Hong Kong under the exchange's pre-revenue rules. Of the seven companies, five have now moved higher in price post-IPO, though CanSino's 58% climb is by far the best first-day performance.
Dingdang Medicine Express (Beijing) raised $89 million in a B round for its online-to-offline medication delivery services. The company promises to deliver medications in less than 28 minutes in the 10 China cities in which it operates. Dingdang operates its own pharmacies and delivery fleet. The company says it has made 50 million deliveries since the service began in February 2015. The funding was led by SB China Capital, the private equity arm of CICC. China Merchants Bank's investment vehicle also participated.
Beijing-based Shuidichou (HK:0700) completed a $74 million Series B funding round led by internet giant Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCEHY) to support its internet health insurance programs. Founded in 2016, Shuidichou operates three separate businesses: a medical cost crowdfunding platform, an online medical community and a medical insurance platform. The company's services are aimed at third, fourth and fifth tier China cities. Its medical cost crowdfunding site, which the company describes as free, has raised $1.8 billion for over 1 million people.
Transcenta Holding announced that its HJB subsidiary in-licensed China rights to a portfolio of novel bone disease biotherapeutics from Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) (see story). In January 2019, HJB, formerly known as Hangzhou Just Biotherapeutics, joined with MabSpace, a Suzhou mAb development company, to form Transcenta. As part of the Lilly portfolio, HJB acquired rights to blosozumab, an antibody to sclerostin being developed as an osteoporosis treatment. Lilly will receive an upfront payment in cash plus equity in Transcenta. It will also be eligible for regulatory and sales milestones, plus royalties.
Medtronic (NYSE:MDT), a medical device maker, has launched an Accelerator in Shanghai that will support medical device startups in China and around the world (see story). The Accelerator has already signed up several medtech start-ups from within and outside of China. It will prioritize early-stage innovations in medical artificial intelligence, surgical robotics and neuromodulation, among others. Medtronic expects the medtech innovations will eventually improve patient outcomes and become valuable medical products. The Accelerator is located in Pujiang International Science and Technology City at Minhang District, Shanghai.
Shanghai Fosun Long March Medical Science Co, signed a nonbinding Memorandum of Understanding with VolitionRx, an international company headquartered in Belgium, to bring Volition's Nu.QTM diagnostic platform to China. The two companies expect to conduct three clinical studies in China for colorectal cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer diagnostics. Volition says it develops easy-to-use, cost-effective blood tests to diagnose various cancers and other diseases. Fosun Long March is the in vitro diagnostic subsidiary of Fosun Pharma (SHA:600196) (HK:2196).
AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Wuxi High-tech District to become a Founding Partner of a new life sciences park located in Wuxi, China (see story). The new park will provide startup companies with shared resources, including laboratories, equipment and services. In addition, AstraZeneca will offer its global R&D network to support end-to-end development and commercialization of medicines. AstraZeneca said the International Life Science Innovation Park will bring together local and international companies, government and medical/academic institutions.
Trials and Approvals
Yantai's Luye Pharma (HK:2186) has filed an NDA in the US for Rykindo®, a novel risperidone extended-release microsphere for injection, which is administered once every two weeks by intramuscular injection to treat schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. In its clinical trials, Rykindo showed no lag period after the first injection and a steady pharmacokinetic profile. The reference product requires an additional oral drug for the first three weeks of use. Luye claims Rykindo will become the first innovative China drug to receive US FDA approval.
Hefei Tianhui Incubator of Technologies, a Sinopharm affiliate, has been approved to start China clinical trials of its oral insulin product (ORMD-0801). HTIT acquired China rights to the candidate in 2015 from Israel's Oramed Pharma (NASDAQ:ORMP) [TASE:ORMP] in a $50 million agreement. Using its Protein Oral Delivery technology, Oramed specializes in developing oral versions of injected products. The company has completed multiple Phase II trials of its oral insulin in the US.
Editor's Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.