China Biotech In Review: Fidelity Starts New VC Fund For China Healthcare

by: ChinaBio Today

Deals and Financings

Fidelity Investments announced a new $250 million China VC fund, half of which will be devoted to healthcare investments. The company expects its three current China VC funds - which together represent about $450 million in capital - will be fully invested by the end of 2012. The new fund will be denominated in RMB, giving Fidelity more possibilities for investment targets. Fidelity has been active in China for sixteen years.

Daiichi Sankyo (OTCPK:DSKYF) gained control of Shanghai Xinshengyuan Pharmaceutical Group Medicine & Chemical Reagents Sales Co., a company that imports generic drugs from Ranbaxy Labs (OTC:RBXZF) into China (see story). Daiichi and Ranbaxy are already partners. In 2008, Daiichi paid $4.6 billion for a controlling interest in Ranbaxy, adding generic drugs to its own portfolio of innovative drugs. By buying Xinshengyuan, Daiichi gains control of its partner's products in China.

Luqa Pharma, a drug company based in Hong Kong, out-licensed the rights for Ebernet, a topical antifungal product, to NewBridge Pharmaceuticals for countries in Africa, the Middle East, Turkey and the Caspian Regions (AfMET). Luqa retains the rights to the drug in China and the greater Asia-Pacific region. Luqa acquired Asian and AfMET rights to Ebernet in a 2010 agreement with SALVAT Labs, the Spanish drug company that developed the product.

Trials and Approvals

The Di'ao Group, a Chengdu maker of TCM products, gained approval in the European Union for its cardiovascular drug, Xin Xue Kang. The product was approved for marketing by the Medicines Evaluation Board of the Netherlands, which gives it entry to all member states of the Union. Di'ao worked with the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research to identify the active ingredient of Xin Xue Kang.

Company News

Fluidigm Corp. (NSDQ: FLDM), a US supplier of research tools for biological research, opened an office in Shanghai that will offer direct service to its China customers (see story). The company plans to maintain its relationships with distributors, because, as a small company, it does not have its own sales force. According to Fluidigm, China is conducting world-class research in biologics, prompting the company to increase its presence there.

Disclosure: none.