China Pharma News: 61.7% Profit Hit Needed for NDRL Listing; Local mRNA Rush; BioNTech Continues Push for Vaccine Approval


Some of the biggest stories across China’s healthcare and life science industry today, including the 61.7 percent average price reduction Big Pharma took to get their drugs listed on China’s reimbursement list in 2021; the former GSK scientist pleading guilty to stealing trade secrets for Chinese pharma; and BioNTech’s continuing push for China approval for its COVID-19 vaccine.


Big Pharma must sacrifice upfront profits to get on China’s coveted list of medicines eligible for insurance reimbursements (SCMP)

Drugs that make it to the list are eligible for up to 80 per cent of their prices paid for by insurance, shifting the cost burden from the patients to the public sector

On average, prices were reduced by 61.7 per cent before drugs could make it to the coveted 2021 list, which makes them eligible for reimbursements


Former GSK scientist pleads guilty to stealing trade secrets for Chinese pharma (Seeking Alpha)

Lucy Xi, a former GlaxoSmithKline scientist, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to steal trade secrets from her former employer to benefit a Chinese pharmaceutical company.

Xi, along with co-defendants, founded Renopharma under the guise of developing oncology drugs. In reality, the company was used as a repository of information stolen from GSK, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.


China rushes to develop an mRNA vaccine as doubts grow over local jabs (FT)

China’s race to develop its own messenger RNA vaccine has gained greater urgency as Beijing struggles to rein in an outbreak of the Omicron coronavirus variant that is threatening its zero-Covid policy.

Beijing’s pandemic strategy, in which authorities implement strict lockdown measures on communities with local cases to quash any outbreak, has, according to China’s official statistics, proved effective at preventing the large number of deaths suffered in some western countries.

But it has left China isolated from the rest of the world and confined millions of its own citizens to their homes to prevent the virus from spreading.


BioNTech committed to seeking China approval for COVID-19 vaccine (Reuters)

German BioNTech firm said an approval of its COVID-19 vaccine in China was still “extremely important” though predicting a conclusion of the regulatory review there, which has been months in the waiting, remained difficult.

“It is a continued dialogue with the Chinese authorities,” said Chief Commercial Officer Sean Marett, speaking at J.P. Morgan’s annual healthcare conference, which is being held virtually this year.

Any approval is “very difficult to predict,” he said, adding that “China remains extremely important to us and we are committed (to the review)”.


China’s ZhenGe Biotech secures $100m in Series C round (Deal Street Asia)

Chinese contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) major Shanghai ZhenGe Biotechnology has raised $100 million in a Series C round co-led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Sofina.

With this, ZhenGe has raised an aggregate of $225 million to date. Novo Nordisk Foundation’s Novo Holdings joined existing backers including Qiming Venture Partners, IDG Capital, Lyfe Capital, GT Capital and Cowin Capital in the latest round.

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