China Pharma News: First CAR-T Approval; AZ & Bayer Take VBP Hit; Lonza Boosts Manufacturing Capacity


The latest news from Chinese pharma, including a historic first approval for Fosun Kite’s CAR-T therapy Yescarta; the Big Pharma losers from the latest round of price cuts for off-patent drugs; Lonza’s new investment in Chinese API manufacturing expansion; and Dingdang Health’s recent USD 220 million financing round.


Yescarta goes to China as Fosun Kite nabs historic first CAR-T OK (Endpoints)

The CAR-T era has officially arrived in China.

Kite Pharma — which had lost out to Novartis in the battle for first FDA approval by just two months — can now claim a historic first at the National Medical Products Administration, where its joint venture with Fosun steered Yescarta to a landmark OK.


AstraZeneca’s Pulmicort, Bayer’s Xarelto among big losers in China’s largest round of price cuts on generics (Fierce Pharma)

AstraZeneca can kiss its Pulmicort blockbuster sales rebound goodbye.

The aging asthma inhaler was among originator drugs that lost valuable government contracts to cheap generics during China’s latest price-cutting scheme for off-patent drugs, known as the volume-based procurement (VBP) program.


Lonza Expands API Development, Mfg. Facility in China (Contract Pharma)

20M CHF investment will include three 1,000L GMP trains and new development and GMP labs with HPAPI capabilities.

Lonza is investing CHF 20 million in GMP laboratories and mid-scale manufacturing assets at its API manufacturing center in Nansha, China. The investment will allow Lonza to provide a smoother transition from small-scale to large-scale manufacturing for customers.


Chinese E-pharma Platform Dingdang Health Raises $220 Million to Expand O2O Strategy (Pan Daily)

Chinese online-to-offline (O2O) medicine platform Dingdang Health has raised $220 million in its latest financing round led by TPG Capital Asia, the company announced on Tuesday.

The funding was co-led by New York-based healthcare investment firm OrbiMed and China-focused private equity fund Redview Capital. Other investors that participated in the funding round include Valliance, Orchid Asia affiliate Travis Global, Summer Capital and Yingke PE.

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