China Pharma News: Lockdown Challenges; Biotech Security Debates; Kintor Surges; Fosun Talks Ongoing

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As China struggles to maintain its ‘dynamic zero-COVID’ policy in the face of Omicron variant outbreaks, other key talking points emerging from the world’s second-largest healthcare and life sciences market include Chinese firms’ deals to manufacture generic versions of Pfizer’s COVID antiviral, Kintor’s 229 percent share price leap after positive readouts on its own COVID pill, and the ongoing security debates around Chinese biotech in the US.

 

Shanghai’s chaotic Covid lockdown puts other Chinese cities on edge (CNN)

As Shanghai’s Covid-19 lockdown leaves residents struggling to access food or medical care, citizens elsewhere in China fear similar stringent measures are heading their way — even as officials seek to assure the public they are well prepared.

In the southern port city of Guangzhou, where all 18 million residents faced mandatory testing after a handful of infections were found last week, officials stressed that food and other supplies were well taken care of — despite one local paper reporting shortages at supermarkets due to “panic buying.”

 

Closing the U.S. to Chinese Biotech Would Do Far More Harm Than Good (ChinaFile)

Within the gleaming white walls that house the ultramodern China National GeneBank (CNGB), huge digital maps display numbers that constantly tick upwards—a real-time count of China’s growing store of genetic data. In addition to the total number of samples, the displays show the density of data streaming into the central hub from different locales around the country. Not only does the CNGB have an extraordinary store of data at its disposal—more than 27 million biological samples—there is also still plenty of room left for it to grow.

 

5 Chinese pharma companies sign on to make generic version of Pfizer’s oral COVID pill (Global Times)

Five pharmaceutical companies in China have signed on with UN-backed public health organization Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) to manufacture the generic version of Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 treatment, nirmatrelvir, for supply in 95 low- and middle-income countries the organization announced on Thursday. China was not included in the 95 countries.

The five pharmaceutical companies are Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co, Apeloa Pharmaceutical, Fosun Pharma, Zhejiang Jiuzhou Pharmaceutical Co, Shanghai Desano Pharmaceuticals Co, among which Jiuzhou will focus on producing the drug substance, while the others will produce both the drug substance and finished product.

 

Chinese Pharma Firm Kintor Surges 229% After Saying Its Drug Reduces Covid Deaths (Bloomberg)

Chinese drug maker Kintor Pharmaceutical Ltd. soared in Hong Kong after saying its pill was highly effective in reducing the risk of hospitalization or deaths related to Covid-19, raising the prospect of a first homegrown antiviral treatment.

Shares were up 141% as of 11:06 a.m. local time after earlier surging as much as 229%, the biggest jump since the company’s Hong Kong listing in mid-2020. The stock was also the best performer on the Hang Seng Composite Index, which slid 1.6%.

 

Fosun Pharma in active talks with authorities on approval of COVID-19 BioNTech-Fosun mRNA vaccine in Chinese mainland: Co-CEO (Global Times)

Fosun Pharma is in active communication with health authorities on the approval of the COVID-19 BioNTech-Fosun mRNA vaccine in the Chinese mainland, a Co-CEO of Fosun International confirmed on Thursday.

Chen Qiyu, executive director and Co-CEO of Fosun International said the inoculation of the vaccine is expected to accelerate in 2022, after more than 20 million doses of vaccine have been administered in Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and the island of the Taiwan as of end February this year.

 

As branded drug sales surge, analysts predict China market will remain ‘very attractive’ (Endpoints News)

The China market has long been considered a “large and untapped opportunity” for drugmakers — and according to Jefferies analysts, the former remains true.

In a note to investors on Sunday, analysts predicted China branded drug sales would reach at least $85 billion by 2030, with the potential for even more upside. Estimated branded drug sales grew 19% year-over-year in 2021, hitting $31.3 billion.


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