The latest news from Chinese pharma, including the latest on Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine, how geopolitical tensions are affecting trade between China and India, and the country’s latest pharma billionaire.
China’s Sinopharm touts 100 percent antibody response for COVID-19 vaccine it’s already giving to workers
Tuesday, China’s state-run Sinopharm said (Chinese) an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine developed by its subsidiary China National Biotec Group’s (CNBG) Wuhan Institute of Biological Products triggered a strong neutralizing antibody response in a phase 1/2 study. It appeared to be working best at the middle strength when given 28 days apart, as all participants in that dosing schedule developed neutralizing antibodies that can defend a cell from infection.
Sanofi-Regeneron Dupixent secures China approval for atopic dermatitis
Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ Dupixent (dupilumab) has received approval from China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) to treat adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. The drug is indicated for patients who did not experience adequate disease control using topical prescription therapies or when these therapies are not advisable.
WuXi NextCODE Morphs into Genuity Science Without Shanghai Operations
Genuity Science integrates its US, Ireland and Iceland operations and cuts ties with China operations. WuXi NextCODE today announced plans to restructure its operations and governance in order to best position the company for future growth, ground-breaking offerings for customers, and new collaborations with industry partners. As part of these efforts, effective June 23, 2020, the company, now as Genuity Science, is coordinating its operations in the United States, Iceland and Ireland (where it previously operated as Genomics Medicine Ireland) in order to improve efficiency and collaboration, as well as its offerings and services to customers around the world.
Indian government to curb pharma imports from China due to rising tensions between the two countries
The government plans to tighten the regulatory noose around pharmaceuticals imports from China through stricter scrutiny of APIs, key starting materials (KSMs) for medicines and medical equipments. Higher duties on Chinese products may also be on the cards, official sources said. These moves gathered pace in the wake of the military face-off between India and China in east Ladakh and the continuing diplomatic tension since then.
Shenzhen Biotech Immvira raises USD 58 million Series B round
Immvira Group, a Shenzhen biotech developing oncolytic virus therapies, completed a USD 58 million Series B financing. In May, the company announced US approval to start a trial of its lead product, T3011, an intratumoral injection that encodes IL12 and anti-PD-1. Because the candidate is administered directly to the tumor, it is expected to avoid the side effects of immune-oncology therapies. The B round was led by Huagai Capital, with participation by Apricot Capital, Cowin Capital and the lead investor from a previous round, presumably Hillhouse.
Genor Signs USD 46 Million In-licensing Deal for Breast Cancer Candidate
Research Triangle Park-based G1 Therapeutics (Nasdaq: GTHX) disclosed a new deal with Shanghai-based Genor Biopharma for the exclusive development and commercializations of G1’s drug, lerociclib, in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan. It’s an oral treatment designed to “enable more effective combination treatment strategies” and will add to Genor’s portfolio of eight clinical oncology compounds it is currently developing.
Agenus out-licenses cancer drugs to Betta Pharma in Greater China
Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) inks an agreement with Hangzhou-based Betta Pharmaceuticals for the development and commercialization of PD-1 inhibitor balstilimab and CTLA-4 inhibitor zalifrelimab in Greater China, including the mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
DKSH Business Unit Technology and Bruker, renowned for their analytical X-ray solutions, have extended their distribution agreement in China
Last year in April, the two companies strengthened their partnership in Asia by adding business cooperation in China with the distribution of the Bruker XRF products S2 PUMA and S2 POLAR. With the extended agreement, DKSH will also provide marketing, sales and after-sales services in China for the Bruker 3D X-ray Microscopy product line.
China Adds Yet Another Pharma Industry Billionaire
Pharmaceutical and healthcare-related industries have been a big source of new Chinese billionaires of late. More than a tenth of the top 100 billionaires from mainland China currently hail from those fields, and the two richest individuals among them – Zhong Huijuan and Sun Piaoyang – ranked in the world’s top 100 wealthiest individuals with respective fortunes of USD 20 billion and USD 16 billion on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List on Saturday.
China this month has added yet another billionaire from the pharmaceutical industry. Yang Ying joined the group following gains in the share price of Xiamen Amoytop Biotech, a maker of re-agents in which she holds a 33 percent investment stake. Yang was worth USD 1.3 billion on Friday, even though the stock lost six percent from a record close of 68.36 yuan a day earlier at the Shanghai Stock Exchange.