Australia has singled out the pharmaceutical industry for special scrutiny in its examination of corporations moving money offshore to avoid local taxes.
In a deal spanning three continents, Asia's Strides Arcolab is paying nearly $300 million for the Australian generics business of Africa's Aspen Pharmacare Holdings. The deal also includes some branded drugs.
Australia launched an online register of clinical trials so that patients can search for potential treatment opportunities as recruitment falls short for many Phase III efforts in the country, the Australian newspaper reported.
An Australia startup, OccuRx, announced its formal launch to develop ophthalmic drugs, backed by U.S.$5.2 million in new venture-capital funding. The launch coincided with OccuRx's first work, an antifibrotic compound, passing animal tests for ocular inflammation and fibrosis.
Boehringer Ingelheim has exercised an option to buy PXS4728A from Australia-based Pharmaxis and develop it for the treatment of the liver-related condition NASH with the candidate also showing potential in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Australia's government reportedly has reached an agreement with the nation's pharmacists, nearing an end to a long-fought battle over a budget to cover subsidized medicines.
Even as Australia takes measures to trim the nation's spending on medicines as part of overall healthcare funding pressures, it is busy negotiating a deal in the $15 billion range that could be more than a 20% increase in pharmacy reimbursements.
An Australia government proposal to trim the national drug-coverage budget for innovative drugs by 5%, or U.S.$2.36 billion, has invited a juggernaut of industry opposition already descending on the parliament. The reductions are aimed at the nation's leading drugs, including those for cancer.
China's WuXi PharmaTech is in play after a furious year in which it expanded from lab, contract research and manufacturing services into genomics, e-commerce and clinical screening testing, highlighting a percolating scene in newer Asian pharma and biotech that sets the stage for dealmaking.
The buzz around biotech in Asia has centered on friends and family bootstrap operations in China, local investor support in Taiwan and onto more formal state-backed incubation efforts in Japan, South Korea and Singapore along with boutique venture capital firms and investment arms of multinationals such as Eli Lilly Ventures.