China's Shenzhen Hepalink keeps N. American deal stream rolling with Cytovance

In a continued stream of North American dealmaking, China's Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical bought U.S.-based biologics contract manufacturer Cytovance Biologics for $205.7 million and unspecified contingency payments with plans to accelerate the target's expansion plans.

China's Shenzhen Hepalink

In a press release, Shenzhen Hepalink said Cytovance management and employees numbering nearly 200 based in Oklahoma City would be retained and the facility expanded in capacity with the deal expected to close in October following regulatory approval.

"Hepalink's investment will accelerate Cytovance's expansion plans which include the addition of 5,000 (liters) and 10,000 (liters) mammalian reactors and 1,000 (liters) and 5,000 (liters) microbial fermentors as well as increased analytical capabilities, process development and process characterization capabilities," Hepalink said in the release.

Darren Head, president and CEO of Cytovance, noted that the purchase also bolsters efforts to sell abroad.

Shenzhen Hepalink, one of China's largest raw heparin makers, has been active in North America on several fronts.

In July, it closed an in-license deal with Calgary-based Resverlogix ($RVX) for greater China rights of clinical stage cardiovascular RVX-208, a candidate that failed in previous clinical trials and is now billed as a new treatment for atherosclerosis.

As well this year in April, Hepalink purchased a C$35 million ($28.7 million) equity stake in Resverlogix by buying 13.3 million shares and 1 million warrants at C$2.67 in a draft deal that included a potential $400 million in royalties and milestones for Resverlogix.

It is also an investor through Hepalink USA in startup Rapid Micro Biosystems, which raised a $25 million Series C round in April to support its commercial efforts.

And in January last year, Shenzhen Hepalink bought U.S. API maker Scientific Protein Laboratories in a deal valued at $337.5 million for the Wisconsin-based manufacturer of heparin sodium USP, pancreatin USP, and pancrelipase USP.

- here's the release (Chinese language)
- and the English release