Chi-Med says threefold production expansion nears; Eddingpharm in PhI China trial for Brinavess;

> Hutchison China MediTech, or Chi-Med, reported 6-month interim results on July 28 that showed net profit dropped to $2.3 million from $5.4 million compared to the same period a year ago. The results did however note major stepped-up clinical activity in the period. The company, in a detailed update on all of its pipeline candidates, also said it sees a threefold expansion in production by the end of this year or early 2016 in own-brand products. Release (PDF)

> An initial public offering on the Nasdaq for South Korea's Samsung Bioepis should be done by the end of the second quarter of 2015 with plans afoot to hire advisers by mid-August, Reuters reported. But a company spokesman told the news agency that it has not decided the exact timing or size of an IPO, though he did say the maker of biosimilars is valued at $6.87 billion to $8.59 billion. Report

> China-focused CASI Pharmaceuticals ($CASI) has formed a clinical trials advisory board led by Chief Medical Officer Rong Chen. The other appointments for the Nasdaq-listed company are Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, an associate professor of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College; S. Gail Eckhardt, a tenured professor in the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine where she also holds the Stapp/Harlow Endowed Chair for Cancer Research; and Robert J. Mayer, faculty vice president for Academic Affairs at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, senior physician at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Stephen B. Kay Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. Release

> Investment firm GSR Capital has launched a $5 billion fund that seeks to tap into emerging technology companies, including pharmaceuticals, with a focus on opportunities of scale in China. The firm is based in Hong Kong, Beijing and Palo Alto. "Our new fund will either buy out or acquire a minority stake in target enterprises through a combination of equity and leveraged debt; and then we will create value for them by converging China and global resources, adopting cross-border and technical arbitrage and eventually realizing the capital gains through IPO or M&A exits," said Sonny Wu, co-founder of GSR Ventures and chairman of GSR Capital, in a July 27 press release. Release

> Indian drugmaker Lupin bought a specialty portfolio of 13 products from Germany's Temmler Pharma, including central nervous system and dermatology therapies, the company said in a press release. Financial terms were not disclosed. Release

> Lupin also received shareholder approval to raise INR75 billion ($1.17 billion), the company said in a notice to the Mumbai stock exchange. Release (PDF)

> The heads of Geneva-based Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative and Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical signed an agreement to collaborate on developing an innovative drug for the treatment of visceral leishmaniosis by identifying the best compound among the aminopyrazole series. Release

> Australian researchers said that new software developed at the Royal Melbourne Hospital aids in the early detection of new brain lesions caused by multiple sclerosis by making it easier to spot minute changes in the brain that can also apply to other diseases. Report

> India's revised clinical trial guidelines and came into effect in June, clearing major hurdle for testing new drugs, the Economic Times reports, citing the head of main oversight body. "The revised regulations are balanced and have addressed various issues, because of which sponsors have earlier been either not participating in or withdrawing from trials," Suneela Thatte, president of the Indian Society for Clinical Research, told the newspaper. Report

> China's Eddingpharm plans to start a Phase I trial of in-licensed atrial fibrillation candidate Brinavess from Canada's Cardiome ($CRME), moving to a pivotal Phase III study by the end of the year, according to a release from Cardiome. Eddingpharm paid $1 million upfront in late 2014 to in-license the candidate, with potential milestones of as much as $3 million. Release

> A China trial by U.S.-based Micell Technologies for its drug eluting stent, MiStent SES, has enrolled its first patients, the company said in a release. The release also noted that regulatory support is being provided by Hefei Life Science Technology, which will have exclusive distribution rights in China, Hong Kong and Macau. Release

> Japan's health ministry issued a warning to the Japan Medical Association and drug industry groups after at least 48 cases of erroneous administrations of expired inactivated polio vaccines to infants from June 6 to July 15, the Japan Times said. However, there have so far been no reports of health damage. Report

> The Research Center for Insurance & Economic Development of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Shanghai has called for more privatization for basic medical care services in order to have a tiered treatment system, China Daily reported. Report