FiercePharmaAsia—6 Dimensions’ investments; Sun’s branded drug nod; China’s cancer drug tariff

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6 Dimensions Capital, Sun Pharma, China's cancer drug import policy made our news this week. (Google)

This week in FiercePharmaAsia, we visit 6 Dimensions Capital's recent investments, Sun Pharma's FDA nod for its specialty psoriasis drug Illumya, China's new tariff policy on cancer drugs and more.

1. With $125M in hand, TCR2 advances T-cell work Anti-aging outfit Unity bags $55M, looks to the clinic

Investment shop 6 Dimensions Capital, founded last May through the merger of Ge Li’s WuXi Healthcare Ventures and China-based Frontline BioVentures, has been quite active. Its recent work includes co-leading AstraZeneca spinout Viela Bio's $250 million series A in late February and Ideaya’s $94 million series B last week. And this week, it co-led TCR2 Therapeutics’ $125 million megaround and doubled down on Unity Biotechnologies by pitching in its $55 million series C.

2. Sun, pivoting to specialty pharma, wins psoriasis nod for Ilumya. Can it hang with J&J?

After years on the generics side, Sun Pharma is finally emerging in the specialty pharma business. Ilumya, a psoriasis drug it licensed from Merck through a $80 million deal, was approved by the FDA as “sort of a flagship product,” an executive told FiercePharma. But it has to face head-to-head competition from Johnson & Johnson’s Tremfya, approved by the FDA last July. 

3. In a boon for Roche, Novartis and more, Chinese Premier plans 'zero tariff' on imported cancer drugs

Chinese premier Li Keqiang said China will remove import tariffs on foreign cancer drugs, aiming to secure more options for consumers and to push domestic pharmas to upgrade their products further. The tariff move came as U.S. President Donald Trump mulled tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese products; the Trump administration confirmed that move Friday.

4. India proposes caps on use of imported medical devices

The Indian government has proposed a new drug guideline requiring public programs to procure at least half of all medical disposables and consumables from local companies. The guideline would mandate smaller shares for the acquisition of medical electronics, hospital equipment, surgical instruments, implants, diagnostic reagents and IVDs.

5. FDA inspectors find 'vermin' in production areas of Indian API maker

The FDA issued a warning letter to India’s Malladi Drugs & Pharmaceuticals centered on the potential for API contamination. The agency noted that vermin, including birds and insects, were active near open equipment used for drug manufacturing.