FiercePharmaAsia—Big Pharma’s performance, Fosun’s revised Gland buy, Arcus-Taiho cancer deal

Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Fosun, Gland and Taiho made the news this week.

Welcome to this week's FiercePharmaAsia report, which includes stories on Big Pharma's recent performance in emerging markets, Fosun's revised $1.1 billion to take 74% control of Gland Pharma, Taiho's new deal for potential licensing of Arcus' cancer immunotherapy candidates and more.

1. Pfizer leads Big Pharma's emerging markets growth as GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly lag

Big Pharma’s businesses in emerging markets grew 6.1% sequentially in the second quarter, the fastest in more than two years, a recent tally by Bernstein shows. Pfizer was leading the pack with 7%, while GlaxoSmithKline’s and Eli Lilly’s four-quarter average of 1.8% growth landed them at the bottom. Price controls, overall economic environment and new regulatory measures created a mixed picture in emerging markets.

2. Fosun, said to be stymied by India's buyout rules, now aims for smaller Gland Pharma stake in $1.1B deal

Fosun has made it public that it will buy a smaller 74% stake in India’s Gland Pharma in a revised $1.1 billion deal, compared to the previous $1.26 billion offer for an 86% share. The new percentage is the upper ceiling of a foreign pharma purchase that could waive an Indian government approval. India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs was previously reported to have rejected the 86% takeover.

3. Arcus' cancer portfolio attracts $35M option deal from Japan's Taiho

Fresh off a potential $816 million deal to license an anti-PD-1 antibody developed at China’s Gloria Pharma and WuXi Biologics, Arcus Biosciences has moved to out-licensing. Japanese drugmaker Taiho is paying $35 million over three years to access Arcus’ portfolio of cancer immunotherapy candidates. Another $275 million could be paid for each drug program that Taiho chooses to license in the future.

4. China’s WuXi, Johnson & Johnson-backed XW Labs lands $17.5M series B

Chinese neurological disorders startup XW Laboratories has seen a $17.5 million series B, bumping up its total raised to $23 million. Johnson & Johnson Innovation and WuXi Venture are among the company’s existing investors, which also contributed in the new round.

5. Inovio, GeneOne to test MERS vaccine in South Korea following deadly outbreak

A phase 1 study in the U.S. on a MERS vaccine called GLS-5300 returned positive interim results a few weeks ago, and now, its joint developer Inovio and South Korean company GeneOne have started human testing of it in South Korea, where the virus took 36 lives in 2015. The pair’s candidate is still the only MERS shot being tested on humans.

6. India’s Zydus Cadila inks deal to produce varicella vaccine in Russia

Zydus Cadila, an Indian injectables maker, said it reached a deal with Russia’s Pharm Aid to manufacture its varicella vaccine for the Russian Federation. Russia has been pressuring foreign pharmaceutical companies to engage in local production if they want to be in its market.

7. PSI opens shop in Taipei, its third Asia-Pacific build this year

Following Sydney and Seoul, Swiss CRO PSI has opened its third Asia-Pacific office this year, this time in Taipei, with plans to open one in Hong Kong in 2018. The Taipei expansion is mainly driven by clinical trial requests from global sponsors in oncology, infections and inflammatory bowel diseases, the company said.

8. FDA hits Chinese drugmaker with warning letter over manufacturing issues

The FDA sent a warning letter to China’s Wuxi Medical Instrument Factory located in Wuxi City. An earlier inspection found that manufacturing sanitization records were made up on the second day of the inspection. The agency also found that the facility was unable to provide quality control records.

9. South Korean drugmaker slapped with FDA warning letter, import alert

After a November inspection found that South Korean company Firson failed to demonstrate the ability of its aseptic processes to prevent microbial contamination, and that there was no robust process to sterilize drugs, the FDA has placed the drug manufacturer on an import alert.