FiercePharmaAsia—Celgene invests in Antengene; Otsuka’s new digital-pill pact; MabSpace-HJB merger

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Antengene, Otsuka and the MabSpace-HJB merger made our news this week. (Google)

China's Antengene has raised $120 million in its second financing round, with a contribution from partner Celgene. Otsuka has signed Click Therapeutics in a digital medicine deal potentially worth $305 million. Chinese firms MabSpace and HJB have merged to create biologics-focused Transcenta. And more.

1. Celgene invests in Chinese biotech Antengene again

Celgene has contributed to Antengene’s $120 million series B. The two already have a partnership that saw Celgene give the Chinese biotech East and Southeast Asian rights to ATG-008, a TORC1/2 inhibitor, in 2017. The investment, led by Chinese VCs Boyu Capital and FountainVest, will be used toward the development of ATG-008, ATG-010 (selinexor) and other clinical-stage assets, Antengene said.

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2. Otsuka taps Click Therapeutics for digital depression medicine in deal worth up to $305M

Months after Otsuka expanded its Proteus Digital Health pact over digital medicines, the Japanese pharma has inked another digital agreement. In a deal potentially worth $305 million, Otsuka is working with Click Therapeutics on a mobile app dubbed CT-152 for major depressive disorder.

3. MabSpace and HJB merge to form biotherapeutics company Transcenta

Hong Kong-based biotech MabSpace has merged with Chinese bioprocessing specialist HJB. The new company, Transcenta Holding, will will have full capabilities in R&D, regulatory and manufacturing of biologics. The two companies have collectively raised about $160 million in funding from investors including Lilly Asia Ventures, Temasek, Sequoia China, ARCH Venture Partners, among others.

4. AI player twoXAR teams up with 1ST Biotherapeutics on glioblastoma

TwoXAR and South Korea’s 1ST Biotherapeutics are joining forces to discover and develop new treatments for glioblastoma. Under the deal, twoXAR will identify drug candidates using its artificial intelligence platform, both partners will select promising candidates and 1ST Bio will develop them. 

5. Hong Kong clears Sanofi’s flu vaccine after impurities report halted immunizations

Hong Kong authorities have given the go-ahead for a batch of Sanofi quadrivalent seasonal flu vaccines previously put on suspension due to reports of “white particles.” After testing nearly 2,100 samples, the local health agency found no particles, and Sanofi’s own report said the particles were inert and nontoxic cellulose.