FiercePharmaAsia—Celgene’s $1.4B Beigene deal, Fosun chairman’s whereabouts, Neopharma’s expansion

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Celgene is entering the checkpoint inhibitor ring through a deal with Beigene potentially worth $1.4 billion.

Welcome to this week's FiercePharmaAsia report, which includes stories about Celgene's $1.4 billion PD-1 deal with Beigene, Fosun's headache caused by rumors of its chairman's whereabouts, Neopharma's expansion plan, and Zebra Medical Vision's deal with India’s Teleradiology Solutions to bring AI image analysis to Asian and African nations.

1. Celgene bags Beigene PD-1 drug for $263M up front

Celgene is tapping further into the checkpoint inhibitor realm as it shells out $263 million up front to get ex-Asia rights to Chinese firm Beigene’s PD-1 inhibitor BGB-A317, while committing to about $1 billion in milestones and making a $150 million investment in the company. The drug is currently being tested in solid tumors in combination with Beigene’s experimental PARP inhibitor.

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2. Fosun stock tumbles over rumors of chairman disappearance—again

Chinese conglomerate Fosun’s co-founder and chairman Guo Guangchang is not missing, the company said as it tried to refute rumors that sent Fosun Pharma’s shares down over 8% in Shanghai Thursday morning. This is the second time in two years that Guo’s whereabouts have spooked investors. And an investigation order by Chinese banking authority on China’s poster children of foreign purchases—Fosun included—has not been helpful.

3. Neopharma buys plant in Japan, will build one in the Middle East

United Arab Emirates-based drugmaker Neopharma is making a series of expansions. In May, it paid about $240 million for a 65% stake in Japan’s Cosmo ALA (now Neo ALA) and got rights to develop a dietary supplement for glucose control the company hopes to get approval of in the U.S., Japan, U.K. and Bahrain. Now, the company is planning to build a $100 million plant in Abu Dhabi.

4. Zebra strikes deal to bring AI image analysis to Asia, Africa

After targeting hospitals in the U.S. and Europe, Israel-based Zebra Medical Vision is turning to developing countries by pairing with India’s Teleradiology Solutions to bring its AI-enabled image analysis system to 20 countries in Asia and Africa. The deal will give Zebra access to the Indian company's teleradiology service network of 150 hospitals in about 20 countries.