FiercePharmaAsia—Indian generics contenders; Chi-Med's HK listing; Qilu Pharma explosion

A group of six generics makers led by Indian firms have surpassed traditional suppliers led by Teva, Mylan and Novartis' Sandoz in terms of weekly U.S. generics prescriptions. Chi-Med has filed to list on Hong Kong's stock exchange on the back of positive regulatory and development news. A multiple-time pharma manufacturing safety offender saw an explosion that killed 10 workers. And more. 

1. 'Old guard' generics players yield U.S. lead to Indian up-and-comers: analyst

Traditional U.S. generics leaders Teva, Mylan, Sandoz, Amneal and Endo have lost out to a group of six competitors that include Indian drugmakers Aurobindo, Lupin, Dr. Reddy’s, Sun Pharma, Cipla and Canada’s Apotex in terms of weekly total prescriptions. As the “old guard” exits lower-profit generic markets amid pricing pressure, Indian firms with “lower cost structures or a greater comfort with lower margins” have stepped up, Evercore ISI and Wells Fargo analysts observed.

2. Chi-Med files to list in Hong Kong, could raise up to $500M: report

Chi-Med, which is already listed in London and on the Nasdaq, has filed for Hong Kong listing. The company has not said how much it plans to raise, but sources close to the matter told Reuters the biotech could be looking at up to $500 million. Chi-Med said it plans to use the funding to advance its clinical pipeline. The news came after Chi-Med won Chinese approval for its first commercial product, Eli Lilly-partnered Elunate, and unveiled positive phase 1b results for AstraZeneca-partnered savolitinib.

3. 10 killed in explosion at Chinese pharma plant

An explosion at Qilu Pharmaceutical subsidiary Qilu Tianhe Huishi Pharmaceutical’s facility in China’s Shandong province killed 10 workers and injured 12 rescuers, state news agency Xinhua reported. During a pipe renovation, welding sparks ignited a heat-transferring material and led to the accident. Qilu has invested about 1 billion yuan ($150 million) in the facility but has seen at least three other explosions since 2015, according to publicly available reports.

4. Lonza plagued by supply problems after China plant explosion

An explosion at a chemical plant in China’s Jiangsu province in March that killed 78 people has exacerbated shortages for Lonza. CEO Marc Funk said the company’s ingredient business faces “raw material shortages and supply-chain disruptions” from China’s efforts to clean up chemical pollution in the country as well as by the explosion.

5. China's GenScript starts on plasmid, virus making facility

Chinese CDMO GenScript Biotech, the parent company of Janssen’s CAR-T partner Legend Biotech, has started construction on a 150,000-square-meter facility that will specialize in plasmids and viruses manufacturing. It said the facility will be able to handle phase 3 clinical supplies and commercial production, and it is designed to meet FDA and EMA standards.

6. Japan's Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services takes control of GeneDesign

Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services has fully integrated oligonucleotides producer GeneDesign into its operations. The deal comes as GeneDesign has completed a 2,000-square-meter facility that allows it to expand its synthesis and supply of the DNA and RNA molecules.