Welcome to this week's FiercePharmaAsia report, which includes stories about two Takeda deals, potential blockbuster nods in 2018's China, bids for Sanofi's European generics unit and more.
Takeda obtained ex-U.S. rights to TiGenix’s inflammatory bowel disease stem cell therapy Cx601 back in 2016; now, it is shelling out €520 million ($627 million) in cash to snap up the biotech. The drug is nearing a European approval and a phase 3 for U.S. registration. Takeda is also looking at future filings in Japan, Canada and emerging markets.
In a second deal announced on Jan. 5, Takeda is paying recently IPO’d Denali $150 million up front—plus about $90 million in milestones and other opt-in payments—to work on three candidates for neurodegenerative diseases. Denali will be responsible for pre-IND development and will share clinical development costs equally with Takeda.
Under a priority review pathway, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo will likely become the first PD-1/PD-L1 therapy in China by the first quarter, predicted local pharmaceutical database PharmCube. In a recent report on possible blockbuster drugs that could be approved by China this year, PharmCube included AstraZeneca and Merck’s Lynparza, Gilead’s Harvoni and antiviral Vemlidy among the 16 drugs.
Indian drugmakers Aurobindo, Zydus Cadila, Torrent Pharma and Intas, along with a Chinese company and private equity firms are reportedly interested in buying up Sanofi’s European generics unit. CEO Olivier Brandicourt first announced plans to sell the business in October 2016, and at his J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference presentation, reiterated Sanofi's intention to reach a deal by the end of the year.
With a $76 million series A it just raised, China’s KBP Biosciences is building a global headquarters in the Greater Philadelphia Area and tapped longtime GlaxoSmithKline veteran Brian McVeigh to run it. The company is working in cardiovascular, infectious diseases, respiratory, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, with its lead candidate slated for phase 2b tests in CV.
Philippine authorities have put Dengvaxia marketing authorization on hold for a year and fined Sanofi a symbolic $2,000 on account of postmarketing noncompliance. Sanofi refuted the claim as attention is focused on the government’s approval and procurement processes, as well as Sanofi’s part in it.
Sun Pharma invested about $4.5 million to increase its stake in Ranbaxy Malaysia from 79.55% to 85.9%, the company’s second boost in the business in three months. Ranbaxy had been producing generic drugs in Malaysia for years when Sun bought it in 2014 for $4 billion.
Hong Kong-based investment firm Ally Bridge Group and Chinese medtech company LifeTech Scientific have created a fund that helps medtech companies based around the world bring their technologies and products to China. It comes at a time when China is changing its medical device rules and encouraging innovations.
Eisai just opened a new solid-dose plant in China. With capabilities to produce 3 billion tablets a year, the 217,860 square-foot facility will produce Eisai’s Alzheimer’s treatment Aricept and heartburn drug Pariet among others. The expansion also came as Eisai is nearing approval for Lenvima in the country.