FiercePharmaAsia—Teva’s China JV? Lupin plants’ roadblock, EOC’s $32M series B

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Teva, Lupin, EOC, Takeda and AstraZeneca made the news this week.

Welcome to this week's FiercePharmaAsia report, which includes stories about Teva's rumored China joint venture, Lupin's regulatory hit that could hurt its U.S. sales, EOC Pharma's $32 million series B and more.

1. Teva looks to sell generics in China through joint venture with Guangzhou Pharma: Bloomberg

Teva is reportedly looking to form a Chinese joint venture with local company Guangzhou Pharma, which owns a Viagra copycat. Teva now has an API plant in China and is selling drugs through a distribution agreement with a local company. The world’s largest generics drugmaker has been struggling financially, and it hasn’t made full use of the Chinese market.

2. Lupin's troubles compounded as FDA escalates actions with warning letter for 2 plants

The FDA slammed two of Lupin’s Indian plants with a combined warning letter. One of them, its key Goa plant, which in 2015 was issued a Form 483 with nine observations and another one with three, is the source of many of its new drugs for the U.S. The company derives about 40% of its revenues from U.S. sales.

3. China’s EOC raises $32M to build on crop of harvested cancer drugs

Shanghai-based biotech EOC Pharma has raised $32 million from Chinese investors to help it bring a series of cancer drugs to market. The company operates in a similar mode as Zai Lab—by licensing derisked drugs from foreign biopharma companies and putting them up for Chinese approvals.

4. AstraZeneca executives try to shift I-O focus with China, Brilinta wins

Analyst queries during AstraZeneca’s third-quarter earnings call focused on Imfinzi, but CEO Pascal Soriot was steering attention to other parts of the portfolio. For example, China, the company’s second-largest market, returned 12% more revenues for the quarter; and sales of blood thinner Brilinta, which was recently added to China’s national insurance drug list, also beat consensus.

5. Takeda taps Portal Instruments in needle-free drug delivery deal worth up to $100M

Takeda is developing Portal Instruments’ needle-free drug delivery device for use with its biologic medicines. Portal’s technology is unique as it is computer-controlled. Through a potential $100 million partnership, the pair will initially focus on Takeda’s IBD drug Entyvio, which is now administered via intravenous infusion.

6. With interim phase 2 data, Takeda’s dengue vaccine casts shadow on Sanofi

Interim phase 2 data showed that Takeda’s experimental dengue vaccine induced antibody responses past the 18-month data collection point, regardless of subjects’ previous exposure to dengue. Although data from its gigantic phase 3 trial are needed to confirm the vaccine’s efficacy, it’s still enough to send Sanofi, which has Dengvaxia, fretting for a while.

7. Lost in translation, FDA slaps Chinese drugmaker with warning letter for mixing up APIs

After putting Guangdong Zhanjiang Jimin Pharmaceutical on import alert in August, the FDA has slapped a warning letter on the Chinese drug manufacturer. The company was found to have shipped multiple lots of an OTC product to the U.S. containing the wrong API because it messed up a translation.