FiercePharmaAsia—Tussle for Shire, Hanmi’s EGFR bail, Grail’s $1B pre-IPO round

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WuXi AppTec rolled an expansion of its lab testing division, and Hong Kong-based OTC drugmaker Luen Wah was slapped with an FDA warning letter. (Google)

Allergan was in and out of pursuit for Shire as Takeda's third offer was rejected, raising questions with investors. Hanmi ditched its would-be Tagrisso rival olmutinib, Grail is reportedly considering a $1 billion financing ahead of its expected Hong Kong IPO, and more.

1. Allergan pulls out of Shire deal talks just hours after disclosing it was in the mixAllergan swoops in as Takeda's third Shire bid falls short at $61B

The Shire buyout chase got more complicated on Thursday. That morning, Allergan confirmed it was also considering an offer—just after Takeda announced its third bid of £46.50 per share ($66.17), or $62 billion in total, had been rejected. But just a few hours later, Allergan dropped its pursuit amid pushback from investors, leaving Takeda still in talks to sweeten its proposal.

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2. Hanmi calls time on troubled Tagrisso rival olmutinib

Hanmi and partner Boehringer Ingelheim once thought EGFR inhibitor olmutinib could be a rival to AstraZeneca’s lung cancer drug Tagrisso, or even a best-in-class entry. But things quickly went south. The German company and Chinese licensee Zai Lab walked away from their deals, and South Korean authorities hit Hanmi for its failure to disclose patient deaths. Now the Korean firm has decided to scrap the program.

3. Grail to seek an additional $1B in funding before Hong Kong IPO, report says

Grail is reportedly considering squeezing in a $1 billion funding round before its planned $500 million Hong Kong IPO later this year. The company, which merged with Hong Kong’s Cirina last year, plans to launch its first product, an early screening test for nasopharyngeal cancer, in Asia soon.

4. WuXi AppTec boosts U.S. footprint with expanded New Jersey lab site

After strengthening its clinical services by acquiring the U.S.-based full-service CRO ResearchPoint Global, WuXi AppTec has expanded in the U.S. again, this time with its lab testing division. It doubled the size of the service’s operation in New Jersey to a total space of more than 115,000 square feet. The CRO is about to be listed on the Shanghai stock market to fund further expansions.

5. FDA hits Hong Kong OTC drugmaker with warning letter

The FDA issued a warning letter to Hong Kong-based over-the-counter drugmaker Luen Wah Medicine, citing the company for failing to test the identity and strength of each active ingredient in its products.