FiercePharmaAsia—U.S.-China trade battle, Takeda-Shire deal insight, China’s generics push

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U.S.-China trade battle, Takeda-Shire deal and China's new generics-favoring policies made our news this week. (Google)

The U.S. is planning additional tariffs against Chinese products that include biopharma materials. Analysts see more possibilities in Takeda's bid for Shire. China announced a package of policy to promote the substitution of originals for generics. 

1. Biopharma caught in the crosshairs of U.S.-China trade tussle

A long list of biopharma materials and medical devices have become targets of the U.S. Trade Representative’s proposed new tariff against Chinese products. The tariff is part of a $50 billion trade sanction against China. Both countries are dependent on each other’s drug products, and China still has a few cards to play.

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2. With big debt on tap, analysts see Takeda-Shire deal as 'more likely than not'

Japan-based Takeda recently told analysts it was “willing to push its debt higher” to make its proposed Shire buyout happen, according to Bernstein’s Wimal Kapadia. Shire shareholders are open to a sale, and Takeda is a willing buyer, so he thinks there’s “room to meet both sides’ expectations” and a potential transaction is “more likely than not.”

3. China pushes generics over brands with another round of new pharma policies

In a new policy package aimed at promoting generic drugs, China is offering tax incentives for companies to make high-quality copycats. It will compile a drug list that encourages companies to produce generic versions and will push for broad use of generic names instead of branded names, among a range of other moves Together, the policies could tighten up the market for foreign pharmas profiting on original innovative drugs.

4. Fujifilm expands its healthcare footprint with $800M acquisition of cell-culture manufacturers

Looking to grow through acquisitions in regenerative medicine and pharmaceuticals, Fujifilm is buying up two cell-culture media units from Japan’s JXTG for about $800 million. With increasing demand in antibody drugs and treatments using cells, the company estimates expects 10% annual growth for the cell-culture media market.

5. Terns emerges with all 3 of Lilly’s NASH programs and $30M from Lilly Asia Ventures

Terns Pharma, which got started with a $30 million series A backed by Lilly Asia Ventures, recently nabbed exclusive global rights to all three of Lilly’s NASH programs. Terns, as a poster child of the recently unveiled “Lilly China Innovation and Partnerships,” intends to pursue regulatory approvals in China first.

6. India’s drug regulatory body to create new database to monitor drug manufacturers

India’s drug regulatory body said it is in the final process of creating a national digital database of pharmaceutical manufacturers and their medicines to help address drug shortages and quality issues. Indian companies are often targets of FDA scrutiny and local agencies don’t have full pictures of drugs produced in the country.

7. Dendreon chairwoman figures Provenge growth, infrastructure can pave its way into CAR-T

Speaking with FiercePharma, Dendreon chairwoman said Provenge could maintain 10% annual revenue growth, and that the company is looking to get its new cell immunotherapy approved in China by 2020. Dendreon already acquired a facility in Hong Kong and is building another in Shanghai; combined with its existing infrastructure, the additions set a foundation for the company's plans to buy into CAR-T or TCR-T.

8. Another one's gone: Torrent drops out of Sanofi generics auction over price, report says

India’s Torrent Pharma, worried about paying too much, has abandoned a chance to buy up Sanofi’s European generics business, which was reportedly worth up to €2 billion. European private equity firm Nordic Capital recently bowed out of the auction for the same reason, reports say.

9. China’s CMAB Biopharma captures $34M in series B funding to upgrade facilities

CMAB Biopharma, a China-based CDMO, snagged $34 million in series B financing the company said will be used to upgrade and expand its manufacturing plant.

10. Daiichi Sankyo partners with Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation to draw attention to iron deficiency

Daiichi is working with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation on a new inflammatory bowel disease awareness campaign that highlights iron deficits in those patients. An estimated 36% to 76% of people with IBD have iron-deficiency anemia.

11. Corona Remedies snags two drugs from Abbott India, plans to build new plant

Indian drugmaker Corona Remedies acquired rights to diabetes med Obimet and hyperthyroid therapy Thyrocab from Abbott India. It plans to invest $11.1 million in building a new manufacturing facility to provide drugs for the European market.