China's WuXi Biologics and Shandong Sinobioway Biomedicine are betting big on China's booming biologics manufacturing business stemming from the new Marketing Authorization Holder policy. Takeda expects a whopping 40% drop in Velcade sales heading into its 2018 fiscal year, and it's looking to offload R&D assets that are “moderately innovative” to save costs.
WuXi Biologics plans to invest $240 million in an R&D and production center that will eventually employ 1,000 workers and have 48,000 liters bioreactor capacity. Shandong Sinobioway Biomedicine said it will invest $471.6 million by 2023 on a biologics manufacturing facility. Both companies cited China’s new Marketing Authorization Holder program for potential business growth. That policy allows drugmakers to outsource manufacturing instead of having to build their own plants.
As multiple myeloma blockbuster Velcade loses exclusivity, Takeda expects to lose 54 billion yen ($490 million) in the drug’s sales for the following 2018 fiscal year, or about 40%, compared to 137 billion yen in 2017. It now forecasts a 1.9% drop in total revenue, but the upcoming Shire acquisition will double its full-year guidance and tip the balance between the U.S. and Japanese markets for Takeda.
Because the $62 billion Shire buyout will add tens of billions of dollars to Takeda’s debt load, cost cuts on the R&D side await at the Japanese pharma. It plans to jettison assets that are “moderately innovative,” according to CEO Christophe Weber. It might spin these programs off into separate companies in which it could have a stake, or just dump them altogether, said Weber.
China’s Fosun Pharma, India’s Aurobindo and private equity firms Apollo Global Management and CVC Capital Partners have been shortlisted to make final offers for Novartis’ U.S. generic assets that could be valued at $2 billion, Bloomberg reported. Novartis said it doesn’t want to sell off the Sandoz U.S. business altogether and will keep some products such as complex generics.
Zymeworks licensed its Azymetric and Efect platforms to Daiichi Sankyo to develop a bispecific antibody therapy. Zymeworks is eligible for milestone payments and royalties, and plus an upfront fee of $18 million the deal could be worth $484.7 million.
San Diego-based Ansun BioPharma just landed $85 million in series A backed by a group of Chinese investors, including Sinopharma Healthcare Fund and Lilly Asia Ventures, which co-led the round. The company is working on DAS181, a potential first-in-class influenza med for immunocompromised patients.
HiFiBiO Therapeutics also got money from Chinese investors. Its $37.5 million series B was led by Sequoia China and Lyfe Capital. The biotech develops therapeutic antibodies and immune system modulators through single-B-cell screening, phenotyping and analysis, and has labs in France, the U.S. and China.