Welcome to this week's FiercePharmaAsia report, which includes stories about Zai Lab's $115 million IPO, Takeda's drug discovery deal with Stanford University, Fosun and Shanghai Pharma's bids for Georgia drugmaker Arbor, and more.
Zai Lab, the Chinese biotech founded by Pfizer alum and former Hutchison MediPharma head Samantha Du, has filed for a $115 million Nasdaq IPO. The company plans to use the money to advance cancer drugs it in-licensed through late-phase trials in China. These meds include Tesaro’s PARP inhibitor niraparib, approved by the FDA earlier this year; Paratek’s omadacycline and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s tyrosine-kinase inhibitor brivanib, or ZL-2301.
As part of its ongoing R&D overhaul, Takeda just signed a wide-ranging drug discovery deal with researchers at Stanford University. Takeda has long been extolling the virtues of working with academic research teams, and the new three-year agreement, which creates the Stanford Alliance for Innovative Medicines, firms up that strategy. The pair will start taking proposals from Stanford lab teams in October.
No Stada deal for Fosun and Shanghai Pharma? No problem. The two filed their bids to take a stake in Georgia drugmaker Arbor Pharma, the seller of such meds as Horizant, BiDil and Edarbi. Arbor is currently backed by private equity firms KKR and JW Asset Management. The bids for Arbor come as the Chinese government cracks down on big Chinese firms’ debt-fueled acquisitions abroad.
Austin, Texas-based startup Shattuck Labs is less than a year old but has already bagged its first big pharma partner. Takeda is buying into two preclinical and four discovery-stage programs based on Shattuck’s proprietary Agonist Redirected Checkpoint technology, which the company says can create single molecules that not only block immune checkpoints but also encourage T cells to attack malignant cells.
Mitsubishi Tanabe’s U.S. arm is rolling out its first product, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis treatment Radicava. Approved by the FDA back in May, Radicava is the first ALS med to win approval in 20 years and only the second ever. Despite a list price of $1,086 per infusion and a dosing schedule of 14 consecutive days at the beginning, no commercial payer has turned its back on the med.
Antengene has nabbed $21 million in a series A round, backed by major Chinese venture capital firms including Qiming Venture Partners. The financing round came after Antengene inked a deal to in-license Celgene’s TORC1/2 inhibitor CC-223. The money will be used to push on with work and sales prep for the drug, which Antengene calls ATG-008.
German regulators have pulled the manufacturing certificate from a Dr. Reddy’s formulation plant located in Bachupally, India, following an inspection earlier this month that uncovered deficiencies in record-keeping for quality control and sanitation systems at the facility. The plant is not the same one cited in a Form 483 by the FDA in May.
On the back of drug discovery collaborations with big pharma companies Merck & Co., Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, China’s HitGen just inked a multigarget deal with 2014 Fierce 15 company Aduro Biotech. HitGen will leverage its DNA-encoded library design, synthesis and screening to discover novel small-molecule leads and license them out exclusively to Aduro.
Based on the findings of a February inspection, the FDA slapped Foshan Flying Medical with a warning letter for inadequate testing, validation and training issues at its Guangdong, China, plant. The company manufactures a variety of medical products including first-aid kits, bandages and over-the-counter antiseptics.