Spotlight On... SciClone Pharmaceuticals sets mucositis treatment for China; Lilly Asian Ventures has top investments; Strides selling shares; Chi-Med starting sulfatinib trial; and more...

SciClone CEO Friedhelm Blobel--Courtesy of BioWorld via YouTube

SciClone Pharmaceuticals said it plans to develop and register its oral mucositis treatment SGX942 for Greater China. The drug is being developed by Soligenix after the two companies entered into a development pact in 2013. That deal saw Soligenix gain access to SciClone's oral mucositis clinical and regulatory data library and in return SciClone gained commercialization rights to SGX942 in China, Hong Kong and Macau, according to a statement from the companies. Soligenix recently said it had received "positive preliminary results" from its Phase II clinical trial using the treatment in patients with head and neck cancer. "SGX942 is an innate defense regulator (IDR), a new class of short, synthetic peptides, with a novel mechanism of action in that it modulates the body's reaction to both injury and infection towards an anti-inflammatory and an anti-infective response," the companies said in their statement, adding that "the Phase II preliminary results reported by Soligenix showed a significant reduction in the duration of severe oral mucositis in patients receiving chemoradiation therapy for treatment of their head and neck cancer." Release

> Lilly Asia Ventures has invested in four of Biodiscover's top 10 companies in China. The companies are Chipscreen, Innovent, Betta Pharma and 3Sbio. Release

> SPI Pharma said it has signed a marketing deal with Japan's Asahi Kasei Chemicals in which both companies will distribute each other's products in the United States, Canada and Japan. Report

> India's Himalaya Drug Co. said it has created a new "wellness" division to help the company grow into a $1 billion corporation by 2020. Report

> India's Department of Pharmaceuticals is proposing to include 18 therapeutic drugs under the umbrella coverage of its National List of Essential Medicines. Report

> Germany's XL-Protein and China's Easton Pharmaceutical said they have signed a partnership deal to develop biopharmaceuticals for ophthalmology treatments. Release

> Hong Kong-based Chi-Med said it has started a Phase III trial of sulfatinib for neuroendocrine tumor patients. Release

> China's Novogene and San Diego-based Illumina ($ILMN) said they have signed a deal to jointly develop clinical applications for reproductive health and oncology using advanced gene sequencing technology. Release

> The government of India plans to open 200 new generic drug stores across the country by the end of fiscal 2015. Report

> India's Strides Shasun said it will sell shares in the company worth $225 million. Report

> Nasdaq-bound Chinese biopharma BeiGene has chosen GE Healthcare's ($GE) Flexfactory platform for the monoclonal antibody (mAb) plant it is building in Suzhou. Release (PDF)

> India's Cipla said it has launched its generic Hepcvir-L hepatitis C treatment, which will cost $377 for a bottle of 28 tablets. The treatment is the generic version of Gilead Sciences' ($GILD) Harvoni. Report

> India's Strides Shasun said it has received approval from the Drug Controller General of India to produce a generic version of Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi for hepatitis C. Report

> Caring for the increasing numbers of the elderly in China represents a huge new market for drugmakers and healthcare companies. Report

> Japan will adopt new rules when it revamps its medical care fees in 2016 in an attempt to cut prices of popular drugs. Report

> Japanese pharmaceutical maker Chemo-Sero-Therapeutic Research Institute, also known as Kaketsuken, is being accused of mishandling the deadly botulinum toxin on at least four occasions since 2007. Report

> India's Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said it has settled a patent dispute with Forest Laboratories and Royalty Pharma Collection Trust over the antidepressent Savella. Report

> Granules India said it has been served with three "observations" from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at one of its facilities, but did not disclose what the FDA said. Report

> China's top legislature has begun work to introduce a new law that calls for a bigger role for Traditional Chinese Medicine in the country's healthcare system, a move that has gained momentum after researcher Tu Youyou was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize for work on a malaria treatment that incorporated facets of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Report

> Samsung Biologics broke ground on its third biopharmaceutical plant in the Incheon Free Economic Zone which could make the company the world's largest CMO with a total production capacity of 180,000 liters. Report