CASI raises $25M in secondary offering; China plans to increase subsidies to help disabled;

> China-focused Nasdaq-listed biotech CASI Pharmaceuticals ($CASI) has raised $25 million in a secondary offering that will be used to fund clinical trials. In June, CASI filed a China FDA application to conduct a Phase II clinical trial in fibrolamellar carcinoma patients for proprietary drug candidate ENMD-2076. In September 2014, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals ($SPPI) licensed two of its cancer drugs. Release

> Researchers at Melbourne's Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science found a way to avoid direct eye injections for macular degeneration by using a miniature sponge-like device that delivers multiple doses directly into the macula. Professor Ben Boyd of the ARC Centre for Bio-Nano Science and the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences said it is possible to load the device with 10 doses delivered once a year from the current 10 injections. Report

> China's State Council, or cabinet, has plans to increase subsidies through local governments for people with disabilities who live in poverty to address the needs of an estimated 85 million people, according to a press briefing on Sept. 18. Release

> China FDA Deputy Director Wu Zhen told a gathering of companies and regulators from Southeast Asia and China in Nanning that improving regional cooperation between drug evaluation and approval systems was a key goal as trade grows. Release

> Turkey's Marmara Research Center has launched a project aiming to produce biosimilar cancer drugs as the country faces chronic shortages linked to reimbursement pricing. Report

> The European arm of Japan's Astellas Pharma was granted approval by regulators for a label extension for Qutenza to include the treatment of adult diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathic pain. Release

> Swiss firm DKSH Business Unit Healthcare joined industry lobby group APACMed in its work with governments, policymakers and other healthcare stakeholders in Asia. Release

> Singapore's MerLion Pharmaceuticals said a presentation of Phase II data on the use of finafloxacin in patients hospitalized with complicated urinary tract infections showed it was more effective than current standard of care ciprofloxacin. Release

> Help with unwanted tattoos has come to China as Cynosure said it has received clearance from the China FDA to market PicoSure 755nm wavelength for tattoo removal. The product will be marketed through the company's direct sales force in China. Release

> The Infectious Disease Research Institute and Wellcome Trust announced the start of a Phase IIa trial in South Africa of IDRI's tuberculosis vaccine candidate. The Wellcome Trust awarded a $5.8 million grant to clinically assess the ability of IDRI's vaccine candidate to reduce TB recurrence after treatment. Release

> China Daily has highlighted calls for targeted subsidies of essential medicines as price controls are lifted, citing continued frequent shortages as pharmaceutical companies shy away from manufacturing despite measures aimed at increasing production and quality. Report

> The Indian Credit Rating Agency, or ICRA, said that 20% of revenues for domestic pharmaceutical companies now come from emerging markets, supporting M&A in those geographies and highlighting opportunities, the Financial Express reported. Report

> India's Biocon inaugurated a new manufacturing plant to make devices for its insulins portfolio, with the Bangalore facility of 100,000 square feet slated to for production of Basalog One, a high-end, ready-to-use insulin glargine disposable pen. Report

> India is a key market for a candidate from Sanofi to treat genetic blood disorder thalassaemia, which affects as many as 30 million people in the country, the Hindustan Times reports, adding that clinical trials may be held in the country. Report

> Health authorities in Australia are pushing for approval and wider use of a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drug that could potentially halve HIV infection rates, reported, and right now can only be imported for personal use or prescribed by small amount of Australian doctors. Report

> U.S. and China CRO Crystal Pharmatech has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Renren Lianhe Holdings. The company, in a release, said the funds would be used for its drug development efforts focused on evaluation and screening. Release