Spotlight On... India's drug industry faces $570.7M hit from fixed-dose ban; Biotron hep C candidate 'positive' in PhII; China biotech at 'inflection point'; and more...

India's domestic drug market could see an INR38 billion ($570.7 million) hit from a ban on more than 300 fixed-dose drugs that combine therapies often without new clinical trials in a widely used method that has formulations running into the thousands, many of which are approved at the state level. The Economic Times said the move has taken the pharmaceutical industry by surprise with domestic firms as well as Indian units of multinationals such as Pfizer ($PFE) and Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) seeking to appeal the decisions through court filings. A separate report by the Economic Times said India's Ministry of Health is examining as many as 1,700 more fixed-dose products for safety. Report

> Sydney-based biotech Biotron's hepatitis C candidate BIT225 and Interferon/Ribavirin to treat genotype 1 patients showed a "positive" outcome in a Phase II study in clearing the virus versus those treated with IBN/RBV alone, the company said in a release. A detailed presentation of the clinical data is planned at an unspecified conference later in 2016. Release

> Biotech and drug discovery make up nearly one-third of the estimated $150 billion China pharmaceutical market, according to China Briefing, putting the country at an "inflection point" in moving to novel therapy research. Report

> Hong Kong-based health clinic operator Human Health Holdings plans to raise $13 million through an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with a listing eyed on April 1 for the firm that reported $55 million in 2015 revenues. Release

> Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration is investigating Gilead Sciences' ($GILD) oncology therapy Zydelig (idelalisib) for links to deaths of patients taking the medication in clinical trials overseas. Report

> San Diego-based Bird Rock Bio reported "positive results" in clinical trials for potential rheumatoid arthritis therapy gerilimzumab, a novel anti-IL-6 cytokine antibody. The biotech, formerly known as RuiYi Pharma, partnered gerilimzumab with Genor Biopharma in 2013 with an aim to commercialize the drug candidate in China. Global rights were licensed from Netherlands-based argenx in 2012. Release

> Tokyo-based Meiji Seika Pharma is working on regenerative treatments for hair loss with Japan's Riken research institute, Nikkei Asian Review reports, by providing funds for promising lab work with an eye on possible commercialization. Report

> Researchers at Russia's National University of Science and Technology plan 2018 clinical trials of a cancer detecting nanotechnology biomedical magnetite-based candidate. Report

> Bain Capital paid $150 million to buy a majority stake in Beijing-based Asia Pacific Medical Group, which runs five hospitals and several clinics in China and Southeast Asia. Boston-based Bain raised $3 billion for an Asia-focused fund closed that closed at the end of last year with an aim to invest in healthcare, consumer products and financial services. Report

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