Spotlight On... Japan's Takeda and enGene in GI therapy development pact; Chugai, Novartis cancel Femara deal; Sun's patience pays off; and more...

Osaka-based Takeda Pharmaceutical has lined up another gastrointestinal deal, this time to work with Montreal-based enGene to develop new treatments. Takeda will make an upfront payment and assume costs on two preclinical undisclosed targets enGene will develop using its proprietary nonviral vector platform. If milestones are met, Takeda has the option for exclusive global rights with enGene eligible for tiered royalties if the commercial stage is reached. This is the third GI pact by Takeda since December and part of a broad push in the area by the company. Release

> Chugai Pharmaceutical and Novartis ($NVS) have agreed to cancel their deal over co-marketing the breast cancer drug Femara. Release

> Sun Pharma Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi's "patient approach" helped the company reach new heights, a report says. Report

> Tokai Pharmaceuticals said it expects to complete enrolment for a Phase III trial of its cancer drug ARMOR3-SV by the second half of 2016 with top-line data available in 2017. Release

> HK-listed Golden Meditech entered into a complex and conditional sale and purchase deal with Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store for China Cord Blood ($CO) valued at RMB5.76 billion ($874 million) that includes a three-year lock-up period. Release

> Beijing-based CANbridge Life Sciences has met its first milestone to receive a payment from Germany's Apogenix for a biomarker study of in-licensed oncology candidate CD95. Release

> Mumbai-based Lupin won approval from the U.S. FDA to market a generic version of Warner Chilcott's oral contraceptive Generess Fe. Report

> Mumbai-based Wockhardt has been granted U.S. Food and Drug Administration Qualified Infectious Disease Product status for four experimental antibiotic drugs. Report

> Korean drugmakers Hanmi Pharma and Green Cross will be joining Samsung Biologics, Samsung Bioepis and Yuhan at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference that kicks off this week in San Francisco. The Korean drugmakers are on the hunt for new deals and will also be presenting their latest creations to analysts. Report

> The China Food and Drug Administration sought to allay concerns of tainted blood products from Japan's Chemo-Sero-Therapeutic Research Institute (Kaketsuken). In December, Kaketsuken was hauled up for falsifying data over four decades with concerns raised about blood products. Release (PDF) (Chinese language)

> Researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China and the Ohio State University are looking to develop micro capsules to better target chemotherapy and other drugs to reduce side effects. Report

> Hyderabad-based Aurobindo Pharma has leased a site in Saudi Arabia in the King Abdullah Economic City's Industrial Manufacturing Facility to produce oral tablets and capsules. Report

> Chengdu-based contract research firm HitGen signed a contract to work with San Francisco-based Global Blood Therapeutics for lab work on an undisclosed novel target. Release

> China-focused SciClone Pharmaceuticals said full-year revenue last year met the high-end of expectations at $157 million to $158 million, up 16% from the previous year for the Foster City, CA-based company. Release

> Japan's Eisai submitted a new application to the EMA for in-house developed novel anticancer agent lenvatinib to treat renal cell carcinoma. Release

> Beijing-based biotech BeiGene said the U.S. FDA has given the nod for clinical development of oncology mAb BGB-A317, marking the company's first biologic candidate to undergo trials in the U.S. Release (PDF)

> Researchers from Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology have gleaned new insights on the extracellular matrix surrounding brain tumors as a key factor in poor treatment options. Report

> Mumbai-based Reliance Life Sciences has won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to make active pharmaceutical ingredients used in oncology drugs at the Dhirubhai Ambani Life Sciences Centre. Report

> Kyoto-based drugmaker Nippon Shinyaku submitted a pulmonary arterial hypertension new drug application for Selexipag to Japan's Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency on Jan. 7. Swiss biotech Actelion has a license for sales abroad. Release

> Japanese researchers at Kyoto University hope to develop an unprecedented treatment for leukemia by studying ways to use induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to produce a new immune system cell that will attack cancer cells. Report