Spotlight On... Athenex details $225M China-New York drug manufacturing play; Abbott wins TGA nod for Libre; India aims to unify health plans; and more...

An investment of $225 million will see China investor-backed Athenex make active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and oncology in western New York state and ship products to China and the world. The company already has operations in Chongqing in China where it is also building two drug manufacturing plants at Banan that will receive local funding for land and construction, the company, based in Buffalo, said in October. In a release this week, Athenex, which bills itself as a specialty oncology firm, said the U.S. operations covering a 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will pump in $1.6 billion over ten years in wages, materials and supplies to the New York operation. The breakdown of output will see APIs sold globally from the plant and oncology drugs head for China. That led New York state to chip in $25 million of the initial investment. In May of last year, the company then known as Kinex said it had completed a private placement of equity to strategic investors that included Huateng Ma, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Tencent Holdings, according to its website. Release

> Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) has won a nod from Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration for its FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System that uses a sensor instead of a pin prick. Release

> The IPHEX Africa exhibition held in Lagos, Nigeria will attempt to increase the export of Indian pharmaceuticals and technologies to the growing West African market. Report

> India's health ministry aims to unify government healthcare efforts under a national "Health Protection Scheme" that includes a health insurance plan for people below the poverty line and cover as many as 400 million people at a cost equivalent to $3.4 billion over five years. Report

> Mumbai-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals won a U.S. FDA nod to sell a generic version of skin inflammation treatment Bayer Healthcare's Finacea topical gel, or azelaic acid, used for treating skin inflammation. Report

> Melbourne-based Mesoblast said its mesenchymal precursor cell therapy candidate MPC-300-IV met its endpoints for primary safety and unspecified efficacy in a Phase II study of rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving methotrexate and who had failed at least one biologic. Release

> U.S. life science multinational PerkinElmer has opened a new diagnostics facility in Chennai, India, to offer comprehensive diagnostic screening and maternity nursing services. Release

> A polio health worker was shot by gunmen in Lahore, Pakistan, during a nationwide drive of 100,000 workers this week to eliminate the virus across the nation. Report