Progress in the China life science industry manifests itself in many ways. Last week, news stories from the sector delineated new relationships, development of individual products, a management MBA for scientists, financial results for public companies, and a report on a successful acquisition.
In new relationships, Benitec Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Biomics Biotechnologies Co. Ltd. of Nantong, China to collaborate on RNAi treatments for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The two companies will jointly own the projects intellectual property, and they will also collaborate on both product development and commercialization.
Neuralstem will sponsor stem cell research at the China Medical University & Hospital of Taiwan. The work will help prepare for a human clinical trial using Neuralstemâ€™s human spinal cord neural stem cells to treat patients who have suffered a stroke. The patient population will be limited to those whose post-stroke symptoms (complete or partial paralysis) have stopped improving more than six months after an ischemic stroke.
On the new products front, China Medicine Corporation reported positive results from a third party feasibility report on a product in development, recombinant Aflatoxin Detoxifizyme (rADTZ), a food and feed additive directed at detoxifying aflatoxin (AFT). rADTZ is a potential cancer causing agent. The report was produced by the Feed Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Biostar Pharmaceuticals received local approval for three TCM products, which it expects to begin selling later this month. The company projects a total of $3.5 million in revenues from the three products in 2009, and $7.4 million in 2010. Biostar anticipates the trio of new products will produce net income of $1 million this year and $2 million in 2010.
To develop its China staff, Novartis established a Sino-European Novartis University offering an MBA to its employees with an emphasis on management. The courses will include input from Harvard University, the Lausanne Business School, the Beijing University of International Business, and other domestic and foreign business schools. Novartisâ€™s goal is to build an international management team, and the new BiMBA program is indicative of the companyâ€™s commitment to building an indigenous operation in China.
Earnings season has begun with the first financial reports surfacing during the last week. China-Biotics reported positive financial results for its 2009 fiscal year, which ended in March. Sales rose 28% to $54.2 million, and non-GAAP net income climbed 19% to $16.9 million, a very healthy margin of 31%. Revenues were in line with analystsâ€™ expectations, but net income, which equates to 99 cents per diluted share, beat the street estimate of 83 cps.
Lijun International Pharmaceutical (Holding) Co. and its subsidiaries expect their six months profit for 2009 to be roughly equal to the net income for the entire year 2008. Lijun earned HK$102,106,000 ($13.2 million) last year. Mr. Wu Qin, Chairman of Lijun International, said stable prices combined with growth in the domestic pharmaceutical market translated to an increase in gross profit margins.
And finally, China Sky One Medical reported that its new Peng Lai Jin Chuang Pharmaceutical Company subsidiary received an SFDA renewal of a Good Manufacturing Practices Certificate . The certificate is good for five years. China Sky One closed its purchase of Jin Chuang in September 2008. So far, the purchase seems to have been very profitable. In the first quarter of 2009, the $7.1 million acquisition of Jin Chuang added $2.1 million in sales, representing almost 9% of China Sky One total revenues in the quarter.