Genzyme Corp., the third largest biotech company by revenue, began construction of a $100 million R&D center in Beijing. The center, which will eventually employ 350 people, will comprise 200,000 square feet (18,580 square meters) and is expected to be completed in 2011. It will seek to discover and develop novel biologics and other gene therapies. Genzyme says it is interested in China because of the talent and the market.
The Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences has won SFDA approval to produce its single-dose H1Na vaccine. The Institute expects to produce 3 million doses of the vaccine by October 1 and 10 million doses by year end. SIBS is the third China entity to be given approval for a swine flu vaccine; the other two are Sinovac Biotech (SVA) and Hualan Biological Engineering Inc.
Abbott Labs was given SFDA approval for its Xience V drug eluting stent system as a treatment for coronary artery disease (CAD), the leading cause of death in China. The approval was based on two worldwide clinical trials that enrolled 1302 patients, including 60 patients from two sites in China. Abbott says it plans to launch the device in Q4.
China Aoxing Pharmaceutical Company received SFDA approval to begin a clinical trial of Tilidine/Naloxone capsules, a narcotic drug for moderate to severe pain. The drug is given to alleviate cancer and post-surgical pain. China Aoxing plans to begin the clinical trial by the end of this year, and expects to receive final approval of the drug in 2011.
LEAD Therapeutics released data on LT-29, a novel glycopeptide antibiotic that showed efficacy against many of the most common antibiotic resistant bacteria. LT-29 is in preclinical development to treat serious infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other gram-positive bacteria. LEAD presented data about LT-29 at the recent 49th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC).
Tianyin Pharmaceutical Co. announced it received GMP certification for its new solid dosage manufacturing facility from the SFDA. The company said the new facility will triple its solid dose capacity. Tianyin, which has historically concentrated in TCM, has been branching out into generic versions of western drugs.
And finally, China Medical Technologies announced a $30 million share buyback program. The program will begin on October 1 and run for one year. Donâ€™t worry about whether China Medical can afford the $30 million. At the end of its June quarter, the company reported a cash balance of $227 million, and its current market capitalization is $512 million, so the buyback represents only about 6% of the outstanding shares.