(Reuters) - Israeli biopharmaceutical firm D-Pharm said on Sunday it has signed a deal with Wanbang Biopharmaceuticals to jointly develop and distribute its stroke prevention treatment in China.
D-Pharm\'s DP-b99 drug is currently undergoing Phase III clinical trials. Under the deal Wanbang will finance the trials in China for 450 patients. Wanbang, the largest manufacturer of insulin in China, is a subsidiary of Fosun (600196.SS). In exchange for a licence and rights to distribute its drug in China, Wanbang will pay D-Pharm up to $25.5 million once clinical trials are completed and regulatory approval has been received. D-Pharm will also receive royalties from sales of the drug in China. DP-b99 is a neuroprotective drug that addresses an array of brain damaging processes occurring in stroke patients. Both preclinical and clinical Phase I and II studies indicated a favorable efficacy and safety profile for DP-b99. In the recently completed Phase IIb trial in 150 ischaemic stroke patients, DP-b99 increased by two-fold the percentage of patients that completely recovered from ischemic stroke, D-Phram said. DP-b99 may be administered within a nine hour therapeutic window, it said, noting that stroke is a leading cause of death in the Western world and some 50 percent of stroke survivors suffer from some form of sever disability. D-Pharm\'s Tel Aviv-listed shares were up 4.6 percent in afternoon trading compared with gains of 1.7 percent on the broader bourse.
(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Greg Mahlich)