As 2009 moves toward its close, a few companies still have transactions – investments, collaborations, approvals – to announce before year-end. The year started under the dark cloud of worldwide financial crisis, but it is ending in an atmosphere that seems more like business as usual. For everyone involved, that change should be reason enough to feel considerable relief.
Fosun Pharmaceutical (SHEX: 600196) will raise up to 635 million RMB ($93.4 million) from no more than ten institutional investors, one of whom will be its parent company, the conglomerate Fosun International. The new capital will fund three new projects including the recombinant human insulin industrialization project (371 million RMB – $54.6 million), the Artesunate hi-tech industrialization project (190 million RMB – $27.9 million) and the in-vitro diagnosis manufacturing facility (74 million RMB – $10.9 million).
Nextchem Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. of Shanghai has reopened after having suspended its operations for over a year. The reopening followed a capital investment of unspecified size from NEA China and BioVeda Capital, which then “regrouped” Nextchem. Nextchem, which claims assets of 500 million RMB ($74 million), produces antibiotics.
Syngenta Biotechnology, a division of the Swiss giant agribusiness company Syngenta (NYSE: SYT), has begun construction of an R&D center in Beijing. When the company announced its intention to build the center, it committed $100 million to developing the project over the next five years. The China facility will concentrate on evaluating genetic modifications for key crops such as corn and soybeans, with the goal of improving yields, drought resistance, disease control and biomass conversion for biofuels.
Hutchison Chi-Med (AIM: HCM) will collaborate with the University of Cambridge in the UK to investigate the mechanism of one of its best-selling TCMs, the patented Shexiang Baoxin pill that is prescribed for heart disease. The SXBX pill is thought to have an angiogenesis effect. Dysfunctional angiogenesis is associated with more than 80 diseases, from cancer and diabetic eye problems to stroke.
Hard to Treat Diseases (OTC Pink Sheets: HTDS) announced an agreement in principle to sell its MindUp BioResearch division, a cancer research initiative, to a large modern herbal medicine company in China. Neither the buyer nor the terms were disclosed, pending due diligence. Hard to Treat did say, however, the buyer is a TCM company that was founded in 2004. MindUp BioResearch is controlled by Hard to Treat’s Slavica BioChem division, located in Serbia.
Alvogen, Inc. opened an office in Shanghai that will spearhead the company’s project to commercialize its products in China. Alvogen China will also serve as a global sourcing unit for APIs and finished products. Alvogen is a relatively new company that is focused on developing complex generic products. Its holdings include Norwalk Pharmaceuticals, which was once a unit of Proctor & Gamble (NYSE: PG). Alvogen says it has 170 products in development or registration.
Astellas Pharma of Japan received SFDA approval for Vesicare®, a treatment for Overactive Bladder (OAB). The drug, an antispasmodic, relaxes the muscle in the bladder, reducing leaking of urine and the powerful urge to urinate before the bladder is filled. Astellas China will begin marketing Vesicare immediately.
Sinovac Biotech (NSDQ: SVA) was selected by China Business Media as one of China\'s Top 10 most competitive companies listed overseas for 2009. The honor was given to Sinovac at the 2009 China Business Annual Meeting on Enterprise Competitiveness. The honor is based on a company\'s sales revenue, net assets, net profits, growth rate of net profits, and return on net assets in the past three years.
Two of China’s major CROs were named to Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific list, an award that recognizes the fastest growing technology companies in the Asia Pacific region. It was WuXi PharmaTech’s (NYSE: WX) sixth appearance on the list. For Sundia MediTech, it was the second year in a row to be included in Fast 500.