Week In Review: Another Billion Dollar Week For China Life Science Deals

Shanghai Pharma Holding (SHA: 601607) may acquire part of Alvogen -- possibly Alvogen's US operations -- according to Bloomberg. Alvogen is a US-based generic drug maker thought to be worth as much as $4 billion (see story). It has operations in Asia, including China, along with eastern Europe and the US. Two years ago, a consortium including CVC Capital Partners and Temasek, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, paid $2 billion for a controlling stake in Alvogen. 

Shandong Weigao Group (HK: 1066), a medical device company, will acquire Argon Medical Devices of Texas for $850 million (see story). Shandong Weigao primarily makes single-use products while Argon develops specialty medical devices for interventional procedures. Participating in the transaction was an unnamed PE firm that will provide a $420 million loan and own 10% of a JV that holds Argon. Weigao said it anticipates using Argon as a platform to export its products.

Simcere Pharmaceutical of Nanjing struck a deal with Amgen to co-develop and commercialize four Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN) biosimilars in China (see story). The exact biosimilars were not disclosed, though Amgen said they address needs in inflammation and oncology. Earlier this month, Amgen was approved by the FDA to market a biosimilar to Roche's Avastin, the first oncology biosimilar approved in the US. Amgen has disclosed a portfolio of six biosimilars and says it has three more in earlier development.

China's Ping An Insurance (HK: 2318; SHA: 601318) paid $245 million to acquire a 10% stake in Japan's Tsumura (TYO: 4540), an herbal drugmaker (see story). Tsumura controls 84% of Japan's market for prescription Kampo medicine, the Japanese development of traditional Chinese medicine that started in the seventh century. The two companies will set up a JV to bring Kampo medicines to China, "offering more choice" to China's people, they added.  

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