Week In Review: AstraZeneca Considers Spinning Off China Ops Into Separate Company

Deals and Financings

  • AstraZeneca (AZN) may separate its China operations into a standalone company to shelter its China business from east-west political tensions; the separated company would most likely conduct an IPO in Hong Kong or Shanghai;
  • Cutia Therapeutics, a four-year old Shanghai company, completed a Hong Kong IPO that raised $65 million for transdermal delivery of dermatology drugs aimed at hair loss and obesity;
  • Chengdu WestGene Biopharma, an mRNA company, completed a $42 million A Round to advance its portfolio of innovative tumor treatment vaccines via China-only and global trials;
  • Edding Group, a China in-licensing pharma, will conduct an IPO on the Hong Kong Exchange; the company has three marketed products and three more in late development;

Trials and Approvals

  • Shanghai Everest Medicines reported that a partnered treatment for kidney disease, IgA nephropathy (IgAN), was effective in a Phase III trial conducted by Sweden’s Calliditas Therapeutics (CALT);
  • BioCity Biopharma, located in Wuxi, China, will start a China Phase II trial of its novel oral endothelin A (ETA)-receptor selective antagonist, enrolling two patients with IgA nephropathy;
  • Shanghai Minghui Pharma dosed the first patients in Phase 1 clinical studies of two antibody drug candidates that target TROP-2 and B7-H3 for advanced/metastatic solid tumor cancers.

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