Week In Review: Beigene Sets Record With $1.4 Billion Celgene Deal

Deals and Financings

BeiGene (NSDQ: BGNE) of Beijing has entered a "transformational" collaboration with Celgene (NSDQ: CELG). The agreement, which involves BeiGene's clinical-stage PD-1 immuno-oncology drug, has a total value of almost $1.4 billion, setting a record as the largest out-licensing of a China discovered novel drug candidate (see story). Celgene will own global rights to BeiGene's BGB-A317 immuno-oncology drug, except for Asia, though it will own Japan rights. In return, Celgene will pay $263 million upfront and make a $150 million equity investment in BeiGene. The agreement provides for up to $980 million in development, regulatory and sales milestones. And BeiGene will acquire China rights (including manufacturing) to Celgene's three China-approved cancer drugs, plus a fourth candidate. In addition, BeiGene will take over Celgene's existing China sales organization, which BeiGene will use to market its own portfolio of cancer drugs, once they are approved. 

A group of 24 entrepreneurs, all of them graduates of Wuhan University, announced plans to form a $147 million China healthcare fund (see story). The fund, which will be known as WHU Healthcare Alliance, expects to finance healthcare projects started by Wuhan graduates. Lawrence Tian, founding partner of Yuanming Capital, is the president of the Alliance; Zhi Yang, founding partner of BVCF, is its executive president; and Jonathan Wang, senior managing director of OrbiMed Asia, will be a director. 

Sino Biological, a Beijing reagents developer, raised $29 million in a Series A round led by Qiming Venture Partners, a China VC with interest in life sciences (see story). Founded in 2007 by MIT professor, Dr. Daniel I.C. Wang, and his former student, Dr. Liangzhi Xie, Sino Biological offers a large selection of reagents for life science research and drug development. It also provides CRO services for protein and antibody discovery, research, development, production and commercialization. 

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