Week In Review: Cellular Biomedicine In-licenses Cancer Immunotherapy From China

Deals and Financings

Cellular Biomedicine Group (NSDQ: CBMG), a China-US cell therapy company, acquired CAR-T cancer immunotherapy technology from the Chinese PLA General Hospital (the 301 hospital) of Beijing (see story). The two groups will form a partnership for further development of the products in China. The PLA Hospital has already conducted early clinical trials of the technology on CD19-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia, CD20-positive lymphoma, CD30-positive Hodgkin's lymphoma and EGFR-HER1-positive advanced lung cancer. The data from the Phase I and II trials is included in the deal. 

ACT Genomics Co., a Taipei company that makes cancer diagnostic tests, raised $8 million in a first round funding (see story). Using next-gen sequencing and multiplex molecular testing platforms, ACT claims it can analyze a tumor and detect variations in more than 400 cancer-related genes. With the information, ACT can suggest the most appropriate personalized cancer treatment. 

NeuroVive (STO: NVP) (NEVPF), a Swedish clinical-stage pharma focused on drugs that protect mitochondrial function, established a subsidiary in Taiwan and raised $3.3 million for the venture (see story). The company previously announced it would IPO the new company, NeuroVive Pharmaceutical Asia, Inc., on the Taiwan stock exchange. NeuroVive Asia holds the Asian rights (ex-China) to NeuroVive's two clinical stage projects, which address cerebral-cardiovascular problems. In 2012, NeuroVive out-licensed China rights for the drugs to Sihuan Pharma (HK: 0460)(SHPHF). 

The GPCR Consortium, a nonprofit US-China research collaboration, has added two new pharma members: Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO) and Merck (NYSE: MRK) (see story). The academic members of the Consortium -- the Bridge Institute at the University of Southern California, the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, and the iHuman Institute at ShanghaiTech University -- remain the same. The Consortium's goal is to fully characterize the structure and function of 200 GPCRs, placing their findings in the public domain, with a goal of improving drug discovery. The companies underwrite the research performed at the academic institutes. 

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