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

Crown Bioscience, a US-China preclinical CRO, has extended its partnership with the National Resource Center for Mutant Mice (NRCMM) to build experimental immune-oncology mouse models along with models for diabetes and inflammation (see story).  NRCMM was established by the US National Institute of Health and has a China commercial branch, the Nanjing Biotech Innovation Corporation. Crown Bioscience is headquartered in California with labs in Beijing, Taicang, the UK and North Carolina. 

Response Biomedical (TO: RBM)(RPBIF) of Vancouver has granted Shanghai Elite Biotech an exclusive license to distribute its RAMP® cardiovascular point-of-care test in all of mainland China (see story). For more than a year, Elite has been distributing the portfolio in an unspecified number of eastern and southern China provinces. Response Bio was pleased with the uptick in sales in the areas and has expanded the agreement. 

Trials and Approvals

Hua Medicine of Shanghai announced positive results from a China Phase Ib trial of HMS5552 (sinogliatin) in patients with diabetes (see story). The molecule is a novel oral 4th-generation glucokinase activator (GKA) for Type 2 diabetes that Hua in-licensed from Roche (SIX: ROG) in 2011. In the trial, sinogliatin provided patients with 24-hour glucose control of both fasting plasma glucose and post-meal glucose levels, something that usually requires two separate drugs. Hua expects to start a China Phase II trial and to complete a US Phase I trial of sinogliatin before the end of 2015. 

In China's largest pivotal trial ever -- 21, 000 people -- Qiagen's (NSDQ: QGEN) TB test showed the incidence of latent TB infection in China's population is 18.8% (see story). That was far lower than the 28.8% indicated by the century-old TB skin test, which registered many false positives. The QuantiFERON-TB Gold (QFT®) test, an interferon-gamma release assay, was approved for use in China in 2013. By lowering the estimate of China's at-risk population, the test renders a TB preventative program more feasible. Qiagen is headquartered in the Netherlands. 

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