Week In Review: China Leads Global Pharma Innovation, Says Thomson Reuters

According to a recently released Thomson Reuters report, China is the global leader of pharmaceutical innovation (see story). The country is successful, Thomson Reuters believes, because it has fostered a healthy mix of partnerships, pharma industry innovation and scientific research. The research is carried out at institutes and fosters collaboration between the government and industry. During 2015, five of the top ten global organizations for filing pharma patents were located in China. Over the period 2005-2015, three of the top ten organizations (including top spot) for publishing papers about drugs and disease were China institutes.

WuXi AppTec considers partnerships a part of its overall product development capability, Dr. Hua Mu, SVP at WuXi told ChinaBio® Today in an exclusive interview (see story). WuXi forms partnerships to advance product development for the partners and gain faster approval of the products in development for China, he said. The ChinaBio® Partnering Forum, which will be held May 18-19 in Suzhou has been important to WuXi and Dr. Mu. When he returned to China six years ago, he met colleagues from Lilly at a ChinaBio Partnering Forum. Since then, he has formed two partnerships with Lilly. 

Deals and Financings

SciClone (NSDQ: SCLN), a US pharma focused on the China market, in-licensed China rights to a solid tumor cancer drug from Spain's AbilityPharma in a deal potentially worth $20 million (see story). ABTL0812 has completed a Phase I/Ib trial in Spain. In exchange for greater China rights to the drug, SciClone will make an upfront payment along with development, regulatory and sales milestones plus royalties. In Europe and the US, ABTL081 was given Organ Drug status for pediatric cancer neuroblastoma.  

Taiwan's ACT Genomics, which provides genomic profiles for personalized cancer care, completed a $12.5 million Series B funding (see story). ACT provides genomic profiling assays and next-gen sequencing for use by doctors and pharmas. The company offers targeted therapy treatment options, predictors of immune-checkpoint inhibitor response, and ctDNA-based assays to monitor tumor burden and resistance markers. The round was led by Hotung Group of Taiwan and CDIB Capital Management, the overseas investment arm of China Development Financial. 

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