Week In Review: China Life Science Deals Total $550 Million

MicuRx Pharma, a San Francisco-Shanghai company, closed a $15 million financing, which it will use to complete a China Phase III trial of its oral antibiotic, contezolid (MRX-I) (see story). MicuRx expects the trial will finish in 2018. Contezolid treats serious infections caused by Gram positive bacteria, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) without causing myelosuppression. The funding was led by China affiliates of Delian Capital and BVCF, both of whom are existing MicuRx investors.

Esaote S.p.A., an Italian medical imaging company, was acquired by a group of China investors (see story). The China syndicate was headed by Yunfeng Capital, Alibaba's (NYSE: BABA) investment arm, and joined by several China medical device makers and investment firms. The price was not disclosed. Esaote will continue as a standalone company headed by its current CEO, Karl-Heinz Lumpi. The China investors intend to introduce Esaote's products -- Ultrasound and MRI scanners, together with associated IT -- to the China market. The company produced $317 million of revenue in 2016.  

Shenzhen BioScien in-licensed greater China rights to an immunotherapeutic vaccine for prostate cancer from Generex Biotech (OTCQB: GNBT) of the US in a $5 million agreement (see story). In a Phase I trial, conducted by Generex's subsidiary Antigen Express, AE37 produced an activation of T cells in patients with prostate cancer. Generex said the activation was robust, long-term, and specific. BioScien will develop the drug for mainland China plus Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.  

Shenzhen's BGI Genomics (SHZ: 300676) has formed a partnership with California's Sanguine BioSciences, a company that links patients with clinical trials (see story). Using BGI's sequencing machines, Sanguine will develop a database that combines genomic and clinical data to recruit patients for clinical trials of precision medicines. The partnership's first project will build a searchable whole-genome and electronic medical record database of more than 1000 patients with rheumatoid arthritis.  

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