Week In Review: Grifols Pays $1.9 Billion For 26% Stake In Shanghai RAAS

Grifols (MCE: GRF, MCE: Nasdaq: GRFS), a Barcelona maker of plasma-based medicines, acquired a 26% stake in Shanghai RAAS (SHZ: 002252), one of China's largest blood plasma companies, for $1.9 billion in a non-cash deal (see story). Grifols will exchange a 45% ownership in its US subsidiary, Grifols Diagnostic Solutions, for the Shanghai RAAS stake. As part of the agreement, Shanghai RAAS will become exclusive distributor of Grifols' plasma-based and diagnostic products in China, including Grifol's nucleic acid test (NAT) systems used to screen plasma donors for HIV and HCV.

Ambrx, a San Diego biopharma owned by four China investors, struck a deal worth up to $475 million with Beijing's BeiGene (Nasdaq: BGNE; HK: 06160) (see story). In exchange for a $10 million upfront payment, Ambrx will use its Expanded Genetic Code technology platforms to discover next-gen protein drug candidates for BeiGene. For another $19 million, BeiGene can add additional targets. The agreement includes $446 million in milestones, plus it also requires BeiGene to pay royalties on revenues. In 2015, Ambrx was acquired by Fosun Pharma and WuXi AppTec, plus China equity investors HOPU and Everbright.

In a $220 million agreement, South Korea's ABL Biotechnologies (KS: 298380) acquired rights to use WuXi Biologics' (HK: 2269) discovery platforms to develop multiple bispecific antibodies including new bispecific antibodies that target a novel immune check point receptor (see story). WuXi Biologics, which will receive the $220 million in a combination of upfront and milestone payments, will also be paid royalties on any commercialized products from the partnership. ABL Bio will use WuXi's WuXiBody™ and CD3 platforms. The new partnership expands an existing agreement between the two companies announced in November 2018.

3SBio (HK: 1530) of Shenyang will pay $50 million upfront, plus milestones, for China rights to commercialize two liposomal products developed by Taiwan Liposome (Nasdaq: TLC, TWO: 4152) (see story). TLC used its NanoX™ platform to develop the candidates for oncology and severe infectious disease. 3SBio and TLC will cooperate to obtain regulatory approvals in China, while TLC will manufacture the products. According to TLC, its NanoX platform uses a lipid delivery system to lower toxicity, reduce the frequency of dosing, and distribute APIs more evenly.

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