Week In Review: James Watson To Lead New Shenzhen Biopharma Research Center

Infervision of Beijing raised $47 million in a B+ round to support its AI-aided CT cancer scanning software (see story). So far, the company has developed two products, one for early detection of lung cancer and the other for detecting cardiothoracic lesions. Infervision says its products shorten the time a radiologist needs to read a scan while also increasing the accuracy of the readings. Participants in the funding were existing investors Sequoia Capital China, Qiming Venture Partners and Genesis Capital, along with new investors Xianghe Capital and Advantech Capital. 

Akonni Biosystems of Maryland and Righton, a China in vitro diagnostics company, announced a two-way commercial agreement (see story). In China, Righton will sell Akonni's nucleic acid purification and molecular diagnostic products to researchers, clinical laboratories and hospitals, while Akonni will acquire exclusive marketing rights to Righton's 28 molecular diagnostic products outside of China. As part of the agreement, Righton made a $7.5 million investment in Akonni's series D round, bringing the funding to $13.9 million.   

Fosun Pharma (SHA: 600196; HK: 02196) acquired China rights to an thrombocytopenia candidate from a subsidiary of Dova Pharma (Nasdaq: DOVA), AkaRx (see story). Avatrombopag is an oral drug candidate for thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) in patients with chronic liver disease. In a US Phase III trial, avatrombopag met all primary endpoints, and Dova expects to hear whether the FDA will grant US approval of the drug by May 21, 2018 . The Fosun-Dova agreement includes an undisclosed upfront payment, milestone payments, and a fixed transfer price for product supplied. Fosun will also support additional indication applications for avatrombopag in China. 

Senju Pharma of Osaka in-licensed China and Japan rights to a potential treatment for diabetic macular edema (DME) from Montreal's SemaThera (see story). Senju also paired up with AmorChem L.P. to make a $2 million investment into SemaThera, which SemaThera will use to begin a clinical trial of the candidate, ST-102. To acquire the ST-102 rights, Senju agreed to pay milestones totaling up to "tens of millions" of dollars and a double-digit royalty on revenues.  

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