Week In Review: Sinopharm Transfers $4.6 Billion In Assets, Including Two COVID-19 Vaccines

  • Shanghai Ocumension Therapeutics (HK: 1477) acquired Greater China rights to Alimera (ALIM)’s implant therapy for diabetic macular edema and other retina diseases in a $119 million agreement (see story). Ocumension will develop Iluvien® 0.19mg fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant for use in Greater China. It made a $10 million equity investment in Alimera, paid $10 million upfront, and will be responsible for up to $89 million in sales-based milestones. Ocumension will will also issue four-year warrants for 1 million of its shares to Alimera.  
  • StoneWise, a Beijing company offering AI-based small molecule drug development services, raised $100 million in Series B and B+ rounds (see story). Founded in 2018, StoneWise has built a smart drug development platform based on AI algorithms, computational chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, and computational biology. The company says its technology promotes a development process that is more time-efficient and cost-effective. The B round was led by Legend Capital, while the B+ round was co-led by Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund and Lightspeed China.
  • Shanghai BDgene Therapeutics completed a $9 million Series A round to develop its mRNA delivery platform, a viroid-like particle delivery system of mRNA (see story). BDgene, a clinical stage company, uses technology to deliver CRISPR/Cas9 mRNA, which provides safe and controllable gene editing in vivo, according to the company. BDgene's lead product is BD111, a CRISPR/Cas9 mRNA Instantaneous Gene Editing Therapy administered via corneal injection in patients with refractory herpetic viral keratitis, which has been approved for a six patient clinical trial in China.  
  • Shanghai's SciNeuro Pharmaceuticals in-licensed Greater China rights to Lilly (LLY)'s alpha-synuclein targeted antibody therapies, an expected therapy for Parkinson's (see story). SciNeuro will make an upfront payment along with downstream milestones and royalties, though details were not disclosed. In December 2020, SciNeuro was launched with $100 million from Lilly Asia Ventures and Arch Venture Partners to develop CNS therapies for China. The Lilly deal is SciNeuro's first in-licensing. 
  • Jilan's Qilu Pharma (KOSDAQ: 087010) in-licensed China rights to a preclinical anti-MUC1 conjugate oncology drug from Peptron of South Korea (see story). Peptron believes MUC1, which is over-expressed in many tumors, will prove to be a high-potential ADC target for multiple solid and hematological malignancies. Qilu will acquire rights to manufacture, develop, and commercialize Peptron's PAb001-ADC in China. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.   
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