Week In Review: Eddingpharm To Pay $375 Million For Two Lilly Antibiotics And A Suzhou Manufacturing Facility

MicroPort, a Shanghai medical device company, co-led a $20 million Series C financing in Rapid Medical, an Israeli company developing a stentreiver treatment for stroke (see story). As part of the agreement, MicroPort will partner with Rapid Medical to develop the treatment in China. Rapid Medical said it would use the funding to complete a US IDE study and support the commercial growth of the stroke treatment globally. The C round was co-led by JAM Capital Partners with participation from Agate JT, RocSon Medtech Fund and existing investors. 

Adagene, a Suzhou-San Francisco antibody engineering and discovery company, has entered a drug discovery collaboration with Switzerland's ADC Therapeutics (see story). Adagene will use its SAFEbody™ technology to generate a masked antibody for ADC that will be combined with ADC's cytotoxic payload technology, forming a novel ADC against an unspecified solid tumor target. ADC will underwrite Adagene's discovery work. After a successful discovery phase, Adagene will receive an upfront payment, milestones and royalties on net sales. Adagene will also have specified commercial rights to the molecule in Greater China.

Government and Regulatory

China has apparently negotiated a shorter patent protection period for new biologic drugs from the US, according to anonymous sources (see story). New US biologics will have only eight years of protection under the new trade agreement, much shorter than the 12 years that is the rule in the US. The trade deal is still in negotiations, but US officials do not appear to be eager to fight for a longer exclusivity period. When pharma companies heard about the change, they complained. Reportedly, trade officials said the only alternative was no patent protection at all for new biologic drugs.

Company News

Gracell Biotechnologies, a Suzhou immune cell gene therapy company, announced a new technology, FasT CAR-T, that shortens the manufacturing time of CAR-T treatments from two weeks to one day (see story). FasT CAR-T also lowers manufacturing costs to a fraction of previous CAR-T therapies, said Gracell, while showing higher potency of CD19-directed FasT CAR-T in B-Cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) (20-40 times) and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL), both in vitro and in vivo.

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Disclosure: Disclosure: ChinaBio® has a business relationship with Gracell. 

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