Blackstone invests $400M in one of China’s fast-growing pharma companies; CVS sets up an ICER-based formulary

The Blackstone Group is investing $400 million in YiChang HEC ChangJiang Pharmaceutical. The big private equity player is backing the company via convertible bonds, funding a new program at the company to acquire pharmaceuticals. The Chinese company has a long track record for manufacturing, selling and developing new drugs. The deal comes as a number of China’s top companies look to quickly assemble pipelines and portfolios.

→ Over the last few years, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has been steadily ratcheting up the pressure on drug manufacturers with its cost effectiveness reviews of new drugs. And that pressure is now going to spike. CVS rolled out a new strategy this week that will allow employers to exclude drugs from their formulary that don’t pass the cost effectiveness test at ICER. In the absence of any systematic regulatory scrutiny over drug prices, ICER’s influence can only grow.

→ Canada’s Altasciences has inked a deal to acquire the preclinical testing business of SNBL U.S.A. The buyout is expected to be completed at the end of September.

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Sr. Manager, Regulatory Affairs, CMC
CytomX Therapeutics San Francisco, CA
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