C-Bridge hands Nu­ance Biotech $35M, open­ing doors to more Chi­na li­cens­ing deals

Chi­na’s pow­er­house pri­vate eq­ui­ty play­er C-Bridge Cap­i­tal is dish­ing out $35 mil­lion to ex­per­i­ment with a new part­ner­ship mod­el.

Its part­ners at Nu­ance Biotech an­nounced a deal with Paci­ra Phar­ma that gave them de­vel­op­ment and com­mer­cial­iza­tion rights of Ex­par­el in Chi­na. What went un­men­tioned at the time was the role C-Bridge played, iden­ti­fy­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ty and fa­cil­i­tat­ing the pact.

Mark Lot­ter

That deal makes sense, says Nu­ance CEO Mark Lot­ter, be­cause the non-opi­oid pain drug fits right with their fo­cus in the sur­gi­cal space.

“Our part­ner­ship with C-Bridge has al­ready helped to build out our port­fo­lio, and I look for­ward to work­ing with their team of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment pro­fes­sion­als to bring in ad­di­tion­al prod­uct op­por­tu­ni­ties,” says Lot­ter in a state­ment.

Of the fund­ing, $20 mil­lion is des­ig­nat­ed Se­ries B cash, while the oth­er $15 mil­lion is ear­marked for the ac­qui­si­tion of new prod­ucts — to en­sure that C-Bridge can con­tin­ue to flex its deal-bro­ker­ing mus­cles.

Wei Fu

Found­ed in 2014 by the team that ran No­vaMed — an At­las-backed start­up of­fer­ing com­mer­cial­iza­tion ser­vices for glob­al and lo­cal phar­ma com­pa­nies, which had been ac­quired by Sci­Clone — Nu­ance is al­ready mar­ket­ing sev­er­al prod­ucts in ad­di­tion to de­vel­op­ing as­sets li­censed from US and UK biotechs. While its head­quar­ters are in Shang­hai, its op­er­a­tions (and prod­uct rights) are spread be­tween the Chi­nese biotech hub and South Africa.

“This in­vest­ment rep­re­sents a unique fund­ing mod­el for build­ing a best-in-class phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal busi­ness in Chi­na,” says C-Bridge CEO Wei Fu. “Nu­ance’s proven abil­i­ty to move prod­ucts through reg­is­tra­tion to the mar­ket along with its large sales or­ga­ni­za­tion and ro­bust sales ef­fec­tive­ness sys­tem make it an ex­cel­lent part­ner for com­mer­cial­iz­ing in­no­v­a­tive phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts in Chi­na.”

As part of the round, C-Bridge man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Neo Zhang gets a seat on the board, join­ing David Su of Ma­trix Part­ners Chi­na, an ear­ly in­vestor in the com­pa­ny.

As­traZeneca trum­pets the 'mo­men­tous' da­ta they found for Tagris­so in an ad­ju­vant set­ting for NSCLC — but many of the ex­perts aren’t cheer­ing along

AstraZeneca is rolling out the big guns this evening to provide a salute to their ADAURA data on Tagrisso at ASCO.

Cancer R&D chief José Baselga calls the disease-free survival data for their drug in an adjuvant setting of early stage, epidermal growth factor receptor-mutated NSCLC patients following surgery “momentous.” Roy Herbst, the principal investigator out of Yale, calls it “transformative.”

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Pablo Legorreta, founder and CEO of Royalty Pharma AG, speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Cap­i­tal­iz­ing Pablo: The world’s biggest drug roy­al­ty buy­er is go­ing pub­lic. And the low-key CEO di­vulges a few se­crets along the way

Pablo Legorreta is one of the most influential players in biopharma you likely never heard of.

Over the last 24 years, Legorreta’s Royalty Pharma group has become, by its own reckoning, the biggest buyer of drug royalties in the world. The CEO and founder has bought up a stake in a lengthy list of the world’s biggest drug franchises, spending $18 billion in the process — $2.2 billion last year alone. And he’s become one of the best-paid execs in the industry, reaping $28 million from the cash flow last year while reserving 20% of the cash flow, less expenses, for himself.

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Sanofi brings in 4 new ex­ec­u­tives in con­tin­ued shake-up, as vac­cines and con­sumer health chief head out the door

In the middle of Sanofi’s multi-pronged race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, David Loew, the head of their sprawling vaccines unit, is leaving – part of the final flurry of moves in the French giant’ months-long corporate shuffle that will give them new-look leadership under new CEO Paul Hudson.

The company also said today that Alan Main, the head of their consumer healthcare unit, is out, and they named 4 executives to fill new or newly vacated positions, 3 of whom come from both outside both Sanofi and from Pharma.

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Ab­b­Vie wins an ap­proval in uter­ine fi­broid-as­so­ci­at­ed heavy bleed­ing. Are ri­vals My­ovant and Ob­sE­va far be­hind?

Women expel on average about 2 to 3 tablespoons of blood during their time of the month. But with uterine fibroids, heavy bleeding is typical — a third of a cup or more. Drugmakers have been working on oral therapies to try and stem the flow, and as expected, AbbVie and their partners at Neurocrine Biosciences are the first to make it across the finish line.

Known chemically as elagolix, the drug is already approved as a treatment for endometriosis under the brand name Orilissa. It targets the GnRH receptor to decrease the production of estrogen and progesterone.

David Chang, Allogene CEO (Jeff Rumans)

Head­ed to PhII: Al­lo­gene CEO David Chang com­pletes a pos­i­tive ear­ly snap­shot of their off-the-shelf CAR-T pi­o­neer

Allogene CEO David Chang has completed the upbeat first portrait of the biotech’s off-the-shelf CAR-T contender ALLO-501 at virtual ASCO today, keeping all eyes on a drug that will now try to go on to replace the first-wave personalized pioneers he helped create.

The overall response rate outlined in Allogene’s abstract for treatment-resistant patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma slipped a little from the leadup, but if you narrow the patient profile to treatment-naïve patients — removing the 3 who had previous CAR-T therapy who didn’t respond, leaving 16 — the ORR lands at 75% with a 44% complete response rate. And 9 of the 12 responders remained in response at the data cutoff, offering a glimpse on durability that still has a long way to go before it can be completely nailed down.

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Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO (Getty Images)

Sanofi CEO Paul Hud­son has $23B burn­ing a hole in his pock­et. And here are some hints on how he plans to spend that

Sanofi has reaped $11.1 billion after selling off a big chunk of its Regeneron stock at $515 a share. And now everyone on the M&A side of the business is focused on how CEO Paul Hudson plans to spend it.

After getting stung in France for some awkward politicking — suggesting the US was in the front of the line for Sanofi’s vaccines given American financial support for their work, versus little help from European powers — Hudson now has the much more popular task of managing a major cash cache to pull off something in the order of a big bolt-on. Or two.

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Roger Perlmutter, Merck R&D chief (YouTube)

UP­DAT­ED: Backed by BAR­DA, Mer­ck jumps in­to Covid-19: buy­ing out a vac­cine, part­ner­ing on an­oth­er and adding an­tivi­ral to the mix

Merck execs are making a triple play in a sudden leap into the R&D campaign against Covid-19. And they have more BARDA cash backing them up on the move.

Tuesday morning the pharma giant simultaneously announced plans to buy an Austrian biotech that has been working on a preclinical vaccine candidate, added a collaboration on another vaccine with the nonprofit IAVI and inked a deal with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics on an early-stage antiviral.

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As tislelizum­ab gains trac­tion in Chi­na, BeiGene pulls the cur­tain on NSCLC da­ta sup­port­ing the PD-1 drug

In a world now brimming with checkpoint inhibitors, companies often struggle to make a mark given a raft of therapies have already captured a considerable portion of the vast oncology market.

BeiGene’s tislelizumab was the fourth PD(L)-1 inhibitor to secure approval in China — and as it works on expanding its share the company has put out detailed data on the use of the drug in certain patients with lung cancer.

Pfiz­er, Mer­ck KGaA ce­ment Baven­cio blad­der can­cer win with OS da­ta — while carv­ing an­oth­er niche in rare can­cer

Pfizer and Merck KGaA have detailed the Phase III data that inspired FDA regulators to designate Bavencio a “breakthrough” for first-line advanced bladder cancer and offered an early glance at how the PD-L1 can help patients with a rare gynecological cancer — carving out niches in the checkpoint space for itself after being shut out of numerous others.

In JAVELIN Bladder 100, Bavencio led to a 31% reduction in risk of death compared to standard care alone. It also extended median survival by more than seven months — a historic feat in this setting, according to investigators at Queen Mary University of London.