China channel feed

Look­ing for 'ex­ter­nal in­no­va­tion,' Boehringer In­gel­heim re­serves $500M+ for new Shang­hai hub

Now that Boehringer Ingelheim’s bet on contract manufacturing in China has paid off, the German drugmaker is anteing up more to get into the research game.

Boehringer has set aside $507.9 million (€451 million) for a new External Innovation Hub to be built in Shanghai over five years. The site will become one of its “strategic pillars” as the team strives to get 71 approvals — either for new products or indications — by 2030, said Felix Gutsche, president and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim China.

Rob Brainin (Genuity)

Meet the lat­est ge­nom­ic da­ta com­pa­ny — aka WuXi NextCODE with­out the Chi­na op­er­a­tions

Just five years after WuXi engineered a deal to merge its genome center with NextCODE Health, the WuXi NextCODE brand is becoming history as the company cuts off the Chinese operations and focuses on the US, Iceland and Ireland.

The new name, Genuity Science, erases all references to WuXi NextCODE’s storied history. The US and Iceland offices of the genomics company were spun out of deCODE Genetics after it got acquired by Amgen — with its own twists and turns. Its $400 million expansion into Ireland took place in late 2018, complete with the acquisition of Genomics Medicine Ireland.

Sinovac engineer shows an experimental vaccine for the coronavirus (via Getty Images)

Chi­nese vac­cine de­vel­op­ers have be­gun to shed some se­cre­cy around Covid-19 can­di­dates. What do we know?

Last November, Nisa Leung found herself catching up with Margaret Chan in a conference at Beijing, wondering when the next pandemic may be.

Leung, now a managing partner at Qiming, had just graduated from business school at Stanford when she was asked to introduce infectious disease experts to Chan, then Hong Kong’s Secretary of Health. The year was 2003; the city was grappling with a local outbreak of a deadly coronavirus disease — later named the severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS — that began with a patient zero from mainland China.

“I still remember very clearly that back then we tried to develop a diagnostic test in China and we kind of just didn’t have the capability,” Leung said. “And so we had to send the strains to the US for a company to develop it for us.”

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It's not just Charles Lieber: NI­H's on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion has swept up 54 sci­en­tists who vi­o­lat­ed rules about for­eign ties

The NIH’s working group for foreign influences on research integrity has opened cases against 189 scientists suspected of violations related to overseas ties since launching an ongoing, sweeping investigation almost two years ago, newly available statistics showed, leading to the terminations and resignations of 54 scientists.

Of those who have been investigated, 41% have also been removed from the NIH system, barred from seeking further grants. Michael Lauer, NIH’s head of extramural research, presented a comprehensive set of these and other numbers in a virtual update on Friday, just a day after Charles Lieber — the former head of Harvard’s chemistry department — was indicted in federal court for lying about his Chinese connections.

A sto­ried Chi­nese phar­ma part­ner of Bris­tol My­ers, Am­gen — and avid biotech sup­port­er — plots HK IPO

A hefty pharma IPO is coming to Hong Kong.

Simcere isn’t one of the group of pre-revenue biotechs taking advantage of Hong Kong’s 2-year-old new rules that opened up the stock exchange. A closer counterpart would be Hansoh, which reaped a $1 billion windfall from its HKEX debut a year ago: a storied powerhouse company that bags sizable revenue from a slate of older generic drugs. (Coincidentally, both companies have headquarters in the province of Jiangsu.)

Juno, WuXi JV in Chi­na score $100M in fresh fund­ing as it sets stage for first CAR-T ap­proval

China’s oncology-focused biotech hub has raised already millions in venture funding and lured powerful global biopharma partners to address the high rates of cancer in the country. In yet another example, the joint venture between Juno and to WuXi’s AppTec has raised a sizable $100 million in a fresh round of funding.

The Shanghai-based company, christened JW Therapeutics (an initial each from its root companies), was created to marry Juno’s CAR-T development experience and WuXi’s AppTec’s muscular manufacturing capacity. In 2018, it scored $90 million to take its lead experimental B cell malignancy-focused drug, JWCAR029, into the clinic and build a new manufacturing plant.

Sanofi sharp­ens fo­cus on bis­pecifics, and Chi­na, with Al­pham­ab deal

It’s not the splashy acquisition Sanofi was expected to make after pocketing more than $11 billion following the sale of a big chunk of partner Regeneron’s stock, but it’s a start. On Tuesday, the company signed a pact with China’s Alphamab Oncology to collaborate on a bispecific antibody focused on treating breast cancer.

The deal represents Sanofi’s ambitions in China, where skyrocketing rates of cancer have sparked the creation of biotech firms that have lured millions in venture funding and public listings.

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Charles Lieber (Charles Krupa, AP)

Har­vard's Charles Lieber in­dict­ed for ly­ing to the feds, bring­ing US re­searcher­s' Chi­na ties back to the spot­light

Five months after his shocking arrest, Charles Lieber has been indicted by a federal grand jury for lying to authorities about his involvement in China’s Thousand Talents Program.

The 61-year-old scientist — who chaired Harvard’s chemistry department and led a lab specializing in nanoscience before he was arrested and placed on administrative leave in late January — is facing two counts of making false statements. He will be arraigned in federal court at a later date, and is expected to contest the charges.

Lil­ly, In­cyte-al­lied Chi­nese drug­mak­er In­novent bags Roche as part­ner in deal that could yield bil­lions

China’s biologic powerhouse Innovent has snagged another illustrious partner: Roche.

The company — which made its public debut on Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2018 raising a whopping $421 million — is already collaborating with a host of key biopharma and academic groups such as Eli Lilly, Incyte and the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Now, Innovent has inked a deal with Roche that grants it access to the Swiss drugmaker’s bispecific antibody and CAR-T technology.

RA Cap­i­tal, Hill­house join $310M rush to back Ever­est's climb to com­mer­cial heights in Chi­na

Money has never been an issue for Everest Medicines. With an essentially open tab from their founders at C-Bridge Capital, the biotech has gone two and a half years racking up drug after drug, bringing in top exec after top exec, and issuing clinical update after update.

But now other investors want in — and they’re betting big.

Everest is closing its Series C at $310 million. The first $50 million comes from the Jiashan National Economic and Technological Development Zone; the remaining C-2 tranche was led by Janchor Partners, with RA Capital Management and Hillhouse Capital as co-leaders. Decheng Capital, GT Fund, Janus Henderson Investors, Rock Springs Capital, Octagon Investments all joined.