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The com­ing glut? Can­cer cell ther­a­py tri­als are boom­ing as Chi­na ri­vals US on new projects

The Cancer Research Institute has been keeping a careful eye on cancer R&D as new money continues to pour into the field from all directions. Today, in the lead up to ASCO this weekend, they’ve updated their work on cancer cell therapies — and as you might expect there’s plenty of signs that things are continuing to heat up.

The top highlights from the new report in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery by Jun Tang and colleagues

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Ready to har­vest its PD-L1, Al­pham­ab re­loads with $60M to nur­ture the bis­pe­cif­ic patch

Al­pham­ab’s $100 mil­lion Se­ries A last No­vem­ber for the on­col­o­gy unit marked its first ven­ture round in al­most 10 years of ex­is­tence. As it turned out, it was al­so a sig­nal that founder and CEO Ting Xu was ready to bring in the cash flow he needs to com­plete the reg­u­la­to­ry jour­ney for his lead check­point in­hibitor and dive in­to the bis­pe­cif­ic project he’s en­vi­sioned for years.

The Suzhou-based com­pa­ny un­veiled its lat­est fi­nanc­ing on Tues­day, in­fus­ing $60 mil­lion in­to pipeline de­vel­op­ment and a po­ten­tial com­mer­cial launch as well as a new R&D and man­u­fac­tur­ing site. Hud­son Bay Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment led the Se­ries B and Adri­an Cheng, the heir of a re­al es­tate em­pire in Hong Kong, par­tic­i­pat­ed along­side ex­ist­ing in­vestors.

‘I was shocked’: Con­tro­ver­sy brews at Emory af­ter promi­nent Chi­nese neu­ro­sci­en­tists are oust­ed over dis­clo­sure is­sues

It’s what Chi­nese sci­en­tists work­ing in the US have been dread­ing since MD An­der­son oust­ed three of its Asian fac­ul­ty mem­bers fol­low­ing NIH-di­rect­ed in­ves­ti­ga­tions: A sec­ond pres­ti­gious in­sti­tu­tion has closed down a promi­nent lab and ter­mi­nat­ed the two Chi­na-born re­searchers head­ing the lab.

The news, com­ing out of Emory Uni­ver­si­ty, is once again stir­ring up in­dig­na­tion, be­wil­der­ment and anx­i­ety among Chi­nese aca­d­e­mics and ne­ti­zens alike, not least be­cause the oust­ed pro­fes­sors have gone pub­lic with their side of the sto­ry, ques­tion­ing how the school han­dled the fir­ing, dis­put­ing ac­cu­sa­tions and ex­press­ing their wor­ry. As a con­se­quence, sev­er­al post­docs from Chi­na work­ing in their lab have al­so been asked to leave the coun­try.

Top 5 Chi­nese play­ers: What does Ever­est's land­mark deal with Im­munomedics say about the flur­ry of in-li­cens­ing to Chi­na?

Immunomedics might have had trouble getting its breast cancer drug through the FDA, but that hasn’t stopped them from commanding a lofty price from a Chinese player intent on bringing it to Asia. On the same day the troubled biotech said goodbye to its CMO, Immunomedics $IMMU unveiled a licensing pact that highlights the importance of China for biopharma companies of any size — and really in any circumstance.

Encompassing $60 million upfront, $65 million conditional upon US approval of sacituzumab govitecan and $710 million in milestones, the deal immediately vaults the buyer — Everest Medicines — into the top 5 in-licensing companies in China in the past 11 years.

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Nine list­ings and $3.8B lat­er, HKEX cel­e­brates one-year biotech an­niver­sary with $194M CRO IPO

So how is Hong Kong stock ex­change’s biotech board do­ing one year af­ter reg­u­la­tors opened up the list­ing regime to pre-rev­enue com­pa­nies in the field?

De­pends on how you look at it.

While on­ly nine biotech com­pa­nies — in­clud­ing one CRO gi­ant — have joined the HKEX this way in the past year, col­lec­tive­ly they have raised $3.8 bil­lion. By IPO pro­ceeds, that makes Hong Kong the sec­ond largest pub­lic biotech hub world­wide af­ter the leader Nas­daq, ac­cord­ing to Re­fini­tiv da­ta cit­ed by the lo­cal South Chi­na Morn­ing Post.

MD An­der­son tries to as­sure re­searchers in town hall meet­ing that Asian ‘eth­nic­i­ty’ is not the dri­ving force be­hind purge

Should Chinese researchers at the MD Anderson Cancer Center be worried in the wake of three Asian scientists’ dismissals tied to alleged foreign influence?

The answer is a firm no, according to administrators who hosted a town hall on Tuesday for alarmed employees. Science, which first broke the news about the firings together with the Houston Chronicle, obtained an recording recording from the meeting.

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Lil­ly to sell lega­cy an­tibi­otics, Ce­clor and Van­cocin, to Chi­na-based part­ner in $375M deal

More than two years af­ter Lil­ly part­nered with spe­cial­ty drug­mak­er Ed­ding­pharm to ex­clu­sive­ly dis­trib­ute its decades-old an­tibi­otics — Ce­clor and Van­cocin — in main­land Chi­na, the US drug­mak­er is of­fload­ing the lega­cy prod­ucts to the Chi­na-based com­pa­ny in a $375 mil­lion deal.

Un­der the deal, Ed­ding­pharm is al­so procur­ing a man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty in Suzhou, Chi­na that pro­duces Ce­clor. Lil­ly $LLY will re­ceive a de­posit of $75 mil­lion, fol­lowed by a pay­ment of $300 mil­lion up­on suc­cess­ful clos­ing of the trans­ac­tion, which is ex­pect­ed to con­sum­mate in the lat­ter part of 2019 or ear­ly 2020.

Three Asian MD An­der­son sci­en­tists purged in wake of NIH-di­rect­ed in­ves­ti­ga­tions on da­ta vi­o­la­tions

In the first public instance of a US biomedical institution sanctioning its own researchers for alleged threats of foreign influence, MD Anderson Cancer Cancer Center is ousting three scientists it says who have violated conflict of interest policies.

The prestigious Houston research hospital has initiated the termination processes in response to NIH letters requesting that it look into the conduct of specific researchers. The actions also follow some ongoing engagement with the FBI that dated back at least two years, according to the Houston Chronicle and Science, which first reported the news.

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Chi­nese phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal man­u­fac­tur­er in spot­light af­ter weld­ing ac­ci­dent kills 10

An ac­tive phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­gre­di­ent man­u­fac­tur­er in Chi­na has come un­der scruti­ny for the lat­est dead­ly in­dus­tri­al ac­ci­dent af­ter an ex­plo­sive ac­ci­dent at its plant killed 10 work­ers.

Qilu Tian­he Huishi Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal, op­er­at­ing in Shan­dong province on the east coast of Chi­na, ex­ports gener­ic drugs like amikacin and tazobac­tam in bulk to Eu­rope, North and South Amer­i­ca and the Mid­dle East. Reg­u­la­tors at the Na­tion­al Med­i­c­i­nal Prod­ucts Ad­min­is­tra­tion have pre­vi­ous­ly named the com­pa­ny for fail­ing qual­i­ty in­spec­tions.

This Chi­nese phar­ma filed for an IPO last Sep­tem­ber. Sev­en months and a $283M in­vest­ment lat­er, they are back at the HKEX

A sto­ried Chi­nese phar­ma play­er is aim­ing for a sec­ond shot at join­ing some pre-rev­enue biotechs on the Hong Kong Stock Ex­change, in an IPO that could fetch any­where be­tween $500 mil­lion and $1 bil­lion.

Han­soh Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Group re-filed its ap­pli­ca­tion af­ter first lay­ing out its pitch last Sep­tem­ber. While it had ini­tial­ly pen­ciled in $1 bil­lion, a source is now telling Reuters that the new range will be $500 mil­lion to $800 mil­lion — while an­oth­er in­di­cat­ed $800 mil­lion to $1 bil­lion.