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Trade ten­sions are im­ped­ing the flow of Chi­nese mon­ey to US biotechs — but how much?

US biotechs have seen a drastic drop in Chinese venture funding for the industry amid macro level trade tensions between the two countries and the American government’s heightened scrutiny of foreign investment. While VCs from China accounted for $1.65 billion worth of funding in the first half of last year, that figure has fallen nearly 60% to $725 million in 2019, the Financial Times reported citing PitchBook data.

Swiss court keeps ex-GSK sci­en­tist's broth­er be­hind bars as US push­es to ex­tra­dite him on R&D theft charges

A Swiss criminal court is keeping Chinese scientist Gongda Xue in jail for now as US officials look to extradite him for his role in a family enterprise that stole more than a half billion dollars in drug secrets and transferred them to China.

Local news sources in Switzerland report that the criminal court rejected the scientist’s appeal, saying that a potential 20-year prison sentence makes him a clear flight risk.

In­cyte flips Chi­na rights of Macro­Gen­ic­s' PD-1 to an am­bi­tious Zai Lab keen on leapfrog­ging pi­o­neers with com­bos

Amid the proliferation of checkpoint inhibitors in China, Zai Lab is bringing in one more PD-1 agent in a move to install what has become an essential part of any immuno-oncology pipeline.

Originally developed by MacroGenics and now controlled by Incyte, INCMGA0012 is in Zai Lab’s view a globally competitive asset that can stand as both a monotherapy and combination ingredient.

“The molecular profile is quite similar to Keytruda and Opdivo,” said Yongjiang Hei, Zai Lab’s CSO in oncology, on an investor call.

Tasly Bio­phar­ma pitch­es long-await­ed IPO — will it trig­ger an­oth­er $1B gold rush on HKEX?

In the run up to the Hong Kong stock exchange’s anticipated rule change — opening the door for Chinese pre-revenue biotechs to go public closer to home — more than a year ago, Tasly Biopharma was one of the big players whose rumored interest helped stoke enthusiasm for the new listing venue. The company has since kept the drumroll rumbling in the background, raising a pre-IPO round and convincing partner Transgene to swap ownership in a joint venture for equity. Now the other shoe has finally dropped as execs outline plans for a pipeline dominated by cardiovascular drugs.

Dean Hum. Nasdaq via YouTube

Gen­fit goes to Chi­na with a deal worth up to $228M for NASH drug

Fresh off the high of its Nasdaq IPO debut, and the low of comparisons to Cymabay — whose NASH drug recently stumbled — Genfit on Monday unveiled an up to $228 million deal with transpacific biotech Terns Pharmaceuticals to develop its flagship experimental liver drug — elafibranor — in Greater China.

The deal comes weeks after Genfit $GNFT issued a fiery defense of its dual PPAR agonist elafibranor, when competitor Cymabay’s PPARδ agonist, seladelpar, fizzled in a snapshot of data from an ongoing mid-stage trial. The main goal at the end of 12 weeks was for seladelpar to induce a statistically significant improvement in liver fat content, but data showed that patients on the placebo actually performed better.

John Oyler, Founder & CEO of BeiGene, at the US-China Biopharma Innovation and Investment Summit in Shanghai on October 23, 2018; Credit: Endpoints News, PharmCube

As Bris­tol-My­ers/Cel­gene tie up loose ends, BeiGene pock­ets $150M from PD-1 breakup

As soon as Bristol-Myers Squibb announced its $74 billion buyout for Celgene, BeiGene emerged as a prominent example of a player whose pact with the big biotech could sour, as its PD-1 candidate seems to overlap with Opdivo. After six months of suspense, the partners say they are finally bringing the 2-year-old deal to an amicable end.

BeiGene $BGNE gets $150 million for the termination in addition to full global rights to tislelizumab. In 2017 Celgene had paid $263 million in upfront license fees to develop the PD-1 inhibitor for solid cancers in the US, Europe, Japan and the rest of the world outside Asia. It also threw in a $150 million equity investment in exchange for BeiGene handling its commercial operations — think Abraxane, Revlimid and Vidaza — in China.

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Fol­low­ing CAR-T pi­o­neer­s' foot­steps, Tes­sa launch­es Chi­na JV in $120M deal

These days just about every biotech serious about global development — and not just commercialization — has a China strategy. Tessa Therapeutics, a Baylor associated outfit based out of Singapore, is no exception.

Taking a page out of the CAR-T pioneers’ playbook, Tessa is establishing a joint venture with China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, which is initially putting down $40 million for a 13% stake with $40 million more to come in a second stage. The biotech, which now retains an 87% control, is also rolling out its own contributions in two phases, starting with $20 million and all its technology license rights for China.

Han­soh grabs $1B wind­fall in the lat­est Chi­na phar­ma IPO to hit the Hong Kong ex­change

China’s fast-growing pharma powerhouse Hansoh Pharmaceutical has raised a billion dollars in the latest IPO to hit the Hong Kong exchange. And the green shoe could push that up to $1.15 billion, according to the Financial Times.

The financial news group reported that Hansoh hit the top of its range, selling 551 million shares at $1.82 each. Roughly half of that windfall will go to R&D, with the other half earmarked for their manufacturing, sales and marketing organization.

For­eign threats to NIH re­search: Sen­ate Fi­nance Com­mit­tee digs in

China, Russia and Iran were singled out in a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday as countries that are looking to either undermine or usurp scientific research conducted with US taxpayer funds.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) made clear that China is “by far the most prolific offender,” offering the example of attempts by Chinese researchers to steal genetically modified corn seeds in Iowa and send them back to China.

Spread­ing its wings in Chi­na with glob­al am­bi­tion, EpimAb snags $74M Se­ries B for bis­pe­cif­ic work

PHILADELPHIA — A Shanghai-based biotech looking to make it big in the global bispecific boom has $74 million to both deepen and broaden its presence in the clinic.

With the Series B, EpimAb Biotherapeutics hopes to offer not only proof that its platform tech works, but that it works across multiple programs. By the end of next year, it intends to have Phase I/II data on 60 patients for its lead asset targeting EGFR and cMET as well as a second trial — for a dual checkpoint inhibitor — well under way.