Protocols

China Biologic rejects $3.9B buyout bid from ex-CEO; Leo Pharma bags atopic dermatitis drug for $17M upfront

→ China Biologic $CBPO has rejected a buyout bid initiated from a consortium led by ousted chairman and CEO David Gao. The $3.9 billion offer, the company says, “is not in the best interests of the company and its shareholders as it did not reflect the intrinsic value” of the company. That’s despite the fact that at $118 a share, the offer from Gao’s group — which includes GL Capital Group, Bank of China Group Investment Limited and CDH Investments — was already well ahead of the $3.65 billion on the table from CITIC Capital. Incidentally, the company announced that CITIC has withdrawn its proposal.

CITIC will, however, participate in a direct sale of some newly-issued shares, in which Beijing-based China Biologic expects to raise $590 million to “support its business expansion plan and strategic acquisitions.” Other investors in the deal include Centurium Capital Management and Hillhouse Capital Management.

The investors agreed to buy the shares at $100.90; as of press time, the stock price has fallen more than 14% in pre-market trading to $86.24.

→ The dermatology specialists at Leo Pharma have added an early-stage atopic dermatitis drug to their pipeline through a licensing deal with JW Pharma. For $17 million upfront, Leo is getting exclusive rights to develop and commercialize JW1601 anywhere in the world except for Korea, where JW is based. Development and sales milestones total an additional $385 million, with two-digit royalties to follow should the drug go to market. JW1601 is an H4 receptor inverse agonist that targets both the itch and inflammation that comes with atopic dermatitis, and JW is planning to submit an IND this year.

AstraZeneca and Merck are the latest pharma giants to celebrate a speedy nod for a potential blockbuster drug in China. Chinese regulators have given the green light for the PARP inhibitor Lynparza in ovarian cancer — one of 48 drugs listed as “urgently needed” meds eligible for priority review — nine months after they began processing the NDA. Notably, Lynparza is the first imported drug to include international multicenter data in its application.


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