Week In Review: Shanghai Pharma Acquires Cardinal’s China Drug Distribution Network For $1.2 Billion

Shanghai Pharma (SHA: 601607) paid $1.2 billion to win the bidding war for Cardinal Health’s (NYSE: CAH) China drug distribution operations (see story). Cardinal was China’s eighth-largest drug distribution company, with $3.5 billion in 2016 China revenues, while Shanghai Pharma is number three. After the companies are combined, Shanghai Pharma will become number one. In 2010, Cardinal got a foothold in the China market by paying $440 million to acquire Zuellig Pharma, a company that in-licensed China marketing rights to western drugs.  

Arcus Biosciences, a Bay Area biotech, announced a $107 million Series C financing (see story). The round was led by GV (formerly Google Ventures) and included participation from China investors Decheng Capital, BVF Partners and Hillhouse among others. Arcus will use the capital for two clinical programs: AB928, a first-in-class dual adenosine receptor antagonist, and AB122, a PD-1 antibody for which Arcus in-licensed ex-China rights from WuXi Biologics (HK: 2269) and Harbin Gloria Pharma (SHZ: 002437) in a $816 million deal announced in August.  

Adlai Nortye, a Hangzhou company, entered a $86.6 million in-licensing agreement to develop and market a novel immuno-oncolytic virus in Greater China that was discovered by Canada’s Oncolytics Biotech® (TSX: ONC) (see story). Reolysin® is an intravenously delivered immuno-oncolytic virus that activates the innate and adaptive immune systems. Oncolytics plans a US Phase III trial of Reolysin in patients with HR+/HER2 metastatic breast cancer. Adlai Nortye will be responsible for all China clinical development of the candidate.  

Zensun (Shanghai) Science & Technology raised $76 million from a group of investors led by SDIC Venture Capital Management, which contributed half of the funding itself (see story). Zensun’s lead drug is Neucardin™, a novel treatment for chronic heart failure that is aimed at building the heart muscle. Zensun believes the drug, which has completed several Phase II trials in China and the US, will prove to improve cardiac function rather than treating the symptoms of cardiac disease.  

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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