Novo Nordisk, Sanofi and Eli Lilly offered big discounts for their insulin products in China. Astellas partnered with Dyno Therapeutics on viral vectors for gene therapy. Fujifilm is pouring $530 million into its U.K. facility. And more.
Insulin makers cut prices for their offerings by an average of 48% to win tenders in China’s latest volume-based procurement scheme for public hospitals. Novo Nordisk, currently the country’s largest insulin provider with about 50% share of volume, projects the program will result in a 3% erosion to its global sales growth next year. Sanofi and Eli Lilly are also ceding share to local firms.
Astellas has put down $18 million upfront and promised up to $1.6 billion in milestone and royalty payments to tap into Dyno Therapeutics’ adeno-associated virus vector technology for gene therapies. The biotech had already formed deals with Novartis, Roche and Sarepta Therapeutics.
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies is laying out £400 million ($533 million) and adding up to 350 new jobs to expand operations at its U.K. facility in Billingham in Teesside. The CDMO is planning to upgrade its capabilities in biologics, viral vector gene therapies, mRNA and other fields to become the “largest multi-modal biopharmaceutical manufacturing site” in the U.K.
Envafolimab, developed by Chinese firms 3D Medicines, Alphamab Oncology and Simcere Pharmaceutical, has won an approval in China for microsatellite instability-high or mismatch repair deficient advanced solid tumors. The drug is the first subcutaneous PD-L1 inhibitor approved anywhere.
A U.S. federal court in New Jersey has effectively pushed back the launch of Samsung Bioepis’ Enbrel biosimilar, Eticovo, to 2029, ruling that the copycat would infringe two patents on the Amgen drug if rolled out earlier. The Korean firm was also ordered to destroy any remaining Eticovo product in the U.S.
Artificial intelligence-based drug designer Insilico Medicine has dosed the first healthy volunteer in an Australian study of ISM001-055, a small-molecule drug for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. It’s the first trial for an AI-discovered novel molecule based on an AI-discovered novel target, the company says.
Kidney disease biotech Chinook Therapeutics is entering China with a joint venture called SanReno Therapeutics. Half of the firm’s capital is coming from an investor syndicate led by Frazier Health Partners and Pivotal bioVenture Partners China. The goal is to advance at least two candidates for IgA nephropathy in the country.
With the emergence of the omicron variant, Celltrion is combining its COVID-19 antibody Regkirona—which recently won approval in Europe—with investigational CT-P63 in a nebulized cocktail. The company has data on a nebulized formulation of solo Regkirona, called IN-006.
BeiGene has unveiled the pricing of its new IPO on China’s STAR market. Already listed on Nasdaq and in Hong Kong, the Chinese biotech is offering more than 115 million shares at 192.6 yuan apiece, looking to raise about $3.5 billion. The new shares are expected to begin trading on Dec. 15.
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