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Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°195

Mar
2
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,
Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held on 26, 27 September at the Cité Universitaire Internationale of Paris – France.
The only international event in France entirely dedicated to Innovation.
Over 600 participants expected to attend the 2nd edition!
New for 2011: a space dedicated to the “Partnering Deal” in order to promote networking and develop partnership opportunities.
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

 

  • MoH issues guidelines for price management in health care system
  • China’s grassroots medical reform lagging – NDRC official
  • CAS to set up brain mapping center with UPenn
  • Beijing Municipality to subsidize treatment for disabled children
  • Eli Lilly to set up health foundation with Beijing NPO
  • UPMC enters China with KingMed Diagnostics

Healthcare News

MoH issues guidelines for price management in health care system
(China MOH, 2011-05-27)
China’s Ministry of Health (MoH) and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) have issued interim guidelines for price management within the health care system. The guidelines set quotas on the number of price management specialists employed by hospitals. Institutions with more than 1,500 beds are required to have three to five full-time price managers, while those with less than 1,500 beds are required to have two to three, and those with less than 500 beds only one or two. Price managers’ responsibilities include cost calculation and pricing new services, as well as ensuring compliance with pricing regulations and handling price complaints. All hospital departments are also required to appoint a part-time price manager from among their staff.

MicroConstants China wins GLP from OECD
(WMBB, 2011-05-27)
MicroConstants China Inc. has been awarded Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for its analytical chemistry and pharmacokinetics (PK) lab, the company announced. The Beijing-based firm is the China subsidiary of San Diego, California-based contract research organization (CRO) MicroConstants Inc. It was established in 2007 and specializes in preclinical pharmacokinetics (PK) studies and clinical trial management. Inspectors from the Netherlands conducted a one-week inspection of the facility earlier this year, according to the announcement.

China’s grassroots medical reform lagging – NDRC official
(China NDRC, 2011-05-27)
Grassroots health reform in China is failing to keep up with the roll-out of the essential drug system, Sun Zhigang, deputy director of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told officials in Bejing. In a video conference held by the State Council’s health care reform committee, Sun urged local governments to formulate timetables for implementing the “comprehensive reform” of grassroots health care. Comprehensive reform refers to the introduction of new management models for grassroots medical institutions, including a more competitive recruitment system and performance-based pay for staff, as well as a standardized drug procurement system and multi-channel subsidies, Sun said. More than 40,000 grassroots medical institutions have implemented the essential drug system to date, approximately 82.6 percent of the total, according to Ministry of Health (MoH) figures. But fundamental changes in management are necessary to ensure these institutions receive proper funding following the introduction of the zero markup policy for drug prices, which prevents medical institutions from relying too heavily on drug sales as a revenue stream.

CAS to set up brain mapping center with UPenn
(Silobreaker, 2011-05-27)
The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) has agreed to set up a brain mapping research center with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the American university announced. According to the announcement, the facility will be named the CAS-Penn Center of Excellence in Brain Mapping, and will involve the CAS Institute of Biophysics. The location was not disclosed. The center will carry out research on the use of neuroimaging in basic and cognitive neuroscience, and will work on the development of novel imaging technologies. It will also provide specialist training and conduct studies in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of brain diseases.

China issues TCM guidelines for general hospitals
(China MOH, 2011-05-26)
China’s Ministry of Health (MoH) and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) issued interim guidelines for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) services in general hospitals. According to the guidelines, the staff of general hospitals should include a senior director of TCM services, while a hospital’s TCM department and TCM pharmacy should each have representatives on its management committees. TCM services in general hospitals should cover at least processed TCM materials, finished TCMs, acupuncture and moxibustion. And a TCM department should account for at least five percent of a hospital’s total beds. Meanwhile, Grade III hospitals should offer TCM outpatient services in at least three departments, and Grade II hospitals in at least two. Hospitals can choose from among the departments of internal medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, bone trauma, dermatology and acupuncture and moxibustion. Furthermore, TCM dispensaries in Grade III institutions should stock about 400 types of processed TCM material as well as appropriate finished TCMs.

Synthes sets up geriatric fracture center in Guangzhou City
(Rsssearchhub, 2011-05-26)
Synthes, a multinational manufacturer of orthopedic devices, has set up a clinic for geriatric fractures in Guangzhou Nanfang Hospital, a Synthes employee said. The center will conduct research of geriatric fractures and provide training for surgeons and geriatricians. It is Synthes’ first clinic in China. The multinational firm also hopes to set up centers in Shanghai and Beijing, according to a sales manager surnamed Chen with Synthes (Shanghai) Medical Trading Co. Ltd, the firm’s China subsidiary. U.S. health products giant Johnson & Johnson announced in April it has agreed to acquire Synthes, which is based in Switzerland and the U.S., for $21.30 billion.

Shenzhen City to test hospital alliance scheme
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-26)
Shenzhen City plans to form 13 hospital alliances that will cover all the city’s districts, the Shenzhen Health, Population and Family Planning Commission (HPFPC) announced. According to provisional guidelines issued by the commission, each alliance will be composed of at least one Grade III general hospital, one Grade II hospital, and a number of Grade I hospitals and community health centers (CHC). The top-level institutions will handle difficult-to-treat patients transferred from lower-level affiliates, and will also provide training for medical staff from other alliance members. Furthermore, doctors from higher-level institutions will be encouraged to practice at lower-level member institutions, and lower-level medical institutions will accept the results of medical tests conducted by higher-level affiliates – hospitals in China often refuse to use test results from other hospitals, and require patients to be diagnosed in their institution.

Shaanxi People’s Hospital nurses respond to incentives
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-30)
Shaanxi People’s Hospital is witnessing tangible results from its drive to improve the quality of nursing services, according to a statement on the provincial health department’s website. In March last year, the hospital became one of the first in China to adopt measures to improve nursing services after health authorities urged medical institutions to make improvements in the area. The hospital instituted performance-based bonuses are totaling RMB 5 million ($770,416) during the year, while the bonuses to night nurses were increased seven- to eight-fold. According to the statement, the measures have resulted in a 22.2 percent decrease in adverse nursing events and a 96 percent decline in patient complaints since they were adopted. There were a total of 2.18 million registered nurses in China as of the end of 2009, or 1.39 per 1,000 residents. The Ministry of Health (MoH) aims to more than double this figure by the end of 2020 to 3.14 nurses per 1,000 residents.

Beijing Municipality to subsidize treatment for disabled children
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-30)
Beijing Municipality will subsidize treatment costs for all disabled children under the age of 16 starting June 1, China’s central government announced. The municipality has been testing the measure on a limited basis since 2009. According to implementation guidelines issued by the municipal government, the subsidies will be available for registered Beijing residents to treat certain disabilities at designated rehabilitation centers. The visually impaired will be eligible for a monthly subsidy of up to RMB 500 ($77), children with hearing, speaking, intellectual or limb disabilities will receive up to RMB 1,500 ($231), while those with mental or multiple disabilities will get as much as RMB 2,000 ($308).

China’s county hospitals suffer under $6 bln debt burden – expert
(新华网, 2011-05-30)
About 90 percent of China’s county-level hospitals are presently in debt and, as of the end of 2008, faced total liabilities of RMB 40.6 billion ($6.26 billion), state media reported . Many of China’s 9,621 county-level hospitals borrowed funds to make upgrades in recent years in order to boost patient numbers and revenue, with each institution averaging some RMB 26 million ($3.95 million) in debt. Average outpatient costs in county-level hospitals grew 5.8 percent on an annual basis in 2010, while inpatient costs up 5.9 percent, according to official figures. The central government last year announced plans to spend RMB 36 billion ($5.55 billion) over the next three years to upgrade 2,176 county-level hospitals, a move some analysts see as a means of mitigating the debt problem.

China: chronic non-infectious diseases, a major health threat
(新华网, 2011-05-29)
Chronic non-infectious diseases have become a major healthcare threat in China. Indeed, they account for 85% of total annual deaths in the country, according to a report released by the MoH. According to this document made public during a national forum in Chongqing on the control and prevention of chronic diseases, four types of chronic non-infectious diseases (cerebrovascular diseases, cancers, respiratory diseases and cardiovascular diseases) are the main causes of death in China. These disorders are also the leading cause of death worldwide or 60% of total worldwide according to WHO.

China cracks down on unlicensed drug e-commerce
(Interfax.cn, 2011-06-01)
China has launched a crackdown on unlicensed drug e-commerce, the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) announced. According to the circular issued by the regulator, the campaign will target the illegal sale of prescription drugs and false advertising for medicines to treat diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, rheumatism, sexual dysfunction and dermatological. Websites that claim affiliations to the government or military will be particularly targeted. The SFDA has approved online drug sales for 35 drugstores , but the sale of drugs through unlicensed business-to-consumer (B2C) websites has been a problem. The drug watchdog will coordinate the action alongside the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Public Security.

UPMC enters China with KingMed Diagnostics
(BioSpectrum, 2011-06-01)
Marking its first medical services agreement in Asia, US-based medtech company, UPMC has announced that it will provide remote, second-opinion pathology consultations to KingMed Diagnostics, the largest independent medical diagnostic laboratory in China. Using equipment that scans glass pathology slides and stores and transmits the images electronically, KingMed will have the ability to seek second opinions on patient diagnoses from UPMC’s pathologists through a secure, Web-based telepathology portal. The service is expected to start by late summer. UPMC’s collaboration with KingMed is expected to include training for pathologists from China in UPMC’s Pittsburgh facilities and joint academic meetings as part of ongoing medical education in China.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Jiangbo Pharmaceuticals faces revenue decline
(Biospace, 2011-05-26)
Jiangbo Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company with its principal operations in China, has announced that the company’s revenue in third quarter fiscal year 2011 has decreased by 29.2 percent to $ 18.1 million from $ 25.6 million in the corresponding quarter ended March 31, 2010. Gross profit of the company declined from 35.3 percent to $ 12 million from $ 18.6 million in the corresponding quarter ended March 31, 2010. On January 4, 2011, the company’s Hongrui factory was awarded with the Good Manufacturing Practices Certificate for Pharmaceutical Products by China’s SFDA. The GMP Certificate is valid until the end of 2015.

Eli Lilly to set up health foundation with Beijing NPO
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-31)
Eli Lilly and the Beijing-based China Medical Foundation (CMF) plan to set up a health foundation, the U.S. pharmaceutical giant announced. The CMF-Eli Lilly China Foundation will provide grants for education, disease screening and doctor training in the areas of diabetes, tumors and men’s health, as well as central nervous system (CNS), musculoskeletal and cardiovascular diseases. Eli Lilly will provide RMB 1 million ($154,330) in start-up funds. CMF, a government-backed non-profit organization that provides funding to health projects, will screen grant applicants.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°194

Mar
26
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,
Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held at the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

  • Beijing Municipality sets quotas for antibiotic use in hospitals
  • China’s drug R&D challenges persist – experts
  • China to keep drug approvals on lockdown – expert
  • SFDA bans production of vasodilator drug
  • SFDA tightens usage guidelines for nimesulide

Healthcare News

Beijing Municipality sets quotas for antibiotic use in hospitals
(Silobreaker, 2011-05-19)
Beijing Municipality has set quotas for the use of antibiotics in hospitals in a bid to curb overuse, the deputy director of the municipal health bureau told press. By the end of this year, Grade III hospitals will be allowed to use only 50 types of antibiotic, and Grade II hospitals 35 types, said the official, Mao Yu. Hospitals are required to check their antibiotics inventories, and to start gradually reducing their stock from July this year. There were no stipulations specifying the types of antibiotics hospitals will be allowed to use. Meanwhile, antibacterial drugs should account for no more than 60 percent of drugs used by inpatients, and 20 percent of drugs used by outpatients, he said. And preventive antibiotics should account for no more than 30 percent of drugs used by surgical patients.

China’s drug R&D challenges persist – experts
(ReportLinker, 2011-05-18)
Despite benefiting from increased government support in recent years, China’s drug research and development (R&D) industry continues to face regulatory difficulties, inadequate access to capital and a lack of top talent, industry insiders said. China remains relatively weak in drug development despite its apparent strengths, according to Li Ning, senior group director of Sanofi-Aventis in China. Furthermore, pharma firms face difficulties accessing capital to invest in cash-intensive research projects. China’s venture capital and private equity investors don’t favor drug research because it is difficult for them to cash out due to the long-term investment horizons. China’s lengthy drug approval process draws also frequent criticism at home and abroad, and the SFDA is now applying for more staff.

China to keep drug approvals on lockdown – expert
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-18)
China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) is set to continue its strict drug approval policies, especially for generics, an expert said at the third Drug Information Association (DIA) China Annual Meeting in Beijing. The number of drugs approved by the SFDA has plummeted in the past five years as the regulator drastically tightened registration procedures. The body approved only 886 drugs in 2010, of which 651 were generic, down from 11,086 in 2005, 8,000 of which were generic. And in 2009, the SFDA set up a body to translate guidelines from the International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH), a global project that aims to standardize registration procedures for pharmaceutical products.

China pharma sales surge 28 pct in Q1
(Rsssearchhub, 2011-05-20)
China’s pharmaceutical industry saw sales surge 27.81 percent year-on-year in the first quarter (Q1) to RMB 293.09 billion ($45.09 billion), according to an industry report citing figures from National Bureau of Statistics. Sales revenue for foreign-invested pharma firms grew 20.62 percent year-on-year during the quarter, while state-owned companies saw growth of 11.96 percent and private companies 41.45 percent, according to the report from Beijing pharma information provider Healthoo.com. Meanwhile, profits were up 4.65 percent for foreign-invested firms and 56.82 percent for private companies, but declined 21.85 percent for state-owned companies. Shandong, Jiangsu, Henan and Zhejiang provinces were the top four provinces by pharma sales revenue, accounting for 39.7 percent of the national total.

SFDA bans production of vasodilator drug
(China SFDA, 2011-05-20)
China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) has revoked all production licenses for almitrine and raubasine tablet, a generic vasodilator drug, the SFDA announced. According to the announcement, local drug regulators are directed to halt the production, marketing and use of the drug, and destroy existing stocks. The news comes after clinical trials conducted in China from December 2008 to November 2009 showed that the drug is not effective in the treatment of dementia, its main application. The trials were conducted by Servier Tianjin Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Servier Tianjin), a joint venture (JV) between France’s Servier Laboratories, which developed the drug, and Tianjin Huajin Pharmaceutical Factory. In addition to Servier Tianjin, which markets the drug under the Duxil brand name, two other firms manufacture the drug in China, namely Nanyang Pukang Group Hengyu Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Changzhou Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

SFDA tightens usage guidelines for nimesulide
(China SFDA, 2011-05-23)
China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) has issued new usage guidelines for the fever drug nimesulide, the watchdog announced. According to the announcement, the new guidelines prohibit the use of the drug unless at least one nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug has proven ineffective on the patient. They also prohibit the use of the drug on children under the age of 12. In 2007, the SFDA prohibited the drug from use on children under the age of one. Furthermore, the guidelines change the indications for nimesulide, or the reasons to use the drug, removing the original indication of fever caused by infection of the upper respiratory tracts. The new indications are pains from chronic arthritis, surgical operations or trauma, and primary dysmenorrhoea. The SFDA also set the maximum dosage of the drug at 100 mg, and its maximum usage period at 15 consecutive days.

Tongji University opens family medicine training center with US partner
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-23)
Tongji University and the U.S.’s University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) have opened a joint family medicine training facility located in Shanghai No. 10 People’s Hospital, an affiliate of Tongji University, the hospital announced. The center, named the Sino-U.S. Center for Family Medicine Training and Cooperation of Shanghai, will offer a three-year training program for medical school graduates who wish to become general practitioners (GP) in Shanghai. It will also operate an exchange program for teachers and students with the general medicine department at UNMC, one of the best medical schools in the U.S.

Set-up of the first postgraduate research center in Tibet
(新华网, 2011-05-21)
The General Hospital of Tibet Military Area, specializing in acute mountain sickness (AMS) studies, opened the first center of postdoctoral research in the autonomous region. The Tibetan Plateau is known for its difficult natural environment, characterized by low atmospheric pressure, low temperatures and low oxygen levels. Prevention and treatment of altitude sickness are important tasks for the regional institutes of medical research. According to Li Suzhi, hospital director, the center will focus on basic and clinical studies in surgery and the development of drugs against AMS and adequate facilities in high altitude environment. It will also cooperate with other research centers across the country and recruit medical workers for its research programs, said Li.

China to spend $4.5 bln on health programs in 2011
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-24)
China will increase government spending on public health programs this year to RMB 30 billion ($4.62 billion), up by two-thirds from RMB 18 billion ($2.77 billion) last year, a health official told press in Beijing. The public health program for children will be expanded to cover children up to the age of six, adding 48 million people to the scheme, said Qin Huaijin, director of the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) Division of Maternal and Child Health and Community Health. The program currently only covers children up to the age of three. The national public health program will also be expanded to provide chronic disease management for an extra 10 million hypertension patients and 6 million diabetes patients. Some 35.54 million hypertension patients and 9.19 million diabetes patients qualified for the program last year.

Bejing hospital forms collaboration with Japan’s Yonemori Hospital
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-25)
China Rehabilitation Research Center (CRRC), a Grade III, Class A hospital in Beijing, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan’s Yonemori Hospital to provide orthopedic outpatient services in collaboration with the Japanese institution, state media reported. Under the agreement, orthopedic experts from Yonemori Hospital, a leading medical service provider in Japan, will see patients at CRRC on two working days every month, according to a report by Ministry of Health (MoH) newspaper Jiankang Bao. CRRC is a public hospital specializing in rehabilitation for stroke patients, amputees, and spinal cord, brain and bone injury.

China catheter trade up 16 pct in last 5 years
(Cccmhpie.org.cn, 2011-05-25)
China’s trade in medical catheters saw a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.11 percent during the period of the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), according to figures released by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products. The chamber attributed the growth to growing demand for medical catheters in China. China’s catheter imports were worth $441 million in 2010, up from $169 million in 2006, a CAGR of 22.16 percent for the five-year period. Last year, 22 administrative regions in China imported catheters, and Shanghai and Beijing accounted for 78 percent of total imports, with $220.44 million and $122.29 million, respectively.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Simcere Pharma to develop stroke drug with Nanjing Medical University
(Silobreaker, 2011-05-20)
Nanjing City-based Simcere Pharmaceutical Group (Simcere Pharma) and Nanjing Medical University have entered an agreement to jointly develop a drug to treat stroke patients, Simcere Pharma announced. The drug will be derived from an inhibitor for a new drug target molecule, which was discovered by a research team at the university led by Professor Zhu Yadong. The research has been published in U.K-based biomedical journal Nature Medicine, the announcement said.

ShangPharma revenues increase 25.6% in Q1
(BioSpectrum, 2011-05-20)
ShangPharma Corporation, a leading China-based pharmaceutical and biotechnological company, has announced that the net revenues of the company has increased by 25.6 percent year-over-year to $24.8 million during first quarter. The growth is driven by an 18.1 percent increase in full-time-equivalent services and a 51.3 percent increase in fee-for service-based services. China-based net revenues increased by 185.9 percent year-over-year to $2.3 million. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) gross profit increased by 15.3 percent year-over-year to $8.0 million. GAAP gross margin was 32.3 percent, compared with 35.2 percent in the first quarter of 2010, primarily due to higher share-based compensation expenses.

Hainan Honz Pharma’s Main Product Faces Partial SFDA Ban
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-05-24)
Hainan Honz Pharmaceutical announced its net income for the first half of 2011 will fall around 50%. The company has watched its stock price drop precipitously after its major product, Ruizhiqing, has been blamed for as many as seven deaths. Recently, the SFDA prohibited the use of the drug in children under 12. The drug is thought to cause liver damage and has been banned in many of the countries in which it was approved.

Biotechnologies

Sinovac Announces Success for Phase I Trial of EV71 Vaccine
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-05-25)
Sinovac Biotech reported positive results from a Phase I trial of its vaccine for human enterovirus 71 (EV71), the virus that causes Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD). Sinovac needs to expand its portfolio of vaccines to regain profitability. The company prospered in 2009-10 on its H1N1 flu vaccine, but those revenues have disappeared as Chinese consumers became afraid of vaccine-borne illnesses. Sinovac also announced recently that it is moving closer to production of an animal rabies vaccine.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°193

Mar
19
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,
Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held at the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

  • China’s drug watchdog launches campaign to ensure medicine safety
  • China to introduce mediation panels for county-level medical disputes – minister
  • Merck Millipore launched a US$2 million shanghai center
  • Sanofi Expects China to be its Number Two Market by 2015
  • Boehringer Ingelheim to launch tumor drug in China

Healthcare News

China’s drug watchdog launches campaign to ensure medicine safety
(新华网, 2011-05-09)
China’s SFDA is set to launch a nationwide probe into the quality of essential drugs in a bid to protect people from problem medication. The drugs being looked at are those deemed to satisfy the basic healthcare needs of the majority of the population. The two-month examination will look closely at how drugs are produced and where their raw materials are sourced, said an online notice issued by the administration. The way traditional Chinese medicine is prepared will also be looked at. Drug authorities across the mainland will carry out on-site examinations at production facilities and report their findings to the administration before the end of June. Through such campaigns, according to the notice, an effective working mechanism that ensures drug safety, particularly the safety of widely used essential drugs, is expected to be set up.

Beijing Municipality tests insurance scheme for children with CHD, leukemia
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-12)
Beijing Municipality started tests of a medical insurance scheme for children with congenital heart diseases (CHD) and leukemia on May 1, the municipal health bureau announced. Under the pilot scheme, CHD and leukemia patients under the age of 16 will be eligible to have up to 70 percent of their medical expenses reimbursed under China’s state-run medical insurance program. Patients from low-income families will be eligible for a grant from the local civil affairs department to cover a further 20 percent of the costs, the document said. Beijing’s health bureau has selected five hospitals to participate in the tests. The hospitals will also introduce caps on treatment costs for the two diseases.

China to introduce mediation panels for county-level medical disputes – minister
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-12)
All China’s county-level administrative units have been directed to set up People’s Mediation Committees (PMC) for medical disputes by year-end, Ma Xiaowei, vice health minister said. PMCs are quasi-judicial organizations used to settle civil disputes in China at the grassroots level. The move is intended to improve doctor-patient relations, which remain fraught in China for reasons including the negligence of doctors, limited medical resources and high treatment costs. Improving doctor-patient relationships and the mediation mechanisms for medical disputes are among the goals of China’s ongoing health care reform. Ma said provincial health authorities should use the organizations as another yardstick for the performance of county health authorities.

China starts diabetes training program for doctors
(China MOH, 2011-05-12)
China has launched a five-year program to train doctors in the prevention and treatment of diabetes, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced. According to the announcement, experts from home and abroad will train 500 experienced diabetes doctors selected from across China, who will in turn help train 10,000 grassroots doctors. Meanwhile, the scheme also intends to introduce education programs in diabetes self-management in selected communities on a trial basis. The program is led by the MoH, with support from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chinese Medical Association (CMA). French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis is sponsoring the program, according to the report.

Gansu Province restructures grassroots medical fees
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-12)
Gansu Provincial Government issued a document setting standard fees for grassroots medical services in the province. According to the document, grassroots medical institutions will introduce a single fee before the end of June that will cover registration, examination and treatment. Drugs are not covered by the fee. The document sets the general fee in township clinics at RMB 4 ($0.62) for a western medicine patient and RMB 5 ($0.77) for a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) patient. And in village clinics, the general fee is RMB 2 ($0.31) for western medicine patients and RMB 3 ($0.46) for TCM patients.

China pharma trade surges 41 pct in Q1
(Cccmhpie.org.cn, 2011-05-16)
China’s pharmaceutical trade in the first quarter (Q1) was worth $16.22 billion, up 41.07 percent from a year earlier, according to figures released May 16 by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products. China’s pharma product exports for the period were up 38.13 percent year-on-year at $10.12 billion, while imports surged 46.23 percent to $6.11 billion, according to the figures. China’s exports of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) saw especially strong growth. Shipments to India, Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Brazil rocketed 39.15 percent, 45.64 percent and 55.82 percent from last year, respectively, to $778 million, $503 million and $158 million. Meanwhile, the EU, the U.S. and Japan remained the top three sources for pharma imports, accounting for 75 percent of the total altogether, the chamber said.

Heilongjiang Province releases essential drug list
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-16)
Heilongjiang Provincial Health Department has issued an essential drug list for the province, adding 119 items to the existing national list, the provincial government announced. China last updated its national essential drug list for grassroots medical institutions in 2009. Revised every three years, the list is comprised of 307 drugs that qualify for reimbursement under the national medical insurance scheme. Provincial health authorities issue additional essential drug lists which take into account local needs and customs. Heilongjiang’s 119 additions include 64 western medicines and 55 traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) – primarily drugs for cerebro-cardiovascular and digestive diseases, hypertension and colds, the announcement said.

China to test use of traditional medicine in public health programs
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-13)
China’s State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) plans to test the use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in public health programs, according to a circular issued by the administration. The circular asks provincial-level health authorities to select one or two administrative districts under their authority by May 16 to participate in the test, and to submit working plans by May 20. SATCM will help fund the project, but did not say how much it will provide. As part of the pilot scheme, children under six will receive TCM care once every two years, with a focus on common disorders against which TCMs have proven efficacy, such as anorexia, eczema, recurrent respiratory infection, coughs and obesity. All pregnant women will receive TCM care to reduce the potential negative effects of pregnancy and appraise their post-natal condition.

China chemical drug imports surge 64 pct y-o-y in Q1
(Cccmhpie.org.cn, 2011-05-13)
China’s imports of chemical drugs in the first quarter (Q1) surged 64.46 percent year-on-year to $1.70 billion, according to figures released by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products. Imports of finished hormone products for the period were worth $373.92 million, rocketing 130.71 percent from a year earlier, while finished vitamin products imports were valued at $28.28 million, up 111.60 percent. The chamber attributed growth to increased imports of high-value drugs to satisfy burgeoning domestic demand – the average price of imported chemical drugs prices jumped 55.34 year-on-year in February. Germany was the largest supplier, with chemical drug imports worth 310.44 million for the quarter, surging 91.22 percent from last year. It was followed by France, the U.S. and the U.K., which saw growth of 113.81 percent, 76.52 percent and 98.25 percent, respectively.

Shanghai issues two-year health reform guidelines
(News Headlines, 2011-05-18)
Shanghai Municipal Government has issued health reform guidelines for the next two years, the city’s health care reform office told press. According to the announcement, the city will raise the cap on annual insurance pay-outs under the urban worker scheme from RMB 70,000 ($10,759) to RMB 280,000 ($43,036). A larger number of basic medical services will be made free-of-charge, such as colorectal cancer screening for registered Shanghai residents and pneumonia vaccination for residents over the age of 60. The city also aims to have at least one Grade III hospital in each of its suburban districts by 2013, and will beef up its network of rehabilitation centers, elderly care homes and mental health institutions.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Merck Millipore launched a US$2 million shanghai center
(上海日报, 2011-05-12)
Merck Millipore, the life science division of Germany’s Merck, launched a US$2 million China biopharmaceutical technology center in Shanghai to provide support, training and validation services to drug-making customers. “We are responding to China’s commitment to strengthening regulatory requirements designed to ensure drug safety,” said Jean-Paul Mangeolle, head of Merck Millipore’s process solutions business. Merck KGaA acquired American biotech tool maker Millipore Corp last year to build its lab equipment business.

Sanofi Expects China to be its Number Two Market by 2015
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-05-12)
Sanofi-Aventis expects China will become its second biggest market, after the US, within five years. The company plans to exploit its consumer health business and vaccines to drive revenue growth, according to the company’s CEO, Mr. Viehbacher. In a separate announcement, Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi’s vaccines arm, announced the China launch of its 5-in-1 combination vaccine of childhood immunizations.

Takeda Taking Steps for 10-Fold Increase in China Revenues
(Fiercepharma, 2011-05-16)
Takeda Pharma of Japan wants to grow its China revenues by more than 10 times before the end of 2015, according to the company’s President, Yasuchika Hasegawa. It currently produces 3 billion yen ($37 million) of sales in the PRC. To accomplish its goals, the company will invest “several tens of billions of yen” in China over the next few years – with each ten billion yen worth about $124 million. Takeda will also increase its sales force from 250 representatives to 900.

Boehringer Ingelheim to launch tumor drug in China
(ReportLinker, 2011-05-16)
German pharma giant Boehringer Ingelheim is set to debut its first oncology drug in China in 2014, a senior executive said. The company also seeks to enlist more Chinese patients for global clinical trials of its anti-tumor drugs and work more closely with Chinese physicians, Dr. Bert Tjeenk Willink, a member of the board of directors, told press at the launch of the Chinese edition of The Oncologist, a leading medical journal focused on cancer. The company sponsored the launch of the magazine together with French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis. As a research-oriented firm, Boehringer Ingelheim has a wide range of novel therapies for solid tumors and hematological malignancies currently under development. It focuses on three areas: angiogenesis inhibitors, signal-transduction inhibitors and cell-cycle kinase inhibitors. The firm already markets central nervous system (CNS), pulmonary, cardiovascular and anti-AIDS drugs in China.

PDH Signs Definitive Market Development Partnership Agreement for China
(Marketwire, 2011-05-16)
Premier Diagnostic Health Service Inc. announced that, following the signing of a Letter of Intent on March 2011, it has signed a definitive Market Development Partnership Agreement with GeneDiagnostic Inc. of Hangzhou, China. As the representative of products and services of several international companies active in aspects of cancer care in China, GeneDiagnostic has well established relationships with hospitals in Shanghai and surrounding provinces. Partnering with GeneDiagnostic in the PDH Marketing Development Program is part of the PDH strategy designed to quickly identify and realize on opportunities and accelerate completion of Joint Venture Agreements for the establishment and operation of Premier Diagnostic Centres in hospitals.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°192

Mar
12
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,
Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held at the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

  • Value of China’s imports of color ultrasonic devices double in 5-year period
  • Shandong Province issues essential drug guidelines for hospitals
  • TCM firms struggling to meet new EU safety rules – experts
  • Sinocom Pharma Plans $58 Million IPO on Nasdaq
  • AstraZeneca Uses Local Partners to Expand Impact of China R&D

Healthcare News

Value of China’s imports of color ultrasonic devices double in 5-year period
(ReportLinker, 2011-05-05)
China’s imports of color ultrasonic diagnostic devices were worth $583 million in 2010, more than double the value in 2006, according to figures released May 4 by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products. The value of color ultrasonic diagnostic device imports grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.67 percent over the five-year period, up from $295 million in 2006. The chamber attributed the growth to equipment upgrades in China’s grassroots medical institutions brought about by the health care reform. The U.S., Japan, South Korea, Austria and Norway were the top importers of the devices to China in 2010, accounting for 86 percent of total imports. A total of 314 companies were involved in the import trade, including 41 foreign companies. And about 61 percent of imported devices went to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong Province.

Shandong Province issues essential drug guidelines for hospitals
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-05)
Shandong Provincial Health Department issued guidelines for the essential drug system in the province’s Grade II and Grade III hospitals. The province is among the first region in China to issue specific plans for the essential drug system in large hospitals. The guidelines require hospitals to prioritize essential drugs in their inventories. Grade III hospitals should stock at least 70 percent of essential drugs, and essential drug sales should make up at least 17 percent of their total drug revenue. Meanwhile, Grade II hospitals are required to stock at least 80 percent of essential drugs, with essential drug sales making up at least 35 percent of total drug revenue. Hospitals can continue to price essential drugs according to current policies, the circular said, meaning the zero-price markup policy which applies to grassroots medical institutions will not apply to hospitals.

TCM firms struggling to meet new EU safety rules – experts
(Interfax.cn,  2011-05-04)
China’s exporters of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) are struggling to meet new EU regulations governing the registration of herbal medicinal products, industry insiders said. Under the new directive, traditional herbal medicinal products can be registered without going through the safety tests and clinical trials involved in registering most medical products. Companies must, however, prove the product has been used safely for at least 30 years, including 15 years in the EU. “No TCM products have successfully passed the new registration process so far,” Liu Zhanglin, deputy director of China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products said “One of the main reasons is the high cost of registering products.” According to Liu, registration typically costs RMB 800,000 to RMB 1.2 million. Furthermore, companies must meet EU Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) requirements. This involves costly equipment upgrades and advisory consultations. And many domestic companies remain unfamiliar with EU regulations, he said.

Traditional Chinese medicine seeking greater global recognition
(新华网, 2011-05-08)
With a history of more than 2,000 years, TCM did not enter into the EU market until mid-1990s, and it has been imported into the EU and sold to European customers as food supplements instead of drugs. Most Chinese producers and importers did not reserve the customs papers a decade ago, thus unable to prove the 15-year use of their products in European markets which is asked by the EU’s Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive. The revenue of global herbal products has been increasing by 10-20 percent every year, but China’s TCM only takes up about 3 percent of the global market, and 70 percent of its exports are raw herbs with much less added value. Therefore, TCM needs a lot more strategies for its overseas promotion, industry insiders say.

China Meheco inks $939 mln deal with Venezuela
(Bioportfolio, 2011-05-04)
State-owned medical distributor China Meheco Corp. announced it has signed a two-year supply contract worth RMB 6.1 billion ($939 million) with Venezuela’s Ministry of Health. The contract represents the firm’s largest supply deal in Venezuela to date, the announcement said. China Meheco declined to comment on what will be supplied under the contract. Based in Beijing and listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, China Meheco mainly distributes herbal, chemical and biological drugs, along with medical equipment, both at home and abroad.

MOFCOM issues drug distribution industry goals for 2011-2015
(MOFCOM, 2011-05-05)
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced development goals for the country’s drug distribution industry for the period of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) at a press briefing in Beijing. The centerpiece of MOFCOM’s plan is industry consolidation, with China aiming to have one to three major drug distributors by 2015, each with annual sales exceeding RMB 100 billion ($15.38 billion), as well as 20 lesser drug distributors with annual sales in excess of RMB 10 billion ($1.54 billion) each. The top 100 drug wholesalers should account for at least 85 percent of total wholesale revenue by the end of 2015, up from 70 percent at the end of 2009. According to the MOFCOM briefing, the nation’s top 100 chain drugstores will account for at least 60 percent of the total drugstore revenue, compared to 39 percent in 2009. The ministry also plans to encourage overseas drug distributors to increase investment in China, especially in the central and western regions, and in small- and medium-sized cities.

Ministries issue medical insurance guidelines
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-09)
Several government ministries have issued guidelines for the national medical insurance program urging local authorities to ensure coverage for migrant workers, new students and new-born babies, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) announced. The circular, issued by the MoF and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS), also encouraged local authorities to adopt new payment systems to allow premiums to be taken directly from policy holders’ bank accounts. The document, however, set no goals or quotas in these areas. The circular advised local authorities to raise inpatient reimbursement rates in grassroots medical institutions and Grade II hospitals in order to achieve an overall reimbursement rate of 70 percent for inpatient medical expenses in 2011. Furthermore, the inpatient reimbursement rate in grassroots institutions should be at least 10 percent higher than in Grade II hospitals, with the same differential between Grade II and Grade III hospitals.

Guangzhou university establishes R&D center with private hospital
(Dongguan Daily, 2011-05-06)
Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine has established a research center at Kanghua Hospital, a privately-run institution in Guangdong Province’s Dongguan City, local media reported. The center will conduct research on drugs, medical devices and clinical therapies, and provide routine clinical training for students of the university, according to the report. Research will initially focus on treatments for osteoporosis, the report said. Kanghua Hospital became a Grade III, Class A facility in February this year. Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine focuses on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Hainan Province to fund medical equipment training for grassroots doctors
(Jiankang Bao, 2011-05-10)
Hainan Province’s health bureau has announced plans to fund a program to train doctors working in grassroots medical laboratories and imaging departments in the use of new medical equipment, state media reported. The province has been refitting grassroots medical institutions in recent years, but some new equipment is lying idle due to a lack of qualified doctors, said the report by the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) newspaper Jiankang Bao. The program will involve 120 doctors, including 40 medical testing specialists, 40 X-ray specialists, 20 ultrasonic testing specialists, and 20 cardiogram specialists. The training will last 30 to 40 days depending on the focus. The MoH issued 10-year guidelines for the development of China’s medical personnel in April, which include targets for improving health care staff, especially in grassroots medical institutions.

Health officials in China plan to restructure nursing fees
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-10)
China’s local health authorities are drawing up plans to increase fees for nursing services and include them in the national medical insurance program, a health official said at a press briefing in Beijing. The development comes after Anhui Province experimented with raising its cap on nursing fees to RMB 40 ($6.15) per day, and extending the province’s medical insurance program to cover nursing costs, said Guo Yanhong, deputy director of the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) medical administration department. “Nursing fees in China are currently set too low, capped at RMB 9 ($1.38) per day in Beijing’s hospitals and only RMB 5 ($0.77) per day in some provinces,” according to the official. The MoH launched a campaign to improve the quality of nursing in China’s hospitals in January 2010. The initiative aims to reduce the reliance of inpatients on hired help or family members, a common practice in China due to insufficient nursing resources.

Rotoblock Completes Merger With daifuWaste, a Leading Medical Waste Management Company in China
(Marketwire, 2011-05-10)
Rotoblock Corp., a publicly-owned California-based corporation investing in emerging technology opportunities in China, has completed a share exchange with daifuWaste Management Holding Limited, headquartered in Beijing, China. DaifuWaste is a leading provider of medical waste disposal management in China, supplying advanced medical waste equipment, systems, disposal and management. Dr. Michael Choy, founder of daifuWaste, says China’s recent growth has brought along with it a desire to improve the quality of life and after several years of growth in this market, the timing is right for Rotoblock and Daifu to expand its international operations to accelerate business development.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Sinocom Pharma Plans $58 Million IPO on Nasdaq
(Bnet, 2011-05-06)
Sinocom Pharmaceutical, a distributor of pharmaceutical products to third and fourth tier cities in Central-Eastern China, announced it will conduct an IPO on the Nasdaq Global Market exchange. The company plans to offer 15.8 million shares from selling stockowners, representing about 18% of the firm’s capitalization. In 2009, the selling shareholders received the stock for investing $15 million in Sinocom, which the company used to build a warehouse. The company hopes to raise as much as $57.5 million in the offering, implying a price of $3.64.

HK recalls mercury-tainted Chinese medicine
(China.org, 2011-05-07)
Hong Kong’s Department of Health ordered the wholesaler of a proprietary Chinese medicine to recall from consumer a batch of “Hua Tuo Brand” Baoying Dan which has been found to contain excessive mercury. The action is called for after a surveillance sample from the above batch obtained by Department of Health inspectors from the market is found to contain about two times the permitted limit of mercury. The drug is known to be used by children for the treatment of generalized discomfort like restlessness at night or fever. After initial investigation found that the batch of Baoying Dan was manufactured in the Chinese mainland and imported by Hong Kong wholesaler, Wah Ning Chinese Medicine Co., the matter has been referred to the mainland’s drug regulatory authority for their continued investigation.

AstraZeneca Uses Local Partners to Expand Impact of China R&D

(ChinaBio Today, 2011-05-06)
AstraZeneca has been partnering with China companies since it first established a China presence in 1993. The company makes use of local innovative scientific talent to help drive its own R&D efforts, allowing the company to achieve more than it can alone. In an interview, Steve Yang, PhD, Vice-President of AstraZeneca and Head of R&D for Asia, discusses the company’s strategy for China research in light of the country’s pharma exploding market growth. According to him, they are forming creative, unexpected partnerships with other key players in the healthcare arena. “Around the world, we have the opportunity to go beyond the traditional pharma-biotech collaborations and bring academia, governments, patient advocacy groups, venture capitalists, and other thought leaders to the table. By drawing on the unique strengths of different organizations and individuals, we can deliver the greatest impact while consistently pushing the boundaries of medical science for the benefit of patients. And the Innovation Center China (ICC) is one of AstraZeneca’s key global R&D centers, we’re looking to expand ICC’s scope to include other therapy areas and have already started work in the area of respiratory diseases.”

Simcere Subsidiary Given SFDA Approval for anti-TNF Biosimilar
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-05-09)
Simcere Pharma reported that Shanghai Celgen Bio-Pharma, was granted SFDA approval for Qiangke. Simcere owns 35% of Shanghai Celgen. Qiangke is a Recombinant Human TNF Receptor-IgG Fusion Protein for Injection, which Simcere says is indicated for ankylosing spondylitis. Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammation of the spine that can restrict mobility. The drug is also used to treat other autoimmune diseases as well.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°191

Mar
6
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,
Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held at the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

  • China to increase number of health care personnel – MoH
  • Fujian sets new cap to control medical expenses
  • Tianjin announces 2011 plans for grassroots health care
  • Hospital inpatient expenses rise 9 pct in 2010
  • Shanghai sets up hospital alliance as part of reforms

Healthcare News

China to increase number of health care personnel – MoH
(China MOH, 2011-04-28)
China aims to have 12.55 million health care workers by the end of 2020, some 60 percent higher than 2009 levels, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) Guidelines on Mid and Long Term Health Care Talent Development (2011-2020), released April 28. By the end of 2020, there will be 2.10 physicians, 3.14 nurses and 0.83 public health staff for every 1,000 residents in China, according to the announcement. In 2009, these numbers stood at 1.75, 1.39 and 0.53, respectively. Medical staff in grassroots medical institutions, meanwhile, will be increased to 3.87 million by 2015, and 4.62 million by 2020. The MoH hopes to improve the number and quality of China’s health care staff as part of the country’s ongoing health care reform program. The ministry will also implement a new system by 2020 whereby all new medical staff in hospitals must have received residency training. Shanghai began trials for the new system at the end of 2009 in 39 hospitals. Such trials are still ongoing nationwide.

Fujian sets new cap to control medical expenses
(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-29)
Fujian Province is to adopt clinical pathways and place a cap on medical expenses for a number of diseases this year in an effort to control growing costs, the provincial health department announced. According to the announcement, average medical expenses for both inpatients and outpatients this year will be a maximum of five percent higher than levels in 2010. Public hospitals will also be given the option to downsize their drugs packages so drug costs for patients are lower. The department will evaluate the performance of hospitals in the province by looking at what percentage of used drugs are on the essential drugs list, and how much of a hospital’s total revenue is generated by drug sales. According to Ministry of Health (MoH) statistics, China’s average outpatient medical expenses in 2009 increased by 5.1 percent from the previous year, while inpatient expenses grew 5.7 percent.

Dehaier Signs Cooperation Agreement for Rural Healthcare Construction Project in Hunan and Anhui Provinces
(Dailymarkets, 2011-05-02)
Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd., an emerging leader in the development, assembly, marketing and sale of medical devices and homecare medical products in China announced that it has signed a cooperation agreement with Beijing Kanglian Medicines Co, Ltd, to develop, operate and implement for a new rural healthcare construction project in Hunan and Anhui provinces. The project is supported by China Development Bank Corp (CDB), one of China’s three national policy banks. In conjunction with the State Council’s “Agriculture, Farmer and Village” policy, which is aimed at improving rural living conditions, CDB has earmarked approximately $1.5 billion in loans each year since 2007 for the implementation of national rural healthcare initiatives and upgrade of medical institutions in nearly 2,900 counties, cities and districts across China. A key objective of this project is the development of new medical facilities in areas lacking adequate healthcare infrastructure.

Traditional Chinese medicine gains ground in Denmark
(新华网, 2011-05-01)
As traditional Chinese medicine becomes increasingly popular worldwide and has gradually been regarded as a useful component to Western medical treatments, Denmark is no stranger to such trends. According to a study published by the University of Copenhagen in mid-Feb., up to one-third of Danish hospitals choose complementary or alternative therapies, including TCM methods, to treat pain, cancer, mental disease, tumors and infertility. Acupuncture remains the most widely-practiced form of these treatments, used in some 97 percent of the cases. The nationwide acceptance of acupuncture and massage therapists, the growing ranks of herbal practitioners, and the hosting of an annual pan-Scandinavian TCM conference since 2007, all underline the popularity of alternative medicine, including the TCM, in the country. However, as many European policymakers insist that traditional herbal medicines “are neither scientifically documented nor tested according to Western requirements,” the TCM treatment still faces difficulties in obtaining licenses and boosting sales in Europe.

Tianjin announces 2011 plans for grassroots health care
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-03)
Tianjin Municipality plans to spend RMB 180 million ($27.72 million) to train 6,400 doctors for rural medical institutions as part of its health care plan for 2011, local media reported. The city also intends to expand 10 county hospitals, 9 township hospitals and 1,484 village clinics, according to a report by Bohai Morning Post. In addition, Tianjin plans to institute the national essential drug system in all grassroots medical institutions, and to increase annual subsidies for grassroots health care from RMB 20 ($3.08) per resident to RMB 30 ($4.62) per resident, the report said.

Hospital inpatient expenses rise 9 pct in 2010
(China MOH, 2011-05-03)
Medical expenses for China’s inpatients averaged RMB 6,194 ($952.92) per patient in 2010, up 9 percent year-on-year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Health (MoH) . Medical expenses for inpatients in Grade III hospitals last year averaged RMB 10,442 ($1,606), up 7.1 percent on an annual basis. The average for Grade II hospitals was RMB 4,339 ($667.54), up 9.2 percent. Meanwhile, the average cost of treatment for hospital outpatients in 2010 was RMB 166.80 ($25.66), up 9.7 percent year-on-year. Average annual medical expenditure in community health centers (CHCs) edged up by 1.7 percent to RMB 2,358 ($362.77) per patient, while the figure for outpatients declined by 1.4 percent to RMB 82.80 ($12.74). However, average inpatient medical expenditure in township clinics in 2010 climbed 12 percent to RMB 1,005 ($154.62), and average outpatient medical expenses were RMB 47.50 ($7.31), up 2.8 percent.

Shanghai opens infectious disease research institute
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-03)
A research institute for emerging infectious diseases (EID) has opened in Shanghai, the municipal government announced. The Shanghai EID Research Institute is located in the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, a Grade III class A hospital which specializes in infectious diseases. It will conduct research on the pathogenesis, prognosis, diagnosis, and prevention and treatment of EIDs, the announcement said. An emerging infectious disease (EID) is an infectious disease whose incidence has increased in the past 20 years and threatens to increase in the near future. There have been more than 25 EID outbreaks worldwide since the 1960s, including SARS and influenza A (H1N1) virus.

Medical Care forms pediatric partnership in China
(BioSpectrum, 2011-05-03)
Medical Care Technologies, China based information technology provider to the healthcare industry, has announced the signing of a Joint Venture Master Agreement with Ocean Wise International Industrial Limited (OWII), a private Hong Kong investment holding company, to partner in China’s rapidly expanding pediatric healthcare segment. “Medical Care shares our commitment to healthcare and excellence, which makes them a logical partner,” stated Bei Shu, spokesperson for OWII. “This partnership will allow us to provide a sustainable and profitable delivery of quality healthcare to customers in China.”

Shanghai sets up hospital alliance as part of reforms
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-03)
Shanghai has set up an alliance of medical institutions centered round a top-level hospital, the second of its kind in the city, as part of its health care reforms, the municipal health bureau announced. At the core of the alliance, named Xinhua Chongming Medical Group, is Xinhua Hospital, a Grade III institution affiliated to Shanghai’s Jiaotong University School of Medicine. The hospital will provide support for smaller medical institutions in Shanghai’s Chongming County, including 18 community health centers (CHC) and six public hospitals. The alliance is intended to facilitate patient transfers among its members, and give smaller medical institutions access to doctors from top-level hospitals. Members will also have access to an integrated information system. Shanghai started pilot testing hospital alliances in January this year when it set up Ruijin Luwan Medical Group, headed by Ruijin Hospital, another affiliate of Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine. The group consists of two Grade II hospitals and four CHCs.

Sichuan Province sets essential drug supply rules
(Interfax.cn, 2011-05-04)
Sichuan Province’s health department issued rules that came into effect April 30 governing the supply and procurement of essential drugs in the province. Sichuan is among the first provinces in China to issue detailed rules in this area. According to the measures, grassroots medical institutions will be limited to making three procurement orders for essential drugs each month. Furthermore, pharmaceutical companies must deliver drug consignments to medical institutions within two days of taking orders, and within eight hours in emergencies. Medical institutions must settle payments with suppliers within 30 working days of taking delivery. Health authorities will set up among suppliers and medical institutions a points-based system. Medical institutions that do not purchase any drugs through the public tender platform for one month will lose 15 points. Suppliers will lose five points for each delivery that fails to meet the requirements. The document did not stipulate specific penalties for medical institutions. Suppliers that score below 90 points for three consecutive years will be disqualified from the public tender process.

C3 Jian to Form Clinical Research Facility with Sichuan Univ.
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-05-04)
C3 Jian Inc., a Los Angeles company that is developing a peptide-based anti-cavity mouthwash, has agreed to set up a joint clinical research center with the West China School of Stomatology at Sichuan University. Using cell signaling technology, C3 Jian has developed a Specifically-Targeted Antimicrobial Peptide (STAMP) in mouthwash form. The STAMP is designed to inhibit cavities by preserving beneficial microflora in the mouth.

Four investors prescribe US$550m for Shanghai Pharmaceuticals
(South China Morning Post, 2011-05-03)
Shanghai Pharmaceuticals, China’s second-biggest distributor of pharmaceutical products, has secured US$550 million from four cornerstone investors for its Hong Kong public offering this month, according to a person familiar with the matter. Temasek Holdings is said to be investing US$300 million, Guoco Group US$150 million and Pfizer and Bank of China Group US$50 million each. The shares will be sold to the cornerstone investors at HK$21.80 to HK$26 per share, the person said, adding that the institutional investors might buy up to 95 per cent of the shares, leaving the remaining 5 per cent to Hong Kong retail investors. Shanghai Pharmaceuticals underwent a restructuring from 2009 to early last year and has been aggressively expanding through acquisitions since then. The restructuring was partly brought about by the national government’s efforts to consolidate the fragmented pharmaceutical industry. China’s pharmaceutical industry is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 13.7 per cent from 2009 to 2014, according to the company’s pre-listing document.

Beijing Second Pharma Wins US Approval for Anti- Hypertensive
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-05-03)
Beijing Second Pharmaceutical Co. was granted FDA approval for US use of Amlodipine Besylate, a long-acting calcium channel blocker that is prescribed for hypertension and angina. The drug is a generic version of Pfizer’s Norvasc®. According to the company, the approval is the first time the FDA has approved an oral, solid-dose product from a China-owned pharma. Beijing Second Pharmaceutical Co. will market the product through a US-based distribution partner.

Aoxing Pharmaceutical Announces Chinese Patent for Naloxone Sublingual Film
(PRNewswire, 2011-05-02)
Aoxing Pharmaceutical (Aoxing Pharma), a specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on research, development, manufacturing and distribution of narcotic and pain-management products, announced that its operating subsidiary in China, Hebei Aoxing Pharmaceutical Group Company, has been granted a patent by the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO)of The People’s Republic of China for naloxone sublingual film. This Chinese patent, covers a unique sublingual film formulation of naloxone that can be dissolved in 30 seconds and allows the drug to diffuse into the blood through tissues under the tongue. The rapid and more efficient absorption of the formulation makes it a convenient alternative to injection.

Biotechnologies

Anke Biotech clinches SFDA approval for TCM clinical trial
(Rsssearchhub, 2011-04-28)
Anhui Anke Biotechnology (Group) Co. Ltd. (Anke Biotech) has obtained approval from the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) to conduct clinical trials for its Zhidan Huayu capsule, the company announced. Anke Biotech holds the intellectual property rights (IPR) to the drug, a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) used to treat endometriosis (EMT). The drug will further diversify Anke Biotech’s product line for gynecological medical conditions, according to the announcement. The company’s product portfolio already includes recombinant human interferon alpha-2b suppository, a biological drug for the treatment of cervical erosion, while another gynecological TCM, Baofukang gel, is currently undergoing clinical trials.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°190

Mar
28
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,
Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held at the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

  • China to improve training for drugstore staff
  • China to set up stroke screening network
  • China to standardize criteria for essential drug tenders
  • MoH to kick off national immunization survey in May
  • Shanghai Pharma signs MoU with Pfizer

Healthcare News

China to improve training for drugstore staff
(ReportLinker, 2011-04-19)
The China Association of Pharmaceutical Commerce (CAPC), the country’s official medical retail industry association, plans to work with drug manufacturers to improve training for drugstore staff, a representative from the association said. The association has been organizing training programs for drugstores managers in recent years, with two to three programs annually. “This is not enough, as China has about 400,000 drugstore managers and several million drugstore clerks,” Wang Jinxia, the deputy director of CAPC, said in report by Medicine Economic News. The Medicine Economic News report said the Ministry of Commerce has included training for drug distribution executives in its industry guidelines for the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015).

MoH to kick off national immunization survey in May

(China MOH,  2011-04-21)
China’s Ministry of Health (MoH) announced it will launch a national immunization survey next month. The MoH requires provincial health authorities to conduct inspections in May and June this year, while the ministry will inspect selected regions in July and August. The survey will collect information on immunization rates, vaccine distribution and the management of immunization programs, particularly in grassroots medical institutions. Both government-supplied and commercial vaccines will be covered. This survey will be the largest since China expanded its immunization program in 2007 to cover 15 diseases, as opposed to seven previously. Immunization rates remain relatively low in China’s underdeveloped western regions and among the country’s large migrant worker population, the ministry said. According to the announcement, China aims to improve immunization rates for poliomyelitis and measles, and medical experts are discussing whether adolescents in some provinces should receive hepatitis B immunization. Currently the vaccine is given to all children under 15.

China to set up stroke screening network
(Jiankang Bao, 2011-04-21)
China plans to establish a nationwide network of 200 to 300 stroke screening centers in selected hospitals within the next three to five years, the official Ministry of Health (MoH) newspaper reported. The centers are expected to screen at least 1 million high-risk cases over the next three years, according to the Jiankang Bao, citing Minister of Health Chen Zhu’s comments at a meeting to discuss the prevention of strokes. The ministry also plans to give approximately 3,000 doctors special training in stroke screening and prevention, the newspaper said. China’s stroke incidence is growing at annual rate of about 8.7 percent. The country spends approximately RMB 12 billion ($1.84 billion) per year on medical costs associated with strokes, according to official figures.

China to standardize criteria for essential drug tenders
(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-21)
Two pharmaceutical industry associations have issued a set of national standards to assess bids for essential drug supply contracts, Wu Qinggong, deputy director of the China Pharmaceutical Enterprise Management Association (CPEMA), said at an industry forum in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province. As the essential drug system rolls out across the country, different provinces have been using different criteria to assess bids for supply contracts. The two associations, namely the CPEMA and the China Pharmaceutical Industry Research and Development Association, were chosen by Ministry of Health (MoH) and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to formulate the national standards. “The standards consist of 29 criteria in five categories,” Wu said at the 19th China Pharmaceutical Enterprise Marketing Summit. The five categories are quality assurance, supply capability, the company’s performance and finances, innovative capabilities, and social responsibility.

ChP and US counterpart appoint special counselors to improve cooperation
(BioSpectrum, 2011-04-22)
Two top executives from the Chinese Pharmacopeia Commission (CHP) and the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) have been appointed as special counselors to oversee cooperation between the two bodies as they work to improve drug standards, the USP announced. Wu Zhen, Secretary General of the ChP and deputy director of the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), and Roger L. Williams, USP’s chief executive officer (CEO), accepted the posts in Beijing and reviewed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the two entities on March 2008. The MOU states that the USP and ChP will cooperate on ensuring the “documentary and physical standards of medicines” as they apply to the USP and ChP pharmacopeias. It also calls for joint scientific and standards meetings to be held in China on a regular basis. To facilitate the expansion of China’s pharma firms in the global market, the country recently accelerated efforts to improve drug standards. China’s Ministry of Health (MoH) issued the ninth edition of the Chinese Pharmacopoeia in March 2010, with a number of new standards regarding drug safety.

China’s ADRs up 8.44 pct in 2010
(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-25)
China reported 692,904 adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in 2010, up 8.44 percent year-on-year, the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) announced. China has seen a stable increase in ADR reporting since 2008, according to the announcement. In 2010, approximately 84.7 percent of all ADR reports to the SFDA came from medical institutions, 12.7 percent from pharmaceutical companies and 2.5 percent from individuals. Pharmaceutical companies still need to further strengthen their ADR reporting, the SFDA noted, after achieving only a 3.25 percent increase in reports from 2009. Around 86.2 percent of all ADRs were in response to chemical and biological drugs, while 13.8 percent were to traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs). The five kinds of drugs which achieved the highest number of ADRs last year were antibiotics, cardiovascular drugs, analgesics, digestive drugs and electrolyte/acid-base balance/nutritional agents, accounting for 53.6 percent, 7.8 percent, 6.9 percent, 5.3 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively, of China’s total ADRs in 2010. In terms of dosage, approximately 59.5 percent of ADRs were from injections, and 37 percent from orally-taken drugs.

China’s health reform cuts drug prices, but still fights pain
(新华网, 2011-04-23)
At a time when almost every commodity in China is getting more expensive, the dwindling cost of medicine is a rarity. The essential medicine system has reduced drug prices, but still fails to please patients and drug producers. Some patients find that some drugs have disappeared from the shelves of neighborhood clinics. To get medicines they need, sometimes they have to go to higher-level hospitals. Pharmaceutical companies are not happy, either. Some argue that the essential medicine procurement system distorts market competition. Song Wenzhi, a public health professor at Peking University said that, in a country with 1.3 billion people, it’s natural for problems to surface as health reforms sail into uncharted waters. “In the end, health reform heads in the right direction.”

Charges over fake drug scandal
(上海日报, 2011-04-26)
Thirteen suspects were charged by Luwan District Prosecutors’ Office with producing and selling a fake drug that caused eye infections in 61 patients at the Shanghai No. 1 People’s Hospital, officials announced. Officials didn’t disclose details of the suspects. The affected patients were among 116 people who received the fake medicine on September 6 and 8 last year. After the injections, they reported eye inflammations and poor vision and received treatment at Shanghai No.1 People’s Hospital. It had been thought the drug was Avastin, a cancer drug made by global pharmaceutical giant Roche. Avastin is believed to have an effect on eye condition macular degeneration, although domestic drug authorities have not approved it for this use.

China in key position to attract medical tourists
(中国网, 2011-04-25)
In anticipation of the upcoming May Day Holiday, the Ciming Health Check Group received nearly 1000 phone calls, many from Chinese patients interested in anti-aging treatments or face lifts. Many of the company’s advertised packages start at US$10,000 including treatment, travel, and accommodation and can run $30,000 or more. China’s major urban centers of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have already attracted growing numbers of medical tourists due to advanced technology, higher quality of service, and affordable prices. Despite the ever-increasing quality of China’s medical facilities, lack of awareness as well as language and cultural barriers remain a challenge to attracting more patients. In addition, China will have to compete with countries such as India, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines. As a result of the new initiative, local governments in China have rushed to compete for their share in this emerging market. Like Beijing has suggested building its Chinese Traditional Medicine Tourism Demonstration Zone.

China launches National Vaccination Week
(BioSpectrum, 2011-04-26)
The MoH in China has launched a national vaccination initiative at an event hosted in Xinfadi Primary School to ensure that children, especially those affected by migration and those living in remote areas can be fully vaccinated against preventable diseases. Leading international agencies working on immunization in China, UNICEF and WHO, are helping to support the call for maximum participation in the national campaign. Now all Chinese children can be offered vaccines against 12 infectious diseases free of charge. Aggressive vaccination initiatives have kept China polio-free and have dramatically reduced the rate of Hepatitis B and measles. As China nears the elimination of neonatal tetanus and measles, and strives to improve coverage of recently introduced vaccines, more intensive efforts are required.

Beijing sets work plan for clinical pathway adoption
(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-27)
Beijing has set deadlines later this year for Grade II and III hospitals in the capital to implement clinical pathways, according to a work plan released April 26 by the municipal health bureau. Under the work plan, by Sept. 30, all Grade III Class A general hospitals in the city are expected to implement at least ten clinical pathways, while all Grade II Class A general hospitals should have at least five clinical pathways under implementation. Furthermore, all Grade II and III specialty hospitals in Beijing are expected to have at least five clinical pathways implemented by the same date. Hospitals are required to test information systems for clinical pathways, and may select certain diseases for the protocol, according to the work plan.

China to limit manufacture of select APIs as overproduction becomes issue
(ReportLinker, 2011-04-27)
China plans to curb the manufacture of a number of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in order to reduce overproduction and environmental degradation, according to an April 26 circular from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Included in the list of APIs that will see their manufacture restricted are those for vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B12 and vitamin E. According to a report in the Shanghai Securities Journal earlier this month, the NDRC and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) have placed a cap on the total production quota for vitamin C APIs at 100,000 tons, some 30,000 tons lower than the 2010 quota.

Timely surgery can cut brain trauma mortality by 30%

(上海日报, 2011-04-27)
Ordinary but timely treatment on brain trauma can drop the current rate of mortality and disability by 20 to 30 percent, medical experts said at the opening of Shanghai Brain Trauma Research Institute in Renji Hospital. Every year more than 1 million Chinese suffer brain trauma. “Timely treatment and improved medical technology are key to curing brain trauma,” said Dr Jiang Jiyao, director of Renji’s neurosurgery department. “The first hour after the head injury is the gold hour for treatment.” About 60 percent of patients can survive if receiving surgery within one hour and the survival rate can drop to 30 percent if the surgery is conducted within two hours, but after three hours, the survival rate drops to zero. Jiang emphasized also the need to follow the brain trauma treatment guidebook.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Shanghai Pharma signs MoU with Pfizer
(Fiercepharma, 2011-04-21)
Shanghai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with global pharma giant Pfizer concerning cooperation on an unspecified Pfizer product, Shanghai Pharma announced. Shanghai Pharma and Pfizer will cooperate on the registration, commercialization and distribution in China of the product, according to the announcement. Shanghai Pharma and Pfizer also hope to strengthen their existing cooperation on the promotion in China of Pfizer’s Prevenar (7-valent), a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine which helps prevent infant pneumonia. Shanghai Pharma has been a partner of Pfizer’s for a number of years, and is the largest distributor of Pfizer drugs in China. Pfizer’s China arm had drug distribution contracts with Shanghai Pharma valued at approximately RMB 3 billion ($460.12 million) in 2010, domestic news Netease Finance reported. This figure could increase to as much as RMB 9 billion ($1.38 billion) in 2011, according to the report.

Events

Janssen Pharma, Tsinghua University unveil infectious disease research center
(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-22)
Belgium-based Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. (Janssen) and Tsinghua University have unveiled a joint research center, the Beijing-based university announced. The Tsinghua University-Janssen Joint Research Center on Infectious Diseases will focus on basic research of infectious diseases, including tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS. The center also aims to facilitate the commercialization of Janssen’s drugs for infectious diseases in China. Tsinghua University, one of China’s most renowned institutes of higher learning, formed a five-year collaborative partnership with Janseen in November 2010. The partnership aims to accelerate research and foster new therapeutic approaches to infectious diseases. Ministry of Health (MoH) figures show that China currently has an estimated five million TB and 740,000 HIV/AIDS patients.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°189

Mar
21
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,
Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held at the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

  • Beijing Municipality to prioritize public hospital reform
  • Shanghai rolls out health information system
  • China health care exports up 13 pct in February
  • China needs to streamline drug approval processes – experts
  • Roche Expands Shanghai Facility into Third Global Operations Center

Healthcare News

Beijing Municipality to prioritize public hospital reform
(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-14)
Public hospital reform will be a top priority in the next stage of Beijing Municipality’s health reform, the city’s vice mayor, Ding Xiangyang, said at a government health department meeting. Beijing has a total of 66 Grade III hospitals. The other 44 will remain under the management of the Ministry of Health (MoH) or the People’s Liberation Army, which runs military hospitals across China. The next step of the reform, according to Ding, will be for hospitals to establish themselves as legal entities separate from the health authorities, which will give them greater autonomy. In order to reduce hospitals’ reliance on drug revenue, the official said, the city will try to ensure sufficient government funding for hospital infrastructure and public health programs. It will also set caps on reimbursements for patients under the city’s medical insurance program.

Drug blunts China’s hemophilia treatment efforts
(新华网, 2011-04-16)
China’s national hemophilia information management center, created by the MoH, registered 7,980 cases nationwide since its establishment last year while China is estimated to have roughly 100,000 hemophilia patients. Blood-derived coagulation factor VIII and recombinant coagulation factor VIII are two effective drugs which are vital for hemophiliacs. However, the drugs are expensive and produced in limited quantities, a difficulty which hundreds of thousands of hemophiliacs in China have to confront. Nowadays only four drug firms are qualified to manufacture blood-derived coagulation factor VIII in China. To increase the output of blood-derived coagulation factor VIII, China has adopted a more flexible policy, allowing the country’s other medical firms to allocate their remaining blood and plasma materials to the four qualified firms to manufacture more blood-derived coagulation factor VIII. “The government’s policy is becoming more reasonable, however, the allocation needs more medical firms to support, giving up some business profits,” said the hemophilia center official.

Shanghai rolls out health information system

(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-12)
Shanghai is rolling out a city-wide health information system, due to be in place before the end of 2012, the Shanghai municipal government announced. The system will connect over 600 medical institutions in the municipality, with health records for all patients in the city available online to doctors and patients. The districts of Luwan, Changning, Zhabei, Minhang, Songjiang and Baoshan will be linked to the system by the end of June, and patient records from all 34 Grade III hospitals in Shanghai will go online before the end of the year. The system will also facilitate remote consultations between large hospitals and grassroots medical institutions. Furthermore, patients will be able to check medical test results and book doctor appointments online. The system will also store data for non-Shanghai residents who receive treatment in the city, the announcement said.

Chemical warehouse for drug developers
(上海日报, 2011-04-15)
Shanghai will build a world-leading chemical warehouse for new drug screening in the next five years, said an official with the National Center for Drug Screening in Zhangjiang High-tech Park. The warehouse will store more than 1 million different chemicals, effectively improving China’s ability on new drug screening and development, said Wang Mingwei, the center’s director. “We will focus on developing drugs for diseases such as cancer and poverty-related diseases through the cooperation of the United Nations,” he said. “Sexually-transmitted diseases and schistosomiasis are our targets as well.” Local science authorities welcomed the central government’s decision to build the chemical warehouse in Shanghai where biomedicine industry is expected to generate 200 billion yuan (US$30.6 billion) in sales in 2012. Shanghai has made incentive policies to encourage the development of new drugs and locally produced high-end drugs. Local hospitals also benefited from local biopharmaceutical development including monocular diagnostic medicine and individualized therapy. Doctors are using genetic tests to classify cancer types and guide gene-targeting treatment, which can prolong a cancer patient’s life two to three times longer than using chemotherapy. “Cancers in lungs, colon, breast and lymphoma are the ones treated widely using genetic test,” said Dr Han Baohui from Shanghai Chest Hospital. “We use genetic testing to treat lung cancer and have received good results. Genetic testing gives the evidence to guide our treatment.”

China health care exports up 13 pct in February
(ReportLinker, 2011-04-14)
China’s exports of health care products were worth $2.41 billion in February this year, up 12.94 percent year-on-year, according to figures released April 14 by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products. The chamber attributed the increase to strong demand from emerging markets, which it predicted would continue to drive long-term growth for health product exports. The chamber noted an emerging trend for medical device and finished chemical drug exports to emerging economies. Chemical drug exports to Brazil and Russia in 2010 rocketed by 61.73 percent and 65.27 percent, respectively. This compares to more moderate growth of 15.12 percent and 21.74 percent, respectively, for exports of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) – which form the bulk of China’s health care exports.

Laser medical device sales in China hit $445 mln in 2010
(ReportLinker, 2011-04-14)
Sales of laser medical devices in China reached RMB 2.91 billion ($445.52 million) in 2010, an increase of 21.3 percent from the previous year, according to figures released April 14 by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products.
Surgical laser equipment accounted for a 57.6 share of the market, with sales of RMB 1.68 billion ($257.21 million), followed by cosmetic laser equipment with 23.2 percent and laser diagnostic devices with 9.6 percent. Driven by rising government spending on hospital infrastructure and hardware, the domestic market for laser medical devices has ballooned by 117 percent from sales of RMB 1.34 billion ($205.15 million) in 2006, the chamber said.

China needs to streamline drug approval processes – experts
(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-18)
China has been ramping up investment in innovative drug research and development (R&D) over the last decade in a bid to wean its pharma industry off a dependency on generic drugs and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). But there are other areas the government must improve to make China an attractive location for multinationals to conduct research, industry insiders said at the 6th China Pharmaceutical R&D Summit. China’s universities and research institutes, for example, lack the resources to commercialize their research, said James Li, a partner in U.S. venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Furthermore, translational medicine is relatively underdeveloped in China. Another challenge is the notoriously lengthy clinical trial application (CTA) process, which is overseen by the Center for Drug Evaluation (CDE), part of the State and Food Administration (SFDA). Securing marketing approval for an innovative biological medicine in China can take multinational drug makers five to eight years longer than it does in US. Chen Rong, head of the Regulatory Center of Excellence for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) China, called on China’s authorities and pharma industry to work together to speed up regulatory processes and urged multinational drug makers to further familiarize themselves with China’s regulatory environment.

Beijing health authorities to shift focus to chronic diseases
(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-19)
Beijing Municipality will shift the focus of its disease control and prevention program from epidemic diseases to chronic diseases this year, a senior city health official said. The program will focus on tumors, cardiovascular diseases and mental diseases, and will promote disease screening, early intervention and standardized treatment pathways, according to an announcement on the municipal government’s website that cited Xie Hui, director of the Beijing’s disease control department. Authorities will select an unspecified number of medical institutions to create medical records for patients suffering from hypertension, diabetes and cerebro-cardiovascular diseases. And the city will start to publish data relating to the chronic diseases regularly.

AIDS deaths hit ‘peak’ as 7,700 die
(China.org, 2011-04-20)
AIDS deaths are believed to be peaking on the Chinese mainland as many from the large number of people infected with HIV in the 1990s because of unsanitary blood-selling schemes develop full-blown AIDS, Hao Yang, deputy director of the disease prevention and control bureau at the MoH, made the remarks at the launch of the Tsinghua-Janssen Public Health Day. By the end of last year, the total reported number of AIDS deaths had reached 68,000, according to statistics from the ministry. Since 2008, AIDS has become the country’s top infectious killer and it claimed the lives of 7,700 people in 2010 alone. Between 1992 and 1997, a great number of people in rural areas in the provinces of Henan, Shanxi, Anhui and Hubei contracted the virus through contaminated blood. The official number is unavailable.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Jiangbo Pharmaceuticals Signs Letter of Intent to Acquire Regional Wholesale Drug Distributor
(PRNewswire, 2011-04-18)
Jiangbo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company with its principal operations in China, announced that it has entered into a letter of intent with Shandong Xinkangqi Medical Company, a regional wholesale drug distributor in Shandong Province, pursuant to which Laiyang Jiangbo plans to acquire 100% of the outstanding equity of Xinkangqi. “We are very pleased to announce the entry into the letter of intent with Xinkangqi which we believe has a strong presence in Shandong, one of China’s largest provinces with over 94 million inhabitants,” commented Mr. Linxian Jin, CEO of Jiangbo.

Roche Expands Shanghai Facility into Third Global Operations Center

(Bnet, 2011-04-15)
Roche has completed a $75 million expansion of its Shanghai operations center, located in Zhangjiang High-Tech Park. The new facilities include two new office buildings, a quality-control center and warehouses. Roche said it is making Shanghai, which is headquarters for its Asia-Pacific territory, the company’s third global strategic operations center, along with Basel, Switzerland and San Francisco.

Greek Pharma Alapis Signs MoU with CSPC Pharma

(ChinaBio Today, 2011-04-14)
Greek pharma Alapis SA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CSPC Pharmaceutical Group, one of China΄s largest drug makers. The two companies are planning to set up two-way collaboration in a broad range of activities. Alapis makes generic and brand-name drugs that it distributes in Greece, Southeast Europe, Turkey and the UK.

Standard Chemical (Taiwan) and DIA Pharma (Japan) Form China JV
(Bioportfolio, 2011-04-15)
Standard Chemical and Pharmaceutical Co. of Taiwan announced plans to set up a China joint venture with DIA Pharmaceutical Co. of Japan. The JV, which will be located in China Medical City in Jiangsu Province, will produce DIA’s water-based fever patch for sale in China. In its first year, the JV is expected to produce 60 million patches, generating an impressive $383 million of revenue.

Tibet Pharmaceuticals Announces Availability of Updated Investor Fact Sheet
(PRNewswire, 2011-04-18)
Tibet Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an emerging specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the development, manufacturing and marketing of traditional Tibetan medicine in China, announces the availability of an updated online Investor Fact Sheet. “As part of our mission to keep investors informed with the latest developments at the company, we are pleased to release our updated fact sheet,” said Taylor Guo, Chief Executive Officer at Tibet Pharmaceuticals. ” Fiscal 2010 was a tremendous year for our company, having grown revenue 41% to $32.4 million and net income 42% to $13.1 million, compared to fiscal 2009. We remain committed to the highest levels of compliance in the US capital markets and we intend to create long term value for our shareholders. ”

SciClone strikes $105M deal to buy China’s NovaMed
(Fiercebiotech, 2011-04-19)
Lured by the booming Chinese pharmaceuticals market, Foster City, CA-based SciClone Pharmaceuticals has struck a deal to buy Shanghai-based NovaMed Pharmaceuticals for $24.7 million in cash and $37.1 million in stock. SciClone has also pledged up to $43 million in revenue milestones as it absorbs a developer with a range of marketed drugs as well as a development arm focused on registration work. NovaMed touts a portfolio of 18 drug products spanning four therapeutic areas: Oncology, cardiovascular disease, central nervous system disorders and urology/infection. And SciClone says that it will step up to the plate in China with additional programs up for regulatory approval in China. Their combined revenue for 2011 is expected to hit $140 million this year.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°188

Mar
14
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,
Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held at the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

  • Efforts urged to combat overuse of antibiotics
  • MoH to step up regulation of antibacterial drugs
  • Lilly Sees Big Opportunity in China
  • Health Ministry rules out AIDS-like disease
  • MoH sets broad 2011 goals for health care system

Healthcare News

Efforts urged to combat overuse of antibiotics
(上海日报, 2011-04-08)
While Shanghai has so far escaped the latest drug-resistant superbug, the city must not be complacent, a local expert warned. Reducing unnecessary antibiotics use is key to preventing and controlling drug-resistant bacteria, said Du Wenmin, vice director of Shanghai Clinical Center for Drug Adverse Reaction Monitoring. Overuse of antibiotics leads to the development of bacteria resistant to them. Such overuse is widespread in China. Hospitals often prescribe antibiotics to boost income and many patients have a blind faith in the drugs. Research into drug use in the past five years in Shanghai, Wuhan, Hangzhou, Chongqing found 30 to 40 percent of medication taken was antibiotics. According to Du, about 80 percent of domestic patients in outpatient services and 90 percent of hospitalized patients are given antibiotics. “Only 10 percent of patients are given antibiotics on average in the world, and even among that figure the World Health Organization said half didn’t need them,” Du said. In China, bacteria have developed resistance to 70 to 80 percent of antibiotics, leading doctors to prescribe stronger antibiotics, creating a vicious circle. Shanghai received 97,338 reports of adverse drug reactions between 2005 and 2010, leading to 625 deaths. More than 40 percent of adverse reactions were related to antibiotics, with 167 deaths. “Antibiotics have the highest report of adverse reactions in Shanghai,” Du said. Officials from Shanghai Health Bureau said forthcoming health reforms will include strict antibiotics management. Meanwhile, drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis are on the rise in China because of the overuse of antibiotics, the MoH and the WHO warned. Around 6.8 percent of tuberculosis cases in China are multiple-drug resistant, far higher than the 2 percent rate in most developed countries, according to WHO’s China office. A WHO medical officer with the TB program in China said 50 percent of antibiotics used globally are given to livestock to keep stock disease-free and promote growth, but this leads to resistance among humans eating the animal products.

Pharmacoeconomics should play bigger role in essential drug system – official
(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-11)
Pharmacoeconomics has a greater role to play in China’s grassroots essential drug system, which is failing to meet some needs of patients, a health official told an industry forum in Beijing. “Pharmacoeconomics should be used in the selection, supply and pricing of essential drugs – and in particular to appraise the suitability of drugs already on the list,” said Zheng Hong, director of medical policy and essential drugs at the Ministry of Health (MoH). Pharmacoeconomics is a scientific discipline that appraises the value of different treatments in terms of cost and efficiency. According to Zheng, a lack of national data for medical insurance pay-outs in China is making it difficult to apply pharmaeconomics to the national essential drug system. And despite provincial data for insurance pay-outs being available, many provincial health authorities continue to award essential drug supply contracts to the lowest bidder rather than using pharmaeconomics in their assessments. China last updated its national essential drug list for grassroots medical institutions, which is updated every three years.

MoH to step up regulation of antibacterial drugs
(China MOH, 2011-04-11)
China plans to tighten regulation of antibacterial drugs in a bid to curb overuse, a health official told press in Beijing. “Under the new rules, hospital directors will be held accountable for the improper use of drugs under their watch. The measures will also stipulate which antibacterial drugs are permitted in different kinds of hospitals,” said Zhao Minggang, deputy director of the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) Department of Medical Administration. Zhao did not disclose when the new rules will be issued. Zhao refuted claims by domestic media that adverse drug reactions (ADR) caused 200,000 deaths in China last year, 40 percent of which were related to antibacterial drugs. Zhao said that, according to government figures, there were a total of 690,000 ADRs last year, and only 600 deaths. But the official gave no figures for antibacterial drug-related ADRs. Some 1,844 generic antibacterial drugs – and a total of 43,301 different antibacterial products – were marketed in China as of March this year.

Health Ministry rules out AIDS-like disease
(上海日报, 2011-04-07)
The MoH said people with AIDS-like symptoms but tested negative for HIV are not suffering from an unknown infectious disease. There is no evidence that these people acquired the disease through infection, the ministry said in response to a recent Hong Kong media report that at least six provinces and regions in China reported the AIDS-like disease which may be spreading through saliva and blood. Ministry spokesman Deng Haihua said the ministry began receiving reports from people who claimed they had acute AIDS-like symptoms and believed they had caught HIV virus or some unknown virus since June 2009. The China Center for Disease Control and Prevention contacted these people between September 2009 and January 2010 and recruited 59 volunteers for clinical investigation. All their HIV tests are negative. The ministry then launched a second investigation in February and March this year in Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan and Guangdong, involving 40 patients for epidemiological tests. Laboratories found their immune function was normal. Shanghai medical experts believed it was AIDS phobia that made people nervous after having a dangerous behavior and compared their symptoms to those of AIDS victims.

MoH sets broad 2011 goals for health care system
(China MOH, 2011-04-12)
China’s Ministry of Health (MoH) issued a circular setting a series of broad goals for the health care system in 2011. The circular asks Grade III hospitals to improve booking systems for appointments and to encourage more patients to book visits in advance. By the end of the year, at least 20 percent of patients transferring from community health centers to Grade III hospitals should book hospital stays in advance, according to the circular. At least 50 percent of revisits should be pre-booked, while at least 60 percent of revisits by post-operative patients should be reserved in advance, the MoH document said. Furthermore, the ministry urged hospitals to curb the unreasonable use of antibiotics and ensure the implementation of clinical pathways, as well as caps on medical expenses for certain diseases. Minister of Health Chen Zhu also said there would be tougher legal penalties for medical malpractice.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Lilly Sees Big Opportunity in China
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-04-06)
John Lechlieter, CEO of Lilly, said China currently accounts for just 2% of the company’s revenues, a figure that equates to about $230 million. But he believes the opportunities in China are great as the country becomes the second largest market for pharmaceuticals in the world. For that reason, Lilly is investing heavily in China. According to Lechleiter, there are around 3000 pharmaceutical firms in China, none of whom currently holds more than a 2% share of the market. Multinational pharmas claim just 30% of China’s drug revenues, he said. He expects China’s progress in implementing healthcare reforms will be a “step-wise” process. Lechleiter reported that Lilly has recently been granted SFDA approval for its osteoporosis drug Forteo. That is just one success for the company, which has plans to introduce 12 new drugs to the China market by the end of 2015. As of Lilly’s commitment to China, Lechleiter mentioned the company’s Shanghai diabetes research center. Announced in November 2010, the center will employ 100 researchers when it opens later this year. In his review of China activities, Lechleiter did not mention Lilly’s commitment to research partnerships with innovative China companies. For several years before the R&D center announcement, Lilly declared it was following the partnership path rather than building a large in-house R&D operation in China. Lilly has established a China venture capital fund, which has dispensed $40 million at last recounting, and it is working with Hutchison MediPharma on drugs that treat cancer and inflammatory diseases.

China’s antibiotics makers diversifying
(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-06)
A growing number of China’s antibiotics manufacturers are diversifying to ensure their future competitiveness, according to business insiders. “Several years ago, some manufacturers of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for antibiotics started to increase their efforts in producing finished chemical drugs to guarantee higher profits,” said Wu Huifang, general manager of pharmaceutical information provider Healthoo.com. Shanghai Stock Exchange-listed Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Ltd., which mainly produces APIs for antibiotics and anti-tumor drugs, announced earlier this year that it would invest RMB 1.37 billion ($209.16 million) in the production of chemical drugs, including 4 million bottles of carbapenem injections. Livzon Pharmaceutical Group Inc., another large manufacturer of cephalosporin in China, acquired Fuzhou Fuxing Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of antibiotics APIs and intermediate drugs in 2008. Since then, APIs have become an important part of Livzon Pharma’s business interests. API sales revenue accounted for 30 per cent of its total sales in 2009 and 34 per cent in 2010. Antibiotics are the largest category of drugs by hospital purchases, which were valued at about RMB 77.51 billion ($11.83 billion) in 2009, up 16.62 percent year-on-year, according to figures from SFDA Southern Medicine Economics Research Institute.

China Medical System Joins PRC’s Drug Distribution Rollup
(Bioportfolio, 2011-04-06)
China Medical System Holdings (CMS) will pay almost $200 million to acquire Tianjin Precede Medical Trade Development Co., a fellow drug distributor in China. CMS said the transaction will give it new products to sell and a larger sales network. Like other PRC drug distribution companies, CMS is following the well-trodden path of IPOing on the Hong Kong exchange and using the proceeds to continue the steady rollup of China’s pharma distribution networks.

Jilin Aodong Makes $2 Million Initial Investment in Vital Therapies
(Biospace, 2011-04-08)
Jilin Aodong Medicine Industry Group will make a small $2 million investment into Vital Therapies, a San Diego company that is developing a medical device for patients with liver failure. The initial $2 million investment will purchase a stake in Vital Therapies of between 5% and 6%. If Vital Therapies obtains SFDA approval for its device in the next six months, Aodong will invest an additional $25 million in Vital Therapies.

China Sky One gets 13 new production licenses
(BioSpectrum, 2011-04-08)
China Sky One Medical, a leading fully integrated pharmaceutical company in China has announced that the Company, jointly with Heilongjiang Traditional Chinese Medical University (HTCMU), has obtained production licenses for thirteen new medical products from the Heilongjiang Food and Drug Administration in China. China Sky One is preparing for trial production and searching for the best production process for these thirteen products, which the Company expects to introduce to the market as soon as the fourth quarter of 2011. “As these mostly external-use medical products dovetail well with our existing production facilities and sales network, we expect to manufacture and sell them efficiently without much extra effort. Going forward, we plan to strengthen our partnership with research institutions such as HTCMU, leveraging their R&D capabilities to enrich our product portfolio and improve the Company’s profitability.” commented Mr. Yan-Qing Liu, Chairman and CEO of China Sky One Medical.

Global Pharm Holdings Group Obtains the Business License for its Newly Established Joint Venture in Bozhou City
(PRNewswire,  2011-04-11)
Global Pharm Holdings Group, Inc. obtained the Certificate of Approval from Anhui Provincial Government for the establishment of a Joint Venture, Anhui Sino-Green TCM Tech Development Co., Ltd., with foreign investment in the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong Wisdom Fortune Medicine Holding Group Ltd., a Hong Kong subsidiary of Global Pharm, together with Anhui Qianyi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., established the Joint-Venture, Sino-Green TCM Tech, in Bozhou City, Anhui Province. The registered capital of Sino-Green TCM Tech is USD 10 million. Global Pharm’s purpose for engaging in the TCM cultivation, TCM herbal processing and related products R&D business is to alleviate the impact on price inflation and maintain the supply stability of TCM raw materials.

Fosun looks for global expansion
(中国日报, 2011-04-06)
One of the largest Chinese private conglomerates, Shanghai Fosun High Technology (Group) Co Ltd (Fosun Group), is capable of managing assets of more than 1 trillion yuan ($150 billion) with its private equity platforms, said a top company official. The company will also look for more investment opportunities overseas, as part of its efforts to further global expansion, said Guo Guangchang, chairman of Fosun. “We have to actively push forward the asset management business because we have seen a lot of opportunities as we build our global investment platform and our management capability is also improving,” Guo said. His remarks came after the company teamed up with US insurance group Prudential Financial Inc to form a $600 million private-equity fund in January. Fosun has four private-equity companies, including a 50-50 joint venture, established last February with US buyout giant Carlyle Group.

China Biologic to Be Awarded for Outstanding Product and Process Quality
(PR Newswire, 2011-04-12)
China Biologic Products, Inc., one of the leading plasma-based biopharmaceutical companies in the People’s Republic of China, announced that it has been notified that China Biologic’s two indirect majority owned subsidiaries will be awarded the designation of “Model Company for Building Pharmaceutical Product Quality Integrity” by the China Quality Association for Pharmaceuticals (CQAP). CQAP is a national quality management professional organization in pharmaceutical industry in China. This award is generally considered to be a high recognition given to pharmaceutical companies in China for outstanding product and process quality. The CQAP chose the 17 final awardees in 2011 based on its inspections and evaluations of a group of selected pharmaceutical companies recommended by the local and provincial governments and chapters of the CQAP. The CQAP’s inspection and awards program, started in 2006, is designed to encourage high quality in products and production processes by selecting companies with high performance and credibility in pharmaceutical industry, including manufacturers and distributors.

Scientific News

Vitamin D may ward off age-related vision loss
(新华网, 2011-04-12)
A new research indicates taking vitamin D could ward off vision loss from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in women younger than 75, according to media reports. In the research, women under 75 who consumed sufficient vitamin D cut their risk of developing early age-related AMD, a leading cause of vision loss and blindness, by 59 percent when compared to women with vitamin D-poor diets. Researchers found that vitamin D levels among patients in the study were most affected by the amount of vitamin D they consumed, through certain fish, dairy, eggs, and leafy greens, not by the amount of outdoor exposure they had.

Study links better bone health with green tea, Taichi
(新华美通, 2011-04-11)
Drinking green tea and practicing Taichi may promote bone health of postmenopausal women and reduce the risk of inflammation, a new study suggests. The study, conducted by researchers at the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Centre , focused on postmenopausal women and investigated the potential for green tea to work synergistically with Taichi in enhancing bone strength of postmenopausal women. The results show that consumption of GTP (at a level equivalent to about four-six cups of steeped green tea daily) and participation in Taichi independently enhanced markers of bone health by three and six months, respectively. A similar effect was found for muscle strength at the 6-month time point. Participants taking Taichi classes also reported significant beneficial effects in quality of life in terms of improving their emotional and mental health.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°187

Mar
8
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,

Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held at the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

 

  • Treatment cost caps key health reform for 2011 – MoH, NDRC
  • Beijing Municipality to roll out family medicine by end-2012
  • Ningxia slaps non-compliance penalties on medical suppliers
  • Merck Serono Expects M&A to Build China Sales
  • Shanghai Pharma Bumps Size of Hong Kong IPO by 50%
  • Pfizer and Daiichi Sankyo Team Up in China

Healthcare News

Treatment cost caps key health reform for 2011 – MoH, NDRC
(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-06)
Instituting mandatory caps on patient medical expenses for certain diseases will be a top priority for health care reform this year, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Ministry of Health (MoH). The caps are aimed at curbing the cost of treatment and standardizing treatment pathways. The two agencies have selected 104 diseases for which local authorities can set caps. Regions that have already tested caps for these diseases can add more to the list. The circular also asked provincial governments to formulate implementation plans and set up a system to monitor the roll-out. The introduction of clinical pathways in China’s health system has paved the way for the caps. Clinical pathways for 100 diseases had been implemented on a trial basis in 1300 hospitals nationwide by the end of 2010.

Beijing Municipality to roll out family medicine by end-2012
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-31)
Beijing Municipality plans to implement the family medicine system by the end of 2012, the municipal government announced. According to the announcement, each household signing up to the program will be assigned a team of health workers comprising of a general practitioner (GP), a nurse and a health officer. Each team will serve 600 households. The health bureau has started recruiting the additional 20,000 nurses and health officers the city needs to meet this goal. The system is expected to cover about 60 percent of Beijing’s neighborhoods by year-end. The city has been testing the program in Dongcheng, Xicheng and Fengtai districts, where 400,000 residents have signed up. According to a recent survey by Fengtai District Health Bureau, some 10,400 of the 25,300 households surveyed said they would sign up for family medical services, while about 12,000 said they would not. The remaining 2,950 said they only wanted health care when needed.

Ningxia slaps non-compliance penalties on medical suppliers
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-31)
Health authorities in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region have handed out administrative penalties to 52 pharma firms for non-compliance with contracts to supply public medical institutions, the health bureau announced. According to the announcement, some 45 drug makers and seven manufacturers of medical consumables have failed to deliver due consignments since the beginning of this year, citing reasons such as increased raw materials prices and ongoing business restructuring. The bureau confiscated guaranties of 42 drug suppliers and seven medical consumables suppliers, and added them to a list of non-compliant companies. The firms include Yabao Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, Shandong Wego Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Shanghai Huaxin Medical Materials Ltd. and Shanghai Latex Factory.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Ascletis Raises $100 Million for US-China Startup
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-04-06)
Ascletis, Inc., a US-China biopharma startup, announced a huge $100 million Series A round, led by Hangzhou Binjiang Investment Holding Co. Initially, Ascletis will in-license promising clinical-stage western molecules for cancer and infectious diseases, which it will take to China for development and sale there. To lock down a financial commitment of this size, Ascletis probably has its eyes on some compelling projects, but the company isn’t talking about its prospects before a deal is signed. To get its business moving quickly – the company hopes to have a drug on the market in three to five years – Ascletis is focusing on projects that are already in clinical stage in the west.

Tongjitang Chinese Medicines shareholders vote to approve merger
(PR Newswire, 2011-04-01)
Tongjitang Chinese Medicines Company has announced that the Company’s shareholders have voted in favor of the proposal to adopt the previously disclosed Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of October 29, 2010, as amended on February 21, 2011, among Tongjitang, Hanmax Investment Limited, Fosun and Tonsun International Company, a company owned by Hanmax and Fosun. Of the ordinary shares voted at the extraordinary general meeting, approximately 99.68 percent were voted in favor of the proposal to adopt the Merger Agreement. If the merger is completed as the parties expect, Tongjitang will continue its operations as a privately-held company owned solely by Hanmax and Fosun. The parties currently expect the merger to close in April 2011. Tongjitang’s flagship product, Xianling Gubao, is the leading traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of osteoporosis in China.

Zixin Pharma clinches approval for 12 ginseng F&B products
(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-01)
Regulators in Jilin Province have given Jilin Zixin Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Zixin Pharma) production approval for 12 ginseng-based food and beverage (F&B) products, the company announced. Jilin-based Zixin Pharma is one of 25 firms from the province selected by provincial regulators to produce ginseng-based food and drinks on a trial basis. Previously the use of the herb has been restricted to medicines. Manufacturing approvals for 29 products have been handed out under the scheme so far, according to previous announcements by provincial regulators. Jilin Province accounts for about 80 percent of China’s total ginseng output, and issued a raft of policies in 2010 intended to revitalize and standardize the industry. China has been nurturing the ginseng industry on a national level in a bid to compete with South Korea.

Merck Serono Expects M&A to Build China Sales
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-04-01)
Merck Serono AG, the biopharma arm of German chemical and pharma giant Merck KGaA, plans to use M&A to grow its presence in China. Although the company will soon announce the construction of its own drug manufacturing facility, Merck Serono hopes to buy local companies involved in manufacturing or distribution, according to Howard Sui, chairman and president of Merck Serono China. Merck Serono wants to be vertically integrated in the PRC, and it plans to extend its distribution to China’s grassroots market.

Shanghai Pharma Bumps Size of Hong Kong IPO by 50%
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-04-01)
Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding, one of China’s two biggest drug distribution companies, is planning to increase the size of its massive Hong Kong IPO by as much as 50%. Originally the company planned to raise $1.2 billion. Now it is proposing to expand the offering to $1.5 billion or $1.8 billion. The price per share appears to be unchanged from the 17.6 RMB specified in the first reports from last September. Apparently, the company will offer a bigger stake in the company than the 25% of capitalization originally proposed.

Zhejiang Zhenyuan to acquire 51 pct stake in drug distributor
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-31)
Zhejiang Zhenyuan Co. Ltd. (Zhejiang Zhenyuan), a leading drug maker and distributor, plans to acquire a 51 percent stake in Shaoxing Medicine Supply & Distribution Co. Ltd. for a maximum of RMB 7 million ($1.07 million), Zhejiang Zhenyuan announced. Zhejiang Zhenyuan aims to increase its share of Shaoxing City’s drug distribution market through the deal, particularly the hospital market, the announcement said. Both companies are based in the city in Zhejiang. Shaoxing Medicine’s main clients in Shaoxing are hospitals. The firm reported sales revenue of RMB 134.24 million ($20.47 million) and net losses of RMB 4.62 million ($704.55 million) in 2010. Shaoxing People’s Hospital, which at present holds a 60.625 percent share in Shaoxing Medicine, will see its stake diluted to 29.7 percent through the deal, while Shaoxing Maternal & Child Care Hospital will see its 36.25 percent share diluted to 17.8 percent. The remaining 3.125 percent owned by six individual investors will be reduced to 1.5 percent. Zhejiang Zhenyuan is China’s largest manufacturer of the antibiotic roxithromycin.

SL Pharma to increase Purentang Pharma holding
(Interfax.cn, 2011-04-01)
Beijing SL Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (SL Pharma), a leading domestic manufacturer of biopharmaceuticals, plans to increase its stake in Beijing Purenhong Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Purenhong Pharma) to 45 percent and become the largest shareholder, the company announced. SL Pharma at present holds 33 percent stake in the Beijing-based drug distributor, and plans to acquire Beijing Jingshi Limai Biotech Co. Ltd.’s 12 percent stake for RMB 27.12 million ($4.14 million). Purentang Pharma supplies more than 1,000 drugs, including 10 exclusive products, to more than 120 hospitals in Beijing. The firm supplies all the city’s Grade II and Grade III hospitals. SL Pharma’s long-term acquisition strategy is focused on research and development (R&D) and distribution acquisitions.

Pfizer and Daiichi Sankyo Team Up in China
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-04-04)
Pfizer has agreed to co-promote a hypertension drug from Daiichi Sankyo Pharma in China. The two companies will cooperate on selling olmesartan medoxomil, known as Benicar in the US and Olmetec in the EU and Canada. It is a member of the angiotensin II receptor antagonist class of drugs. The potential market in China is huge. Pfizer and Daiichi Sankyo overlooked past differences to forge the agreement.

Biotechnologies

China YCT Bets Company on Botanical Flu Treatment
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-03-31)
China YCT International Group has acquired L.Y. (HK) Biotech Ltd., a development stage company. China YCT said its main interest in LYHK was the latter’s patent for a botanical flu treatment. To make the acquisition, China YCT transferred 44.26 million newly created shares, representing 60% of its outstanding stock. China YCT, which does not trade actively, seems to have last traded at either $.75 or $1, giving the transaction a value of between $33 million and $44 million.

Kang Sheng Bao to Develop Immune System Diagnostic Test for SuperNova
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-03-31)
Shenzhen Kang Sheng Bao Bio-Technology (KSB) has signed an agreement with SuperNova Diagnostics, a Washington DC development stage company, giving KSB the responsibility to develop, manufacture and market diagnostic products that measure neopterin. Neopterin is a biomarker of immune system activity. KSB will use SuperNova’s AmpCrystal® platform. Two weeks ago, KSB and SuperNova announced KSB had licensed China rights for SuperNova’s platform according to the announcement.

Scientific News

Frozen Strawberries, Key To Throat Cancer Prevention In China
(Bioportfolio, 2011-04-06)
In a country where there is the highest incidence of throat, or esophageal cancer, Chinese researchers have found that simple strawberries may be an affordable and commonly found prevention tool to stave off this deadly disease. Frozen berries are even better because by removing the water from the berries, the concentrate of the preventive substances increase by nearly tenfold, according to lead researcher Tong Chen, M.D.of Ohio State University. The study participants consumed 60 grams of freeze dried strawberries daily for six months and completed a dietary diary chronicling their strawberry consumption. The researchers obtained biopsy specimens before and after strawberry consumption. The results showed that 29 out of 36 participants experienced a decrease in histological grade of the precancerous lesions during the study.

Asia/Pacific news

GSK suffers sales-rep poaching in China, India
(Fiercepharma, 2011-04-04)
The pharma industry’s headlong rush into developing countries hasn’t just led to a battle for market share. It’s created a parallel battle for good employees. As GSK‘s emerging markets chief tells Bloomberg, the drugmaker faces a “war for talent” in China and India, particularly in marketing and sales. Every year, about 20 percent of GSK’s sales force quits to take jobs at rival firms. “If you have a good person, they (job hunters) could find someone else willing to pay twice as much.” As pharma companies lay off sales folks in slow-growth areas such as the U.S. and Europe, they have simultaneously launched a recruitment drive in emerging markets, where analysts expect sustained growth. And drugmakers continue to announce plans to staff up by hundreds and hundreds of reps, particularly in China. GSK is trying to boost retention by offering delayed incentive compensation, Bloomberg says. Last fall, Takeda Pharmaceutical, which has faced sales-rep turnover of up to 60 percent annually, brought in new management to focus specifically on that attrition problem, figuring that if it could fix its sales turnover, it could boost sales in the country tenfold within five years.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°186

Mar
31
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,

Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held at the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

 

  • Chinese government slashes drug prices by 21%
  • Jiangsu Province approves rural medical insurance regulations
  • China needs to improve detection of birth defects – expert
  • Zhejiang Province completes essential drug system roll-out
  • Takeda Pharma Ups Commitment to China

Healthcare News

Jiangsu Province approves rural medical insurance regulations
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-25)
Jiangsu’s provincial legislature passed a set of rural medical insurance regulations on March 24, the provincial health department announced. Jiangsu is the first administrative region in China to pass provincial regulations for the rural medical insurance program, the announcement said. Under the regulations, the annual premium for each rural medical insurance holder will be at least 3 percent of the province’s average rural per capita income the previous year. A maximum 20 percent of this premium will come from the pockets of insurance holders, while the remainder will be shouldered by the government. The average per capita income for Jiangsu’s rural residents was RMB 9,118 ($1,390) in 2010, up 13.9 percent year-on-year. Meanwhile, the national average was RMB 5,919 ($902.29) in 2010, up 14.9 percent on an annual basis. Furthermore, the provincial insurance agency must pay out at least 90 percent of the Zhejiang’s total allocated insurance funding each year – a rule designed to stop government agencies holding back funds from the program. Jiangsu had 43.84 million rural medical insurance holders by the end of last year, more than 95 percent of its rural population. The premium for rural medical insurance holders was RMB 190 ($28.96) last year.

Zhejiang Province completes essential drug system roll-out
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-25)
Zhejiang has implemented the essential drug system in public grassroots medical institutions in the province, the provincial health department announced. Zhejiang is among the first administrative regions to complete the roll-out of the system, which it started to implement in its 7,045 public grassroots medical institutions in February last. China’s central government aims for all provinces to have the policy in place by February 2012. China released an updated national essential drug list for grassroots medical institutions in 2009, comprising of 307 drugs that qualify for reimbursement under the national medical insurance scheme. The majority of items on the list are generic drugs which have been on the market for a long time. Provincial health authorities have since issued additional lists of essential drugs for their provinces, and Zhejiang health department added 150 items. Statistics from the provincial health department show that drug prices under the essential drug system in Zhejiang have declined by an average of 33 percent as of February this year. Meanwhile, average inpatient and outpatient drug costs declined by 9.29 percent and 29.65 percent, respectively. According to a recent article in the Guangdong Province-based Medicine Economic News, however, inpatient numbers are down at some grassroots medical institutions in Zhejiang because the essential drug system restricts the number of drugs available, forcing patients to frequent larger hospitals.

China needs to improve detection of birth defects – expert
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-24)
A medical expert, speaking at the IVD Summit 2011 in Shanghai on March 23, called on China to improve the detection of birth defects. “Research has shown that only one in five birth defects are detected during pregnancy in China,” Qin Shengying, associate professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University ‘s Bio-X Center, told the summit. Due to lack of resources, Shanghai’s medical institutions perform just 3,000 amniotic fluid tests (AFT) per year, half the number needed, he said. Furthermore, national regulators have set the price of prenatal tests too low, discouraging medical institutions from offering them. The incidence of birth defects is roughly 4 to 6 percent in China, meaning 800,000 to 1.2 million babies are born with defects in the country every year. In 2006, the State Council set a target of 3 percent birth defect incidence by 2020 as part of its strategy for China’s long-term scientific development. According to Qin, China’s businesses and academic institutions should work together to develop new detection products for birth defects.

Beijing Municipality cracks down on medical insurance fraud
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-28)
Beijing Municipality is stepping up oversight of its medical insurance program in a bid to root out fraud by policy holders and hospitals, the municipal government announced. The municipal labor and social security bureau will conduct audits to expose frauds involving the re-sale of prescription medications. The bureau is responsible for managing pay-outs under the national medical insurance scheme. Insurance holders found guilty of fraud could be knocked of the medical insurance program rolls if they fail to pay back falsely-claimed reimbursements. Meanwhile, hospitals will not be reimbursed for improper drug sales. Beijing’s urban medical insurance scheme has about 10 million participants and covers care in 1,779 medical institutions.

Chinese government slashes drug prices by 21%
(Fiercepharma, 2011-03-28)
China may be a new frontier for Big Pharma, but like the Old West, this land of opportunity has its dangers. Witness the government’s latest pricing move, which will cut the maximum retail prices on more than 1,200 drugs by an average of 21 percent. The new rules take effect immediately. The country’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) had warned earlier this month that hospitals and clinics would be required to cap the prices on certain drugs. Government officials say the caps are necessary to ward off inflation and to keep rising healthcare costs from fomenting resentment among the Chinese people. The NDRC expects to save 10 billion yuan, or about $1.5 billion, on the new rules. The price cuts are expected to hit smaller domestic companies more than they will Big Pharma, First Shanghai Securities analyst Linus Yip told Reuters. Some analysts are expecting more drug-price cuts in China. “What becomes worrying is that there is at least a short term momentum for the government to irrationally slash prices further in order to contain inflation at a time of rising production and regulatory costs,” James Shen, publisher of Pharma China, told Reuters.

Health reform driving growth in China IVD industry – experts
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-30)
China’s ongoing health care reform is a key growth driver for the country’s in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry, insiders said at an IVD summit in Shanghai. According to the health official, lack of innovation remains the biggest challenge facing the sector. The industry is largely comprised of small firms, many of which have few research resources and no choice but to engage in price wars to keep afloat. And some domestic companies prioritize improving the speed of IVD detection over the accuracy. Some health care reforms, however, are likely to dampen IVD consumption, according to some insiders. Besides, the introduction of clinical pathways means hospitals will offer only basic tests to patients to keep costs down. And the requirement for hospitals of the same grade to share diagnostic test results will also dent consumption. Doctors in China often refuse to recognize test results from other hospitals, and instead demand that patients retake the test in their institution.

MoH updates rules for hospital dispensaries
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-30)
China updated its regulations for drug dispensaries in medical institutions on March 30 for the first time since 2002. The previous regulations required China’s Grade II and Grade III hospitals to set up hospital dispensary management committees. Under new rules, jointly issued by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM), such committees now have the authority to draw up formularies and essential drug lists for their hospitals. Furthermore, the updates strengthen the role of clinical pharmacists in hospital dispensaries, stipulating that Grade III hospitals should have at least five clinical pharmacists, and Grade II hospitals three. “Clinical pharmacy is in its infancy in China, and although clinical pharmacists play an important role in large hospitals in China’s big cities, instituting the practice throughout the health care system remains a challenge,” said Xu Lijuan, pharmacy director at Jilin Provincial People’s Hospital.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Takeda Pharma Ups Commitment to China
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-03-23)
Takeda Pharma of Japan, which bills itself as the largest pharma in Asia, has signed an agreement with China Medical City in Taizhou. The company’s China subsidiary will build facilities in CMC, including buildings for R&D, manufacturing and marketing of innovative drugs. Takeda invested $150 million Takeda China, and the press release also said the subsidiary would have registered capital of $50 million. In its new-found commitment to China, Takeda pledged to send the best technology and talent to the PRC, according to Haruhiko Hirate, Chairman of the Asian Region for Takeda. However, he said the goal will be marketing to the entire populace of China and production of drugs there. He did not mention R&D. Takeda has R&D facilities in Europe and the US, in addition to its native Japan. In 2010, Takeda said it was targeting a 10-fold increase in revenues from China in the next five years. Revenues are currently $40 million. The company’s major difficulty, it said, was a 50% to 60% loss of its China sales force every year. To stem the exodus, the company hired Hirate, who had been with Merck in Japan. His goal is to bring the attrition rate closer to the 10%-20% level of its competitors. Takeda is the manufacturer of Actos, the best-selling diabetes drug in the world. In China, Takeda shares marketing duties for Actos with Pfizer. Takeda has just 170 sales reps in China, while Pfizer has 3,000.

China Resources to acquire Kangxingyuan Pharma
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-24)
China Resources (Holdings) Co. Ltd. (China Resources), a state-owned conglomerate, announced March 24 it will inject RMB 1.5 billion ($228.75 million) into Shanxi Kangxingyuan Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. over the next five years to acquire full ownership of the firm. Referring to the deal as a restructuring in its announcement, China Resources said it plans to build Kangxingyuan Pharma into a base for the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) in Shanxi Province, as well as a research and development (R&D) and distribution hub. Based in Shanxi’s Taiyuan City, Kangxingyuan Pharma’s distribution network reaches more than 100 hospitals in Shanxi and northern China, as well as military hospitals across the country.

Hengrui Medicine to boost R&D investment in 2011
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-28)
Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co. Ltd. (Hengrui Medicine) plans to boost research and development (R&D) investment to about RMB 430 million ($65.60 million) in 2011, almost 10 percent of its projected revenue for the year, a senior employee told an industry conference in Shanghai. Hengrui Medicine’s R&D investment amounted to about 8 percent of its annual revenue in the last two years, according to a research note from domestic securities firm Industrial Securities Co. Ltd. Domestic pharma companies in China typically invest about 1 to 2 percent of annual revenue in R&D, compared to between 10 and 15 percent for multinational drug makers, according to state media. The money will mainly go toward oncology, diabetes and biological drug R&D, Zhang Lianshan, Hengrui Medicine’s global head of research, said at the Asia Pharma R&D Leaders 2011 conference. Hengrui Medicine, one of China’s biggest producers of oncology drugs, has been ramping up R&D investment in recent years. It has one of the largest R&D teams among foreign and domestic pharma firms in China, with more than 600 scientists in Shanghai, Jiangsu Province and the U.S., Zhang said. The company had filed 151 patent applications by the end of 2010, including 49 international patents.

Zhongyi Pharma clinches South Korean GMP
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-28)
Tianjin Zhongyi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) maker, has won Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification from South Korea’s Food and Drug Administration, a company representative said. The company obtained certification for its granule and extract workshops, said the representative, surnamed Zhao. According to Zhao, Zhongyi Pharma is the first domestic TCM manufacturer to pass South Korean GMP inspections, and the certification will boost the company’s exports to the country. The firm had to improve fingerprints and quality checks for raw TCM materials to win certification. Fingerprinting is a method used to give a breakdown of the constituent ingredients of raw TCM materials. Zhongyi Pharma was set up in 1993 by Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and manufactures over 70 TCM products. Its major products include ginseng extract, dry liquid extract of Radix Cutellariae, or Baical Skullcap root, and dandelion granules. The company exports to countries including Japan and South Korea.

Hisun Pharma inks API supply deal with Pfizer
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-29)
Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Hisun Pharma) has signed a contract with Pfizer Asia Manufacturing Pte Ltd. to supply a veterinary active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to the Singapore-based company, a Hisun Pharma representative said. “Hisun Pharma will start supplying the API this year but production has not started yet,” said an investor relations representative with Hisun Pharma surnamed Huang. “We currently supply APIs for human use to Pfizer,” Huang added. The five-year contract will generate annual sales revenue of $15 million to $25 million for Hisun Pharma. Pfizer Inc. established Pfizer Asia Manufacturing in 2000 to manage production outsourcing for a range of APIs and finished drugs in Asia. Hisun Pharma announced earlier this month it had received orders from Pfizer and Eli Lilly for two veterinary APIs each, and from an unnamed multinational drug maker for an oncology intermediate. Huang said Hisun Pharma has yet to sign agreements with Eli Lilly and the unnamed company.

More pharma MNCs coming to China for R&D – Roche executive
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-29)
A growing number of multinational companies (MNC) are choosing to conduct original research and development (R&D) in China, a senior executive from Roche said at the 2011 BioPharm China Congress in Shanghai. Pfizer plans to move its antibacterial research operations from Connecticut in the U.S. to Shanghai, while Eli Lilly is constructing a diabetes R&D center in China expected to be operational in the second half of this year, according to Zhang, chief technology officer (CTO) of Roche R&D Center (China) Ltd. Furthermore, GlaxoSmithKline has phase I clinical trials of one drug underway in China, Zhang said. Some international non-profit organizations are also attracted to the R&D opportunities on offer in China, according to Zhang. Last week, the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development and the International Scientific Exchange Foundation of China signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to set up an R&D center for innovative new treatments for infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS. MNCs, however, continue to struggle with China’s inefficient regulatory system. It typically takes three to five years longer to get market approval for a drug in China than in most developed markets.

Mindray Medical plans R&D, production base in Chengdu
(Interfax.cn, 2010-03-30)
Mindray Medical International Ltd., a global leader in medical device manufacturing, has signed an agreement with the government of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, to set up a research and manufacturing base in the city, a company representative said. The facility will conduct research in ultrasound equipment and in-vitro devices (IVD), and include a 33,300 square-meter production plant, said an investor relations representative with Mindray Medical surnamed Hong. The company plans to invest a total of RMB 1 billion ($152.40 million) in the project. Mindray Medical expects the site to be operational by the end of 2013, and will staff it with more than 500 research technicians, as well as 300 to 500 sales representatives. “We have been discussing the R&D center with the Chengdu government since last year. Mindray Medical currently has some 1,400 scientists in six R&D centers around the world, including the U.S and Sweden,” said Hong.

Novartis acquires majority stake in Zhejiang Tianyuan
(Bioportfolio, 2011-03-22)
Novartis has acquired 85% stake in Zhejiang Tianyuan Bio-Pharmaceutical, a Chinese vaccines company, as part of its plans to expand presence in Chinese vaccine market. Novartis further intends to collaborate with the Chinese vaccine company for strengthening its vaccines portfolio and pipeline, as well as align production processes and quality standards. Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics head Andrin Oswald said this agreement combines the strength of their vaccines R&D strategy and pipeline with Tianyuan’s knowledge of the vaccines market in China, enabling them to better deliver a range of vaccines to the Chinese people. Tianyuan chairman and CEO Ding Xiaohang said they have already identified several joint development programs that could be implemented in China over the next ten years, with the potential of launching key products responding to unmet medical needs in the mid-term. China is the world’s third largest vaccines market, with annual industry sales of more than $1 billion and expectations for sustained double-digit growth in the future, according to the statement.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°185

Mar
24
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,

Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held at the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

 

  • Local governments must spend more on grassroots health care – official
  • Shanghai issues preliminary health reform plan
  • Shanghai publie un plan de réforme de santé préliminaire
  • China to scrutinize medical pricing nationwide
  • Novartis Aims to Recover Pace in China
  • China approves Novo Nordisk diabetes drug Victoza

Healthcare News

Local governments must spend more on grassroots health care – official
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-17)
Local governments must do more to ensure China’s grassroots health institutions receive sufficient funding to reduce their reliance on income from drug sales and implement the essential drug system, Zhang Mao, the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) party secretary, told health officials. China released an updated national essential drug list in 2009, comprising of 307 drugs which qualify for reimbursement under the national medical insurance scheme. The majority of items on the list are generic drugs which have been on the market for a long time. China aims to roll out the system to all grassroots medical institutions by February 2012. According to an MoH announcement, Minister of Health Chen Zhu at the meeting called for grassroots medical institutions and government insurance agencies to adopt the outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) as a way of cutting administrative costs and encouraging reasonable drug use. Under OPPS, patients are charged a single fee for registration, diagnosis and treatment, and there are stricter limits on which drugs are eligible for reimbursement. Reforms will also focus on management of public health programs, training for grassroots general practitioners (GP) and fostering cooperation between grassroots institutions and hospitals.

Hebei Province to test rural health reforms
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-17)
North China’s Hebei Province will conduct tests of rural health care reforms from April to December this year, the provincial government announced. The tests will take place in county districts in Shijiazhuang and Tangshan cities, as well as Langfang City’s Xianghe County, the announcement said. Hebei is among the few provinces prioritizing rural health care reform. The provincial government will allocate funds to ensure each village clinic in the specified areas has medical equipment worth RMB 50,000 ($7,610.35), and that each township clinic has equipment worth RMB 1 million ($152,207), including X-ray machines and electrocardiographs. Furthermore, village clinics will institute the essential drug system and be assigned a licensed doctor. Local health authorities will create medical records for all residents and organize regular annual check-ups for residents over the age of 45. Hebei’s reforms also include funding for the training of local medical students, with the understanding that they will return to work in rural areas after graduation.

Shanghai issues preliminary health reform plan
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-16)
Shanghai Municipal Government has released preliminary health care reform guidelines for public consultation, the Shanghai arm of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced. The plan is largely based on the national health reform guidelines issued in 2009, but with more ambitious targets in some areas. The deadline for public input is March 22. According to the preliminary guidelines, the ceiling for reimbursement under the urban employee medical insurance scheme will jump from RMB 70,000 ($10,654) to RMB 280,000 ($42,618), and inpatients will be able to claim up to 70 percent of their medical expenses under the program. The rural medical insurance scheme will be extended to cover 80 percent of outpatient expenses in village clinics, 70 percent in community health centers (CHC), 60 percent in Grade II hospitals, and 50 percent in Grade III hospitals. Shanghai’s public health program will be enlarged to include screening for colorectal cancer, pneumonia immunization for the elderly and diseases screening for infants. Furthermore, Shanghai intends to test a family doctor system in selected community health institutions. The city also plans to establish international medical parks in Pudong New Area and Hongqiao Business District to help its pharma industry.

Success of public hospital reform hinges on local government funding – industry experts
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-16)
China launched public hospital reform on a trial basis in February 2010. Central government officials oversee reform in 16 cities, while provincial authorities provide supervision in 31 cities. Since the reform was launched, hospitals have been experimenting with various organizational structures. Seven hospitals and 18 community health centers in Jiangsu Province’s Zhenjiang City set up two health care alliances in November 2009, with managerial teams dedicated to improving operating efficiencies. On March 7, the State Council issued provisional guidelines for public hospital reform in 2011, which stipulated that hospitals establish a board of directors and reduce reliance on drug revenue by charging prescription fees and bumping up the cost of medical services. The guidelines put county-level hospitals at the top of the agenda for the first time. Some 300 county hospitals will be selected to try new approaches to a human resource management, performance-based pay for doctors, treatment prices, clinical pathways and information systems. Meanwhile, Zhang Mao, party secretary for the Ministry of Health (MoH), said March 8 that reform should start with county hospitals and move onto the challenges facing larger hospitals.

China to scrutinize medical pricing nationwide
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-16)
China plans to launch a nationwide inspection of pricing in the health care sector next month, according to a document issued by six government agencies. Provincial and county-level pricing bureaus will review prices charged by drug makers, pharmacies and medical institutions since Jan. 1, 2010. Areas of particular concern include drug makers’ alteration of product specifications to avoid National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) price caps, hospitals disregard of pricing rules, and irregular practices on the part of government procurement agencies. Provincial pricing bureaus are required submit their findings to the NDRC by Nov. 30, 2011. Agencies involved in the inspection include the NDRC, the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Supervision (MoS). NDRC figures indicate that illegal pricing practices are most common in China’s health care sector. 15,304 such cases were investigated in the sector last year, accounting for 32.3 percent of all price manipulation cases nationally. In 2010, hospitals engaged in illegal pricing were ordered to compensate patients to the tune of RMB 53.2 million ($8.10 million), with hospitals and pharmaceutical firms paying additional fines totaling RMB 180 million ($27.40 million).

China dental equipment imports up an average of 27.89 per year since 2006
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-18)
China’s imports of dental equipment grew at an average annual rate of 27.89 percent during the period of the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), according to figures released by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products. The chamber attributed growth to China’s rising living standards and increased awareness of dental care. Meanwhile, imports of dental equipment were worth $153 million in 2010, up 21.37 percent year-on-year. Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong Province accounted for 37.94 percent, 27.76 percent and 21.1 percent of total imports in 2010, respectively. Germany was the largest source of China’s dental equipment last year, with exports worth $27.17 million, followed by Switzerland, Japan, the U.S. and Brazil.

MoH issues new rules for nursing homes
(China MOH, 2011-03-21)
China’s Ministry of Health (MoH) issued new regulations for nursing homes on March 18. Under the new rules, homes must have at least 50 beds, as well as departments of internal medicine, rehabilitation and hospice care. Staff must include pharmacists, health care technicians, clinical dietitians and rehabilitation therapists. This is the first time China has issued separate rules for nursing homes, which were previously governed by general standards for medical institutions issued in 1994. Under the previous rules, nursing homes were only required to have 20 beds and there were fewer requirements for facilities. Improving care for the elderly is an important part of China’s health care reform, the MoH said in a statement. China is home to an rapidly ageing population, a problem exacerbated by the country’s one-child policy. The MoH urged local health authorities to improve access to nursing homes in their jurisdiction, and proposed turning some Grade II hospitals into nursing homes as a possible solution. The ministry also told local governments to institute policies designed to attract private investment in nursing homes.

Ningxia opens limb dysfunction rehab center
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-18)
Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region has opened its first rehabilitation center for limb dysfunction in the regional capital of Yinchuan, local media reported. The 5,000 square-meter center in Ningxia Workers Hospital was established in collaboration with Ningxia Medical University General Hospital, one of the top hospitals in the region, Ningxia Daily reported. The facility has capacity for 100 patients, and focuses on early treatment for limb dysfunctions caused by strokes, cerebral thrombosis and lumbar diseases. Both hospitals are involved in operating the facility, and the university hospital has procured equipment for the center worth RMB 5 million ($760,535 million).

China continues to struggle with TB epidemic – MoH survey
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-22)
China has made slow progress in the fight against tuberculosis (TB) in the past decade, despite boosting government spending, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the Ministry of Health (MoH). China’s once-a-decade survey of the disease, conducted in the second quarter of last year, showed that the incidence of TB declined slightly from 466 per 100,000 people in 2000 to 459 per 100,000 people in 2010. Central government spending to combat the disease ballooned from RMB 40 million ($6.09 million) in 2000 to RMB 560 million ($85.34 million) last year. Aggregate annual spending by local governments, meanwhile, rose from RMB 72.5 million ($11.05 million) to RMB 400 million ($60.9 million) over the ten-year period. The ministry pointed to China’s high prevalence of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) as a particular challenge. MDR-TB accounts for 6.8 percent of TB cases in China, compared to 5.3 percent globally. Meanwhile, the occurrence of TB in western China is more than 2.4 times that of eastern China, while the occurrence in rural areas is 1.6 times greater than in cities and townships, according to the survey. China has the world’s second largest number of TB sufferers after India, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

China may start provincial medical device tenders this year

(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-22)
China may start holding provincial-level tenders for high-end medical devices and in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) kits this year, a senior industry executive said at the IVD Summit 2011 in Shanghai. The Ministry of Health (MoH) held a national tender for high-end medical devices for the first time in 2008, but did not go on to hold subsequent annual tenders. Meanwhile, IVD tenders are presently run by hospitals and health authorities at district and municipal levels. Some provincial authorities may invite tenders for IVDs, with a gradual nationwide roll-out of the practice, Wu Lebin, president of Biosino Bio-technology & Science Inc., said at the summit. Over the last decade, China’s health authorities have tried to improve management of government tenders in a bid to reduce health care costs. But the focus on cost-cutting has often come at the expense of quality.

China Touts Quick Identification of Novel Deadly Pathogen
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-03-18)
China credited increased surveillance for rapid identification of a new pathogen that caused death in 30% of all diagnosed cases. In 2009 and 2010, at least 240 cases of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) occurred in rural sections of eastern China. China scientists, working with a grant from the China Mega-Project for Infectious Diseases, identified a tick as the carrier. The researchers did not find evidence of human-to-human transmission.

Japan quake felt in China’s API industry
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-23)
Japan is an important trade partner for China’s pharma industry – the second largest source of China’s API imports in 2010, and the fourth largest export destination. The quake has dented the output of some pharma firms in Japan which supply pharmaceutical intermediates to China, and forced others to halt production altogether. This has meant price hikes for some APIs in China, but good news for share prices of manufacturers, many of which rose through last week. Meanwhile, the price of calcium pantothenate API is also set to rise. The earthquake has reduced the output of Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd., a leading global supplier of the ingredient. The price of calcium pantothenate, which has been fluctuating between RMB 50 ($7.61) and RMB 55 ($8.37) per kilogram on the China market for several years, now looks set to pass RMB 60 ($9.13) per kilogram. The quake will also dampen China exports of citric acid and vitamin C APIs to Japan, which have been booming recently, according to Zhao Bing, an analyst from Shanghai Securities. Another China export popular in Japan, raw traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) materials, will also be negatively affected. China does not export many finished medicines to Japan, so this sector will be largely unaffected.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Lepu Medical net profit surges 40 pct in 2010
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-18)

Lepu Medical Technology (Beijing) Co. Ltd., a leading medical device maker, saw net profit surge 40.47 percent year-on-year in 2010 to RMB 410.48 million ($62.43 million) on the back of strong sales, according to its annual financial report released. The company saw rapid sales increases for its drug-eluting stents (DES) and occlusion devices, particularly in second- and third-tier cities, the report said. DESs are small devices inserted into problematic peripheral or coronary arteries which release drugs to block cell proliferation and prevent fibrosis that could otherwise block the artery. Occlusion devices are used to block blood vessels in the treatment of congenital heart defects. Meanwhile, Lepu Medical saw earnings of RMB 0.5 ($0.08) per share on the Shenzhen Growth Enterprise Market (GEM), up 29.83 percent on a yearly basis. Operating revenue was up 36.25 percent from 2009 at RMB 770.1 million ($117.13 million). The Beijing-based company has been striving to forge an integrated cardiovascular products company since listing in October 2009.

Novartis Aims to Recover Pace in China
(Biospace, 2011-03-21)
Novartis expects growth in China to recover after business restructuring in the country slowed the Swiss drug giant’s sales here last year, Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said. The Basel-based pharmaceutical company plans this year to increase its sales force in China, with the aim of selling more drugs to local hospitals and health clinics. Joe Jimenez declined to specify how many employees Novartis will add to the roughly 5,000 it has currently in China. In response to government pressure to push more decision-making to the provincial level, Novartis last year switched management of its operations to regional offices from a central headquarters in Beijing, Mr. Jimenez said. As it focused on that restructuring, the company’s growth in China in 2010 fell below the 30% rate of 2009. Novartis’s global sales in 2010 were up 14% from a year earlier to $50.6 billion. Net income was up 18% to $9.97 billion. China’s importance has grown for Novartis and other companies as opportunities wane in the U.S. and Europe, where governments have been cutting reimbursements for branded drugs. China’s central government announced in 2009 a major overhaul of its health-care system to provide basic medical insurance coverage for 90% of its 1.3 billion people. While the government has said it plans to increase its spending on health care by 16% in 2011, to roughly $26 billion. Part of that goes to reimbursements for pharmaceuticals. Novartis also sees opportunities in China’s vaccination market, one of the world’s largest. China’s government has expanded community health clinics in smaller cities and rural regions to provide more preventive care. Novartis is expanding its low-cost vaccinations to serve China’s less-developed regions.

China approves Novo Nordisk diabetes drug Victoza
(Reuters, 2011-03-16)
Danish insulin giant Novo Nordisk said that the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) has approved Victoza (liraglutide) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and the company expects to launch the product in that market during the second quarter of this year. Approval in China comes sooner than expected, as the company had previously anticipated this would come through in the second half of this year. China’s type 2 diabetes market will increase from a value of $1.4 billion in 2009 to $2.5 billion in 2014, according to an emerging markets report from advisory firm Decision Resources, which attributes this growth to an increasing drug-treated population, expanding medical insurance coverage and the launch and adoption of new drugs in the market. Victoza is the first once-daily human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue approved in China, developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults. “The Chinese approval of Victoza represents an exciting opportunity to further advance therapy in people with type 2 diabetes in China,” says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer of Novo Nordisk.

Biotechnologies

Union Stem Cell plans private placement to fund acquisition
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-23)
Zhongyuan Union Stem Cell Bioengineering Corp. (Union Stem Cell), a leading stem cell collection and storage provider, plans to raise a maximum of RMB 457.01 million ($69.74 million) in a private placement to fund the acquisition of Beijing Heze Biotechnology Co. Ltd., Union Stem Cell announced. According to the announcement, Union Stem Cell plans to issue a maximum of 48.67 million shares at a minimum price of RMB 9.39 ($1.43) per share to Tianjin Sun Investment Group Co. Ltd., giving the private equity firm a 13.02 percent stake. Meanwhile, Tianjin Development Area Deyuan Investment Co. Ltd., currently Union Stem Cell’s biggest shareholder, will see its stake diluted from 20.04 percent to 17.43 percent, the announcement said. The placement remains subject to the approval of shareholders and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°184

Mar
17
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers, 
Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held at the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

 

  • Beijing Municipality extends medical insurance coverage
  • Public health care spending to rise 16 pct in 2011
  • China to increase focus on county hospital reform – MoH
  • China medical device trade surges 23 pct in 2010
  • NDRC unveils $61-mln TCM spending package

Healthcare News

Beijing Municipality extends medical insurance coverage
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-09)
Beijing’s bureau of human resources and social security has extended basic medical insurance coverage in the capital to about 800 additional drugs, the municipal government announced. The program will now cover a total of 2,510 medications, including 1,292 Western medicines and 1,218 traditional Chinese medicines (TCM). Some 866 drugs have been added to the reimbursement list, last updated in 2005, while 84 were removed due to safety concerns or low consumption. The changes will take effect on July 1, and the bureau estimates they will save RMB 500 million ($76.10 million) every year for Beijing’s insurance holders. Additions include insulin glargine injection for diabetes, olmesartan medoxomil for hypertension, temozolomide for tumors, and telbivudine and entecavir for hepatitis B. There are 1,926 category A medicines on the new list, or 76.7 percent of the total – compared to 22.9 percent on the national medical insurance drug list. Category A drugs are eligible for full reimbursement. Reimbursement rates for category B medicines top out at 90 percent, and the exact rate will now be means-tested. Previously, insurance holders had to shoulder at least 50 percent of the cost of about a quarter of category B drugs on the 2005 list. Furthermore, policy holders can claim reimbursement for 29 chronic disease medications purchased in community health centers (CHC), a measure intended to encourage sufferers of these disease to use grassroots health care rather than larger hospitals.

Public health care spending to rise 16 pct in 2011
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-09)
China’s central government plans to inject RMB 172.76 billion ($26.30 billion) into the health care system this year, up 16.3 percent year-on-year, Minister of Finance Xie Xuren told press in Beijing. The government plans to spend 70 billion ($10.65 billion) on the national medical insurance program, up 35.7 percent from last year. Government subsidies for rural medical insurance will rise to RMB 200 ($30.44) per person from RMB 120 ($18.26) last year. Another RMB 34.6 billion ($5.27 billion) will go towards public health initiatives like immunization programs and epidemic disease prevention, and public health subsidies will grow to RMB 25 ($3.81) per resident from RMB 15 ($2.28) in 2010. The government also plans to increase financial aid for poor patients and keep rolling out public hospital reform, Xie said. The central government spent RMB 127.32 billion ($19.38 billion) on health care in 2009, and RMB 148.54 billion ($22.61 billion) in 2010. Meanwhile, total government health care spending, including local government spending, could hit RMB 1,410 billion ($214.61 billion) for the three years from 2009 to 2011.

China to increase focus on county hospital reform – MoH
(China MOH, 2011-03-10)
China will increase its focus on reforming county-level hospitals in the coming year, Minister of Health Chen Zhu told press in Beijing. “County hospitals provide about 80 percent of treatment for rural residents. Increasing this figure to 90 percent and ensuring county hospitals can handle some difficult-to-treat diseases would do a lot to streamline the national medical insurance program,” Chen said. Reform should start with county hospitals then move onto the challenge of larger hospitals, Zhang Mao, party secretary for the Ministry of Health (MOH). Counties form the third level of China’s administrative hierarchy after the provincial and prefecture levels. The classification includes autonomous counties, county-level cities and city districts. There are 1,464 counties in mainland China, and a total of 2,862 county-level divisions. The MoH announced it will select 300 county hospitals this year to experiment with reform in the areas of human resource management, performance-based pay for doctors, treatment prices, clinical pathways and information systems. The MoH expects all counties with more than 300,000 residents will have at least one Grade II Class A hospital by year-end. Counties are home to 70 percent of China’s population, more than 900 million people. County hospitals handled 47 percent of inpatients in the country’s public hospitals last year.

NDRC unveils $61-mln TCM spending package
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-11)
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has selected 66 traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) projects to receive government grants totaling RMB 400 million ($60.79 million), state media reported. The money will be spent in three areas: TCM material plantations, commercialization projects and quality control, according to China News of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The report did not say which branch of government the funding would come from. The grants for TCM plantations are intended to insulate the industry from rising raw material prices and ensure supplies of input materials for manufacturers, the report said. The commercialization projects set to receive funding include medicines for cancer, diabetes, flu, and cardiovascular, liver, gynecological and gastrointestinal diseases. Among them is Anhui Jiren Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.’s project to help commercialize Shufeng Jiedu granules, a cold medicine, which will receive a grant of RMB 8 million ($1.22 million). The project is slated for completion within two years. The NDRC has also allocated funding to support the development of TCM manufacturing equipment, and aims to formulate industry standards for this area in the future.

Hangzhou unveils 5-year health care targets
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-11)
Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, has issued health care goals for the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), the provincial health department announced. The city plans to establish eight Grade III hospitals by 2015, including the 60-bed Binjiang Hospital, the 2,000-bed Zhejiang International Medical Center, and the 350-bed Dingqiao Hospital. Hangzhou also aims to reduce patient waiting times in Grade III institutions to below five minutes, and expand grassroots health care so 95 percent of urban residents are within 15 minutes walk of a medical institution, and rural residents within 20 minutes walk. The city also plans to increase doctor numbers to 3.8 per 1,000 residents by 2015, compared to 3.53 in 2010.

China medical device trade surges 23 pct in 2010
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-10)
China’s medical device trade was worth $22.7 billion in 2010, up 23.47 percent year-on-year, according to figures released by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines & Health Products. Medical device exports for the year were worth $14.70 billion, up 23.47 percent from 2009, while imports totaled $7.96 billion, up 30.35 percent. China exported medical devices to 216 counties and regions, with the U.S., Japan and Germany remaining the top three destinations, accounting for 43.95 percent of the total exports by value. Meanwhile, medical device exports to Africa in 2010 skyrocketed by 41.7 percent year-on-year to $529 million.

MoH to test health reforms in Shandong Province
(China MOH, 2011-03-14)
China’s Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Shandong provincial government signed an agreement March 11 to collaborate on testing health reforms, the ministry announced. According to the announcement, Shandong will act as a platform to test national health care reforms, while the ministry will help the province with public health campaigns, training for medical staff and in setting up a network to handle public health emergencies. The MoH will also help the province develop two economic zones: the Yellow River Delta Region Special Health Care Development Exemplary Zone and the Shandong Peninsular Blue Economic Zone. Both were recently designated national-level economic zones by the State Council, China’s cabinet. In March last year, the MoH signed similar agreements with governments in Shaanxi and Guangxi provinces. Shaanxi has since tested reforms of county-level hospitals which might be extended nationwide this year.

Denmark’s CCBR opens clinical trial center in Guangzhou
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-14)
Denmark-based clinical trial contractor CCBR has opened a clinical trial center in Nanfang Hospital in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, state media reported. The hospital will manage the center’s daily operations and provide equipment and personnel, while CCBR will train staff and secure clinical trial contracts with international drug makers, according to China News Agency. The hospital will also assist CCBR in clinical trial applications to China’s regulators. The center will focus on drugs used to treat osteoporosis, diabetes, liver diseases and asthma, the report said. CCBR and Nanfang Hospital have agreed to channel all profit during the center’s first three years of operation back into the facility. After the three years, a minimum 20 percent of the center’s annual profit will be used to fund its daily operation. Based in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, CCBR operates a total of 11 clinical trial sites in Europe, China, India and Brazil.

China API exports set to slow in 2011 – report
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-15)
China’s exports of active pharmaceuticals ingredients (API) will grow in value about by about 20 percent on a yearly basis in 2011, down from 26.19 percent growth last year, according a report issued by China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products. China’s API exports amounted to 4.98 million tons in 2010, and were worth $20.30 billion. The chamber said growth in volume will drive up the value of China’s API exports this year, while the export prices will remain steady or edge upwards. Global demand for APIs will remain stable this year, the report said. Meanwhile, the global pharma market will grow by between five and seven percent this year, according to IMS Health figures. China is globally competitive in more than 60 kinds of API, including APIs for vitamin C, vitamin E, penicillin, antibiotics, paracetamol and citric acid. Domestic API manufacturers have been largely successful in their recent attempts to improve management and production techniques to offset rising production costs, the report said. Exports of APIs for cardiovascular drugs, respiratory drugs and cephalosporins each grew in value by 50 percent last year. State-owned companies made up more than half of China’s API exporters.

WHO opens flu research center in Beijing
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-15)
The World Health Organization (WHO) has opened a major influenza monitoring center in Beijing, China’s central government announced on its Web site. In October last year, the WHO selected the China National Influenza Center (CNIC), part of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to become the fifth station in its global flu monitoring network, which is called the WHO Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza. The center is the first of its kind in a developing country, the announcement said. There are four other such centers worldwide in the U.S., U.K., Japan and Australia. These centers form the core of the WHO flu monitoring network and collect and analyze flu data from 106 national flu centers worldwide. They recommend virus strains for use in vaccines and provide training for experts from other countries.

MoH to provide supplemental health care support to Guizhou Province
(China MOH, 2011-03-16)

China’s Ministry of Health (MoH) has agreed to provide supplementary health care support to Guizhou Province during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), the ministry announced. Under the agreement, the MoH will help the province – China’s poorest, in terms of per capita GDP – train doctors and improve medical infrastructure, as well as reduce its maternal and infant mortality rates to below the national average. The ministry will also give financial and technical support to combat fluorosis, or fluoride poisoning. This condition, caused by polluted water and coal, generally affects children under eight years old and is a widespread problem in the province. The agreement aims for Guizhou to have at least at least one general practitioner (GP) per 10,000 urban residents by 2015. Meanwhile, each township clinic should have at least one pediatric doctor and one GP, and each village clinic at least one pediatric nurse.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Simcere Files to Test Innovative Cancer Drug
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-03-12)
Simcere Pharma has filed an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the SFDA to start a Phase I trial of a novel monoclonal antibody intended to treat various forms of solid-tumor cancer. The mAb, known as APX003, was discovered by Apexigen of California. Simcere collaborated with Apexigen on the IND-enabling studies and owns China rights to the molecule. To advance its own development program, Apexigen has licensed China rights for three of its molecules to three China companies and collaborated with them on pre-clinical development.

Lukang Pharma net profit skyrockets 245 pct in 2010
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-14)
Leading domestic antibiotics maker Shandong Lukang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. saw net profit surge 244.89 percent year-on-year in 2010 to hit RMB 129 million ($19.62 million), according to its annual financial report released. The company attributed the surge to strong sales of antibiotic active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and intermediates, such as spectinomycin and 7-aminocephalosporanic acid (7-ACA). Meanwhile, Lukang Pharma’s operating revenue rose 10.63 percent year-on-year to RMB 2.2 billion ($334.62 million), and it saw earnings of RMB 0.22 ($0.03) per share. The company is targeting operating revenue of RMB 3.13 billion ($476.07 million) in 2011, the report said. In a separate announcement, the company unveiled plans to invest RMB 267.88 million ($40.74 million) in upgrading production lines for tylosin and salinomycin in a bid to shore up its position in the veterinary drugs market. Veterinary drugs brought the company sales revenue of RMB 398.68 million ($60.64 million) in 2010, up 18.52 percent from 2009.

Pfizer antibacterial research moving to China
(Fiercebiotech, 2011-03-16)
TheDay is reporting that Pfizer plans to move its antibacterial research group from Groton, CT to Shanghai, China. Some research scientists will stay on at the Groton site for up to two years as they finish up late-stage project; newer programs will move to China as soon as the site is ready. Pfizer’s antibacterial research includes drugs for the treatment of MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The paper notes that given the relatively small return on investments pharma companies reap from the generics-packed antibiotics market, the cheaper China digs could be a way for Pfizer to increase its profit margins. “Ten years ago, no one would have thought to go to Shanghai,” former Pfizer researcher and current Myometrics CEO James O’Malley said. Adds pharma blogger Larry Rothman, the move is “an acknowledgment of labor cost and high intellect in China.” Pharma has typically relied on China to support its R&D work elsewhere; Pfizer’s move signals a willingness to move more original research work into the country. Some analysts say this is the first time they have seen a pharma company shift an entire research unit to China. But with Big Pharma determined to seize any possible savings it can find in research and the entire industry focused on emerging markets, it probably will not be the last such relocation.

Biotechnologies

Four China Vitamin C Producers Charged in US Antitrust Suit
(Bioportfolio, 2011-03-15)
Four China pharmaceutical companies have been charged with price fixing in a US antitrust case. According to the plaintiffs, the four companies, representing about 60% of the world’s vitamin C production, signed a document in 2001 limiting the amount of vitamin C each one could export. As a result, the price of vitamin C rose from $2.50 per kilogram in December 2001 to $7 one year later. The defendants are not contesting the facts, choosing instead to raise an unusual defense: the government of China mandated the collusion.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°183

Mar
10
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,

Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held at the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

 

  • China’s vaccine regulators win WHO approval
  • NDRC cuts prices for 162 drugs
  • SFDA issues warning for weight-loss drug orlistat
  • MoH issues hospital pharmacy guidelines
  • BCHT Bio gets nod for AIDS vaccine trials

Healthcare News

Medtronic inaugurates its new regional headquarters building in Greater China
(Business Wire, 2011-03-09)
Medtronic,Inc., the global medical technology leader, announced the official opening of its new regional headquarters building in Shanghai, China. The new facility, a symbol of a permanent home of Medtronic in China, means the unfolding of the company’s blueprint of further localization in China, including local product development and manufacturing. The event was followed by a hospital information management forum, attended by leading hospital management experts. Three months before the opening of the new building, Medtronic had been awarded the regional headquarters status for multinational companies by the Shanghai government. As an innovative industry leader that uses technology to transform the way debilitating, chronic diseases are treated, Medtronic incorporated a state-of-the art training facility into the new China headquarters building. The training facility, named The Innovation Experience Center and open to Medtronic employees and customers, features a virtual cath lab, a future surgical room and a telemedicine room, and provides a place for employees and customers to gain hands-on experience with the latest technologies.

NDRC cuts prices for 162 drugs
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-08)
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has reduced price caps on 162 drugs by an average of 21 percent, effective from March 28, the state economic planning agency announced March 7. Higher-priced drugs generally saw deeper cuts, and the NDRC estimates the changes will save China’s patients about RMB 10 billion ($1.52 billion) every year. The cuts will affect a total of 1,300 products, mainly commonly-used anti-infective and circulatory system medications. This includes some 230 high-end products, mainly from foreign firms, which were previously subject to higher price caps than the domestically-made equivalents due to their superior quality. The inclusion of these products in the latest round of cuts comes after calls from the domestic industry to end preferential treatment now that the gap in quality has shrunk. Many multinationals have products on the list, including GSK, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Roche, Bayer and Sanofi-Aventis. This is the 27th round of drug price cuts in China since 1997. In December last year, the NDRC slashed caps on 174 drugs by an average of 19 percent, mainly affecting multinational companies.

Covance Receives AAALAC Accreditation for Its Early Development Facility in Shanghai
(Bioportfolio, 2011-03-07)
Covance Inc. announced that the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) awarded full accreditation to the company’s early development research facility in Shanghai, China. Promoting the humane treatment of animals in science worldwide through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs, AAALAC International recognizes the highest standards for animal care and use in 34 countries. Covance’s facility in Shanghai provides bioanalytical, toxicology, lead optimization toxicology, in-vivo PK screening, and metabolism services. Covance continues to invest in China to offer its clients a growing range of preclinical safety assessment services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies achieve study goals quickly and with greater confidence. “Covance is proud to offer a broad-range of premium early drug development services in China. Our clients expect a high-level of operational and scientific expertise from Covance, regardless of where in the world the work is performed, and, accordingly, we operate all of our preclinical sites on the same platform.” said Mike Lehmann, Corporate Senior Vice President and President, Nonclinical Safety Assessment.

SFDA issues warning for weight-loss drug orlistat
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-07)
China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) March 4 issued a safety warning for orlistat, a generic over-the-counter (OTC) weight-loss drug. The SFDA received more than 120 reports of adverse drug reactions (ADR) as of Dec. 31, 2010. Symptoms included constipation, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, irregular menstruation and rashes. ADR monitoring by manufacturers of the drug also identified liver damage as a potential side-effect. In May last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned of rare instances of severe liver damage resulting from orlistat use, but the watchdog stated it had not found a direct causal link. Meanwhile, China’s SFDA on Sept. 1 mandated that orlistat carry a warning on its label advising of the risk of severe liver damage, and ordered manufacturers to inform medical staff about the potential dangers of the drug. According to SFDA data, four firms have been approved to manufacture orlistat finished dosages in China, including Shanghai Roche Pharmaceutical Ltd.

China’s vaccine regulators win WHO approval
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-02)
China’s regulatory system for vaccines has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), opening new doors for domestic vaccine manufacturers, the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) announced March1. Domestic manufacturers can now apply more easily for the WHO prequalification program, which approves companies to supply United Nation’s agencies, the SFDA said. The regulator has asked the WHO to hold a teleconference on March 1 to provide advice to China’s vaccine manufacturers on applying for prequalification. China is the 36th country to obtain WHO approval for vaccine regulation, having failed appraisals in 1999, 2001 and 2005. The audit, conducted from Dec. 13 to Dec. 17 last year, looked at seven areas, including marketing and licensing, lot release and adverse events monitoring. China has over 30 vaccine manufacturers at present with an aggregate annual production capacity for 1 billion vaccine units.

Fever drug ADR allegation fans controversy
(Bioportfolio, 2011-03-02)
Drug safety is back in the public eye in China after media reports linked the fever drug nimesulide to a spate of adverse drug reactions (ADR) in children. China’s leading manufacturer of the drug, Hainan Honz Pharmaceutical Ltd. (Hainan Honz Pharma), however, has denied the claims with support from government-backed experts. Fever drug is a familiar euphemism for antipyretics. Hainan Honz Pharma has alleged that its main competitor in the fever medicine market, Shanghai Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Ltd. (Shanghai Johnson & Johnson), the China unit of U.S. pharma giant Johnson & Johnson, has had a hand in spreading what it believes are unsubstantiated claims that nimesulide causes ADRs. In November last year a senior doctor, addressing a pediatrics seminar in Beijing, said that his research had linked nimesulide to 4,703 ADRs in children in China from January 2004 to April 2010, including three fatalities. According to domestic media, the conference was sponsored by Shanghai Johnson & Johnson. The doctor’s research findings were reported by a handful of television news outlets. But on Feb. 12 this year, after the well-regarded domestic newspaper 21st Century Business Herald questioned the use of the drug on children, the controversy was rekindled. Some drugstores in Shanghai and Chongqing municipalities were reported to have pulled the drug off shelves. Hainan Honz Pharma has a lot at stake. The company leads the China market for nimesulide-based fever medicines with its Rui Zhi Qing brand. The product accounted for 73.01 percent of its total sales revenue in 2008 and 80.77 percent in 2009. However, Shanghai Johnson & Johnson dominates China’s overall fever medicine market with its acetaminophen-based Tylenol brand, and ibuprofen under the Motrin brand name.

Pharmaceutical Industry

MoH issues hospital pharmacy guidelines
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-07)
The Ministry of Health (MoH) on March 7 issued interim guidelines for hospital pharmacies which encourage dispensaries to adopt the clinical pharmacy system. Under the clinical pharmacy system, pharmacists and pharmaconomists coordinate with doctors and other medical staff to improve patient care and optimize the use of medication. This is the first time the ministry has issued guidelines for hospital pharmacies specifically rather than hospitals in general. The guidelines stipulate that pharmacy staff, excluding administrative and logistics personnel, should account for at least 8 percent of a hospital’s medical staff. The document also puts hospitals in charge of recruiting and training clinical pharmacists. Clinical pharmacy is in its infancy in China, and although clinical pharmacists play an important role in large hospitals in China’s big cities, instituting the practice throughout the health care system remains a challenge. Industry groups such as the China Pharmaceutical Association (CPA) have called for China’s health authorities to draft additional clinical pharmacy guidelines.

Renhe Pharma plans private placement to fund M&As
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-02)
Jiangxi Province-based drug maker Renhe Pharmacy Co. Ltd. announced March 2 it plans to raise a maximum of RMB 918 million ($139.72 million) in a private placement to fund a string of acquisitions. Renhe Pharma plans to issue a maximum of 50 million shares at a minimum price of RMB 18.36 ($2.79) per share to a group of 10 investors. The issuance remains subject to the approval of shareholders and regulators. With proceeds from the placement, Renhe Pharma plans to purchase a 70 percent stake in Jiangxi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., a state-owned manufacturer of chemical drugs and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), for RMB 320 million ($48.7 million). The company also plans to acquire full ownership of Jiangxi Yaodu Zhangshu Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Jiangxi Yaodu Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. for an aggregate RMB 300 million ($45.66 million). The two firms are sister company’s owned by Jiangxi Yaodu Zhangshu Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. Furthermore, Renhe Pharma’s parent company, Renhe Group, will transfer a 55 percent stake in drug packaging firm Jiangxi Renhe Drug Plastic Packaging Co. Ltd. to Renhe Pharma for RMB 50 million ($7.61 million).

Biotechnologies

HUYA Bioscience and Wuhan Biolake Form Alliance to Help Accelerate China’s Bio-Industry Development
(PR Newswire, 2011-03-08)
HUYA Bioscience International, a leader in globalizing China’s pharmaceutical innovations, announced a strategic alliance with Wuhan National Bio-industry Base, also known as Biolake. The alliance is expected to combine both parties’ resources to accelerate the development of pharmaceutical discoveries from China. Under the agreement, Biolake and HUYA will collaborate to promote new drug development. HUYA will have the first opportunity to provide assistance in evaluating research and development projects conducted by pharmaceutical enterprises residing in Biolake. HUYA will also be able to globalize select programs from Biolake through HUYA’s innovative co-development model and worldwide pharmaceutical partners.

Zhifei Bio to invest $55 mln in vaccine plant
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-09)
Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co. Ltd. (Zhifei Bio) will invest RMB 360 million ($54.79 million) to build production facilities in Beijing for a conjugate vaccine for meningococcal disease and haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), the company announced. According to the announcement, the vaccine immunizes patients against meningococcal polysaccharide group A and C and Hib with a single injection, and will be the first of its kind on the China market. Zhifei Bio has completed phase III clinical trials and is preparing to file an application for production approval, which the company expects to obtain in 2012. The 39,101 square-meter production plant has a designed annual production capacity of 30 million doses, and Zhifei Bio expects it will generate operating revenue of RMB 181.8 million ($27.67 million) and net profit of RMB 111 million ($16.89 million) annually. The facility is located in Beijing Economic and Development Zone, and will be operated by Zhifei Bio’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Beijing Luzhu biopharmaceutique Co. Ltd.. Construction will start by end-July, and is slated for completion within two years.

BCHT Bio gets nod for AIDS vaccine trials
(Bioportfolio, 2011-03-03)
Changchun BCHT Biotechnology Co. Ltd. (BCHT Bio) received the go-ahead from China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) to start phase I clinical trials of a therapeutic AIDS vaccine, its parent company Changchun High & New Technology Industry (Group) Inc. announced. According to the announcement, BCHT Bio signed an agreement in June 2009 to jointly commercialize the vaccine with its developer, the Virus Research Institute of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “BCHT Bio also has a preventative AIDS vaccine in phase II clinical trials. It was approved for phase I clinical trials in 2004,” an employee with BCHT Bio’s business development department. According to SFDA guidelines issued March 2003, phase I clinical trials for AIDS vaccines should test the safety of the medicine on 20 to 30 healthy volunteers. There are currently no AIDS vaccines on the global market. Only one other AIDS vaccine has been approved for clinical trials in China. It was developed by the CDC’s National Center for AIDS/ STD Control and Prevention. Based in Jilin Province’s Changchun City, BCHT Bio is an emerging developer and manufacturer of vaccines. Its parent company is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Events

NeoStem To Present at Rodman & Renshaw Annual China Investment Conference
(PRNewswire, 2011-03-08)
NeoStem, Inc., an international biopharmaceutical company with operations in the U.S. and China, announced that Dr. Ian Zhang, PhD, MBA, President and Managing Director of NeoStem (China), Inc. will present at the Rodman & Renshaw Annual China Investment Conference on March 8. The Conference, which runs from March 6 – 8, is being held in Shanghai, and Dr. Zhang will speak from 11:30 to 11:55. Dr. Ian Zhang will discuss NeoStem’s operations in China and development strategy going forward. In 2010, the Company began generating revenues from its stem cell-based regenerative medicine therapies, a key element of its growth strategy in both the United States and China. This effort began through a collaboration with Wendeng Hospital in China. Patients now have the opportunity to access the latest technology from the US in the treatment of a range of orthopedic conditions. Ongoing commercialization of NeoStem’s licensed orthopedic applications at Wendeng Hospital is being facilitated by the local government’s approval of pricing and reimbursement for these therapies. Patients are eligible for reimbursement of up to 80% of the cost of the procedure. NeoStem continues to expand its collaborations, recently adding Shijiazhuang Third Hospital in Hebei Province in December, 2010.

Tsinghua University opens neurological research institute
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-04)
A neurological research center jointly established by the Beijing Neurosurgical Institute (BNI) and Tsinghua University opened March 2, Tsinghua announced March 3. The Tsinghua University Clinical Neurological Research Institute will conduct translational research in the area of neurological diseases and explore new training methods for neurosurgeons. The center will be headed by Wang Zhongcheng, the director of BNI. Medical translational research uses research findings from a range of scientific disciplines to inform medical research and account for factors such as the needs of patients and market demands. Tsinghua University is one of China’s top academic institutions and especially strong in the sciences. BNI is a leading neurological research and treatment center in China. It was designated a national neurological research and training center by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1982. Translational research in the area of neurological diseases is still in its infancy in China. Early last year, BNI launched China’s first translational research project focusing on the area – in particular the treatment of cerebrovascular diseases and nervous system tumors. The project received a government grant of RMB 11.12 million ($1.69 million).

Scientific News

Zixin Pharma, CAS complete ginseng genome project
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-04)
Beijing Institute of Genomics, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and Jilin Zixin Pharmaceutical Industrial Co. Ltd. have completed a project to map a complete ginseng genome sequence, the company announced March 4. The genome sequence will help Zixin Pharma’s ginseng breeding program, which aims to develop strains of the herb suitable for large-scale cultivation. The discovery will also help the company improve quality control for its ginseng processing operations and develop ginseng-based drugs, the announcement said. The project was supported by the government of Tonghua City in northeast China’s Jilin Province. Jilin government issued a raft of policies in July last year designed to revitalize the province’s ginseng industry, including measures intended to standardize cultivation. Jilin accounts for approximately 80 percent of China’s total ginseng output, and Tonghua alone accounts for more than 24 percent. Tonghua-based traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) maker Zixin Pharma is vying to become a leading domestic manufacturer of ginseng products. The company has invested an aggregate RMB 1 billion ($152.2 million) in four plantation and processing facilities currently under construction in Jilin.

Aobo Medical debuts Parkinson treatment device
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-02)
Heilongjiang Province-based Harbin Aobo Medical Apparatus Co. Ltd has become China’s first domestic company to develop and market a medical device to treat Parkinson disease, the provincial science and technology department announced. The device took five years to develop and uses transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a noninvasive method which uses weak electric currents to depolarize neurons in the brain. According to the announcement, the development of the device received support from the government as a key provincial high-tech research project. It is already on the market and carries the Aobo brand name. An appraisal by the science and technology department found the device can alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s such as tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement and postural instability, and it is suitable for less severe sufferers of the diseases. The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) gave production approval for the device on Jan. 31 this year. Meanwhile, clinical tests involving more than 100 patients showed the device had a 70 percent success rate in reducing symptoms of the disease, according to a Xinhua news report on March 2.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°182

Mar
3
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,

Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held at the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

 

  • MoH moves to curb mother-infant disease transmission
  • Beijing Municipality unveils new measures to treat mental illness
  • Shenzhen unveils public hospital reform goals
  • Congress revives probe into tainted heparin
  • Huaren Pharma secures SFDA approval for two products

Healthcare News

Unhealthy lifestyle… but still smiling
(上海日报, 2011-02-26)
Although almost two-thirds of Shanghai men under 40 have medical problems caused by unhealthy lifestyles, locals are happier than residents in China’s other big cities, according to a survey. About 60 percent of Shanghai men aged between 20 to 40 years old suffer from fatty liver, research by the Chinese Medical Doctor Association and the Chinese Hospital Association found. Shanghai and Pékin recorded the most men in that age group with the disease, in the survey of 1.04 million people which also included residents from Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Wuhan. Fatty liver, high cholesterol, dropping bone density were the biggest health problems facing men nationally, according to the survey. Breast hyperplasia – abnormal tissue growth – ranked as the biggest health threat for women. This was followed by cervicitis and hemorrhoids.

Golden Meditech Acquires Remaining Stake in Chinese Herbal Medicine Business
(PRNewswire, 2011-02-25)
Golden Meditech Holdings Limited, China’s leading integrated healthcare enterprise, is pleased to announce that the Group will acquire the remaining interests in the Group’s Chinese herbal medicine business for a total consideration of HK$90 million in shares. Upon completion of the transaction, the Chinese herbal medicine business will become wholly-owned by the Group. The Chinese herbal medicine business is principally engaged in the research and development, production and distribution of Chinese herbal medicines in China and overseas, as well as the operation of a Chinese herbal medicine retail chain in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It also owns and operates an approved GMP production facility, spanning across 58,000 square meters, in Municipal Shanghai. As the Chinese herbal medicine industry in Europe is at the brink of recovery, the Group will assemble a new management team to improve its operations, efficiency, and scale of operations leveraging the Group’s resources in China.

Health on the Agenda at Food ingredients Asia-China Trade Show
(PR Newswire, 2011-02-25)
The Chinese market for food ingredients is still developing and China continues to enjoy a global reputation for being a low cost supplier. The appetite for health and natural products is fast growing in China; in 2010, the country has suppressed the US as the world’s largest market for health products. In the first half of the year, import and export of health products in China recorded $1.6 billion, an increase of 24%. In order to serve the country’s growing demand for health products and offer overseas manufacturers new opportunities for growth in the Chinese market, Nutraceutical Products China (NPC ) was launched in 2011. NPC is a unique platform for the nutraceutical market and will bring together new technology and knowledge. The show provides a complete insight into the functional, nutraceuticals and the pharmaceutical industries. A line of seminars, conferences and innovation programmes during the show will highlight pressing issues, and will facilitate exchange of ideas and best practices. The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) will hold a conference during the show, bringing the best minds in academia and industry to China, to share their experiences and strategies for success.

Congress revives probe into tainted heparin
(Fiercepharma, 2011-02-24)
U.S. and Chinese regulators still haven’t wrapped up their detective work in the 2008 heparin snafu, a congressional committee says, and they need to get cracking. It’s now three years after Baxter’s tainted blood thinner was recalled, but the FDA hasn’t identified the people responsible for the contamination, and so the House Energy and Commerce Committee is demanding records of the investigation. The FDA and its Chinese counterpart traced the heparin contamination to tainted raw ingredients sourced in China. But the raw material for heparin is produced in a wide array of small facilities around that country. Tracking the problem further required close cooperation between the FDA and Chinese regulators, and officials in China appeared less than cooperative.

Shenzhen unveils public hospital reform goals
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-28)
Guangdong Province’s Shenzhen Municipality on Feb. 25 unveiled targets for the city’s public hospital reform over the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) period. The city aims to have at least one Grade III public hospital in each of its eight districts by 2015, according to the plan. The plan also aims for community health centers (CHC) to provide over 40 percent of the city’s outpatient services by 2015, while serious diseases rather than common diseases should account for 70 percent of outpatient treatment in Grade III hospitals. Meanwhile, the number of private medical institutions will be increased to account for 30 percent of the city’s health care resources by 2015. Private institutions provided 5.19 percent hospital beds nationally in 2009, according to Ministry of Health (MoH) figures. The measures also aim to cut the average waiting time for outpatients in Grade III hospitals to 30 minutes by 2015. Two-hour waits are common for outpatients in China’s large hospitals. Furthermore, this year the city’s Grade II and Grade III hospitals must institute clinical pathways for five diseases and 10 diseases, respectively.

MoH moves to curb mother-infant disease transmission
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-24)
China’s Ministry of Health (MoH) on Feb. 3 issued prevention guidelines for mother-to-infant transmission of AIDS, syphilis and hepatitis B virus (HBV). According to the guidelines, local health authorities should incorporate diagnostic tests and educational measures into pre-marital and pregnancy checkups, and public health programs for children. Meanwhile, local branches of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will conduct an educational campaign focusing on high-risk demographics like pregnant women and migrant workers. Local government agencies will fund free AIDS medication for pregnant women and infants with HIV. The guidelines recommend treating mothers with a cocktail of zidovudine, lamivadin, lopinavir and ritonavir, and infants with either nevirapine or zidovudine. The guidelines also advise using gprocaine penicillin G or benzathine penicillin for pregnant syphilis patients. Ceftriaxone and erythromycin are listed as alternatives. Meanwhile, children with syphilis should receive benzathine penicillin G injections. Babies of HBV-positive mothers should be administered hepatitis B immunoglobulin injections within 24 hours of birth. The ministry told medical institutions to report all data relating to the three diseases to the relevant health authorities, and provincial branches of the CDC to submit information to the CDC’s central office on a monthly basis.

Beijing Municipality unveils new measures to treat mental illness
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-24)
Beijing Municipal Government on Feb. 24 unveiled measures to improve the treatment of severe mental illnesses which include establishing a patient database and working to provide free medication to sufferers. The document classifies 13 types of mental illness as severe, including dementia, schizophrenia and depression. The measures will take effect on March 1. The city health department will select medical institutions in each administrative district to act as mental health centers which will collect mental health data and set up and manage the database. Community health centers will be responsible for monitoring the condition of patients on the ground. Furthermore, Pékin health bureau is working with other government agencies in the city to provide free medication to those who suffer mental illness within the year. Central nervous system (CNS) drugs, the most common type of medicine used to treat mental disease, accounted for 8.68 percent of China’s hospitals’ drugs purchases by value in 2009, up from 5.93 percent a decade earlier, according to figures from Southern Medicine Economic Research Institute (SMERI), part of the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA). China’s Ministry of Health (MoH) last issued guidelines for mental health care in 2002.

Ruijin Hospital to set up Wuxi City facility
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-23)
Ruijin Hospital, part of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, signed an agreement to set up a hospital in Wuxi New District of Jiangsu Province’s Wuxi City, according to an announcement by the Wuxi government. The hospital will be funded by the government of Wuxi New District and the Shanghai-based, Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed real estate developer SRE Group Ltd., the announcement said, without providing further details on the hospital’s ownership structure. First phase construction of the hospital requires an estimated investment of RMB 500 million ($75.99 million). It will have an area of 72,000 square meters and contain 600 beds. The second phase will increase the bed count to 1,000. Ruijin Hospital will manage the facility and provide department directors as well as two- to three-year training programs for medical staff.

Shanghai Medical Association opens rare disease department
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-01)
Shanghai Medical Association (SMA) opened a rare disease department on Feb. 28, it announced the same day. According to the announcement, it will arrange rare disease training for doctors, conduct educational campaigns and help formulate policy. The department is among the first of its kind in China. At the opening ceremony, Ruijin Hospital‘s Professor Chen Nan said the department has an important role to play in making rare disease training available to China’s doctors. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies rare diseases as those with an incidence of between 0.65 and 1 per 1,000 people. However, national definitions vary: China defines rare diseases as those with an incidence below 1 per 10,000 infants or 1 per 500,000 population. Australia’s definition is about 1 per 10,000 people, and Japan’s 1 per 25,000 people.$

Pharmaceutical Industry

Livzon Pharma net profit slips 13 pct in 2010
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-28)
Livzon Pharmaceutical Group Inc. (Livzon Pharma) reported net profit of RMB 418 million ($63.58 million) in 2010, down 13.16 percent on a yearly basis, according to the company’s annual financial report released Feb. 26. The report attributed the shrinkage to rising marketing and distribution costs for prescription drugs and increased investment in research and development (R&D). Meanwhile, Livzon Pharma saw operational revenue grow 5.04 percent year-on-year to RMB 2.73 billion ($415.23 million). The rise was attributed to rapid growth in sales of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), which were up 18.92 percent year-on-year at RMB 916.95 million ($139.47 million).

Shanghai Pharma kicks off collaborative research project
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-24)
Shanghai Stock Exchange-listed Shanghai Pharmaceutical Holding Co. Ltd. (Shanghai Pharma) announced Feb. 24 it has agreed to develop and commercialize four innovative drugs in collaboration with Shanghai Fudan-Zhangjiang Bio-Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Fudan-Zhangjiang). Shanghai Pharma plans to invest an aggregate RMB 180 million ($27.34 million) in the six-year project, about 80 percent of the total cost, while Fudan-Zhangjiang will shoulder the remainder. The two parties will share equally new drug certificates, intellectual property rights (IPR) and sales revenue from the drugs. Shanghai Pharma has been Fudan-Zhangjiang’s biggest shareholder since 1999, and now holds a 29.6 percent stake in the company. Three of the drugs are tumor medicines, and Shanghai Pharma aims to enter this market through the move, the announcement said. One of the tumor drugs, vincristine sulfate liposome, is currently undergoing phase II clinical trials, while the other two, deuteroporphyrin injection and a recombinant human lymphotoxin-alpha (rhLT) derivative, have approval for the trials. The fourth drug is a high bio-activity recombinant human tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor for arthritis treatment.

Huaren Pharma secures SFDA approval for two products
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-25)
Qingdao Huaren Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. announced Feb. 23 it has received production approval from the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) for glycine irrigation (GI) solution and peritoneal dialysis (PD) solution. Huaren Pharma expects to commence production of PD solution, used to treat chronic kidney diseases, in April this year. Meanwhile, the company will start producing GI solution, used for urologic irrigation during transurethral surgical procedures, in the second half of 2011, the announcement said. Baxter Healthcare dominates China’s PD solution market with a share exceeding 90 percent, but Huaren Pharma hopes to compete with the U.S. drug maker in price and packaging material. Huaren Pharma’s main business is the manufacture of non-PVC soft bag infusions which it uses to package the solutions, while its U.S. competitor uses ordinary plastics.

Sanofi-Aventis acquires BMP Sunstone
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-02-25)
Drug giant Sanofi-aventis has announced that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of China based healthcare company, BMP Sunstone Corporation. At a special meeting of stockholders, BMP Sunstone stockholders approved the adoption of the merger agreement among BMP Sunstone, sanofi-aventis and Star 2010, a wholly owned subsidiary of sanofi-aventis, dated October 28, 2010, as amended on November 22, 2010. Following the special meeting, the merger was completed. Pursuant to the merger agreement, BMP Sunstone stockholders will receive USD 10.00 per share in cash for each share of common stock they owned immediately prior to the effective time of the merger. Stockholders of record will receive a letter of transmittal and instructions on how to surrender their shares of BMP Sunstone common stock to the paying agent in exchange for the merger consideration. With the closing of the merger, BMP Sunstone common stock will no longer trade on the NASDAQ Global Market.

Zhendong Pharma buys Beijing R&D center
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-01)
Shanxi Zhendong Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. announced March 1 it has agreed to purchase a research and development (R&D) center in Beijing for RMB 125 million ($19.03 million) from Huade Electronic Beijing Co. Ltd. The five-floor building in Beijing’s Haidian District occupies a 7,852 square-meter plot. The lease expires in March 2045 and the deal does not include equipment. Zhendong Pharma will relocate its three existing R&D facilities in Beijing and Shanxi Province to the new site. The company said its Shanxi facilities had failed to recruit talented staff. The company has various projects in the pipeline, including anti-tumor Yan Shu injection and breviscapinun dispersible tablets, a cardiovascular drug.

Wuzhong Pharma gets nod for phase III cancer drug trials
(Interfax.cn, 2011-03-01)
China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) has approved Jiangsu Wuzhong Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. to conduct phase III clinical trials of a recombinmant human endostatin (rhEn) injection, Wuzhong Pharma’s parent company, Jiangsu Wuzhong Industrial Co.Ltd.(Wuzhong Group) announced. The injection is mainly used to treat non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). The trials are expected to start in March and will last two years, the announcement said. New York Stock Exchange-listed Simcere Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. debuted rhEn injections in China with its Endu brand in July 2006. There are currently no other rhEn injections undergoing phase III clinical trials in China, according to Wuzhong Group. Following the announcement, Wuzhong Group’s shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange surged by the 10 percent daily limit to RMB 8.09 ($1.23).

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°181

Mar
24
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,
Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held in the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!
For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

 

  •  More AIDS meds to appear on national drug list
  • Harbin Pharma unveils restructuring
  • Two pharma executives sentenced for bribery
  • Guangzhou Pharma sets up translational research center
  • SFDA approves Walvax Bio hepatitis B vaccine trial

Healthcare News

More AIDS meds to appear on national drug list
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-17)
China will step up its battle against AIDS and increase the number of anti-AIDS drugs available on the national medical insurance scheme, the State Council said in a document released. The government will add AIDS drugs to the national essential drug list and give tax breaks to both domestic and imported AIDS medicines, the document said. China last updated its national essential drug list in 2009. It comprises 307 types of drugs which qualify for reimbursement under the national medical insurance scheme. The majority of drugs on the list are generic drugs which have been on the market for a long time. Provincial health authorities have since issued additional lists of essential drugs for their provinces. The ongoing pilot Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) blood screening AIDS test program will be extended nationwide. The State Council also called on grassroots blood collection stations to tighten safety and for local authorities to arrange special insurance programs for HIV carriers who got the virus through blood transfusions. According to Ministry of Health (MoH) figures, AIDS has been China’s most deadly infectious disease for four consecutive years, accounting for 7,743 of the 15,257 infectious diseases deaths in 2010.

Guangdong sets up monitoring center for drug-resistant bacteria
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-18)
Guangdong Provincial Health Department announced that it has set up a center to monitor drug-resistant bacteria and promote the proper use of anti-infective drugs in the province. The center will formulate monitoring strategies and collect and analyze data from 31 Grade II and Grade III hospitals, the announcement said. It is located in the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University in the provincial capital of Guangdong. A team of 22 medical experts headed by SARS specialist Zhong Nanshan will spearhead the project.

Mölnlycke sets up wound treatment center in Hunan hospital
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-21)
Sweden’s Mölnlycke Health Care Group AB (Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd.) has established a wound and scar treatment center in Xiangya Hospital in Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, the hospital announced. The treatment center is the first of its kind in western China and will provide standardized treatment using Mölnlycke’s products. Xiangya Hospital is a Grade Ⅲ, Class A public facility in Changsha. The center is part of the hospital’s scar revision and burn treatment department. Mölnlycke is the world’s leading provider of single-use surgical and wound care products, according to its Web site.

Children’s drug linked to deaths withdrawn by stores
(上海日报,  2011-02-22)
Local pharmacies have stopped selling Nimesulide Granules, a children’s anti-inflammatory drug manufactured by Hainan-based Honz Pharmaceutical, after it was linked to several deaths. One outlet said it received notice from its headquarters to remove the product, according to a local TV news report. Shanghai Kaixinren Drug Store has also told its outlets to remove other anti-fever drugs containing nimesulide ingredients, China Business News reported. Nimesulide Granules – which also goes by the name Ruizhiqing – and is used for treating fever in children, is reported to have caused adverse reactions and even death. China Central Television’s news channel reported last November that Nimesulide Granules harmed the nervous system and liver, citing China’s National Center for Adverse Reaction Monitoring. The report said the drug has led to several deaths and several thousand cases of adverse reactions since it was launched nine years ago. “These reports are groundless and the production procedure of Ruizhiqing meets national standards and is safe,” Honz said in a statement. Ruizhiqing makes up of more than 80 percent of the company’s sales.

Drug misuse prevalent in public
(中国日报, 2011-02-21)
About 70 percent of Chinese families improperly use medicine, according to a survey conducted by China Nonprescription Medicines Association. The survey, which polled 10,000 people and was released on Sunday, concluded that a majority of the populace tends to go to drugstores to buy medications for minor sicknesses instead of seeing a doctor. It also said that more than half of the respondents had no understanding of why over-the-counter medicines should be their first choice at pharmacies, and that more than 40 percent of them mistook pain-relief drugs for over-the-counter medicines. The reasons for concern are particularly pressing on the mainland, where, because of loose supervision, the public can often buy prescription drugs at drugstores without doctors’ prescriptions. The drug, widely prescribed in China to reduce fevers, is still available despite a concern over its effects on children. Nimesulide is banned in many parts of Europe because of the harm it is known to cause to the liver in rare but unpredictable cases. In the United States, the drug didn’t win the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval for use in children. In response to the concerns about the drug, the SFDA of China said it will strengthen its monitoring for adverse reactions among users and organize expert reviews of the drug.

Training fails to produce pediatricians
(中国日报, 2011-02-22)
The growth in the number of pediatricians in China has remained stagnant in recent years, and experts have blamed the training system for medical staff. China’s pediatricians are among the practitioners that are in the shortest supply in the country’s health system. According to the latest statistics, by 2008 the country had 61,700 pediatricians for 230 million children under the age of 14, according to Zhu Zonghan, head of the pediatric division of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association. But the fact is that only 5,000 new pediatricians have been trained in the past 15 years. A student has to spend five years studying clinical medicine before choosing a certain medical department to specialize in. In the case of pediatricians, medical graduates need to spend at least three more years of study to become qualified. The problem is that being a pediatrician is not the first choice for medical graduates. According to statistics released by the MoH, the number of pediatricians in China decreased from 65,995 in 2000 to 63,740 by 2005.

Datong, Provider of Drug Decision Support Products in China, is Acquired by Elsevier
(PRNewswire, 2011-02-21)
Elsevier, the leading global publisher of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, announced today the acquisition of Shanghai Datong Medical Information Technology Co., Ltd., a leading drug decision support provider in China. Datong’s products enable Elsevier to enter the emerging clinical decision support (CDS) market in China, helping Chinese hospitals to improve their quality of care through better drug usage and reduced prescription errors. Datong’s flagship product “Clinical Drug Consultation and Safety Monitoring System” is embedded in the hospital computerized physician order system and provides drug based alerts and warnings at order entry as well as drug reference information. After the acquisition, Elsevier will integrate its global advanced CDS content and technology with Datong’s locally-tailored products and services to help Chinese hospitals and pharmacies to achieve reform objectives. Financial details of the acquisition are not being disclosed.

China’s western medicine imports up 21 pct in 2010
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-22)
China’s western medicine imports were worth $12.44 billion in 2010, up 20.53 percent year-on-year, according to a report of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products. The average price of imported active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) grew 2.97 percent, while biological drugs were up 1,484 percent, according to the chamber. However, the average price of imported chemical drugs declined 8.12 percent. The chamber attributed the high growth in imported biological drugs to market demand, noting that declining price of imported chemical drugs was due to the low prices of APIs and sharp competition from domestically-produced low-priced generic drugs. Approximately 39.03 percent of imported western medicines came from European countries, down by 17.01 percentage points from the previous year. Imported western drugs from other Asian countries, Latin American countries and African countries grew 7.6, 4.39 and 2.36 percentage points, respectively.

Astellas brings Advagraf to China market
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-22)
Japan’s Astellas Pharma Inc., a global leader in urology and transplant medicines, has launched its exclusive immunosuppressant drug Advagraf in China, Astellas Pharma China Inc., the company’s China subsidiary. According to the announcement, Advagraf is an improved version of Prograf, another immunosuppressant developed by the company. Prograf must be administered twice daily, whereas Advagraf must only be administered once per day. Immunosuppressant drugs are used to prevent organ transplant rejections. Prograf was launched in China in 1999, and has been used by more than 20,000 organ transplant patients in the country, Astellas said on its Web site. The company will continue to market the drug in China. According to government figures, less than 1 percent of the estimated 1.5 million people who need organ transplants in China every year undergo operations due to a shortage of donated organs.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Harbin Pharma unveils restructuring
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-17)
Shanghai Stock Exchange-listed Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. (Harbin Pharma) announced that it will issue shares to its parent company Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co. Ltd. (Harbin Pharma Holding) in exchange for stakes in two sister companies. According to the announcement, Harbin Pharma will gain full ownership of Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Bioengineering Co. Ltd. (Harbin Bio) and the holding company’s entire 44.82 percent stake in Sanjing Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Sanjing Pharma), increasing Harbin Pharma’s holding in the firm to 74.82 percent. The restructuring will boost Harbin Pharma’s total assets by RMB 5.75 billion ($873.86 million) – equal to 57.4 percent of its total assets as of end-2009 – while Harbin Pharma Holding will increase its share of Harbin Pharma from 34.76 percent to 45.26 percent through the move. Harbin Bio produces recombinant human interferon α2b injection and recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO), and expects to launch two new products annually over the following five years. According to the announcement, the restructuring will expand Harbin Pharma’s business scope to cover biological and chemical drugs and traditional Chinese medicines (TCM).

Two pharma executives sentenced for bribery
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-22)
Two senior pharmaceutical company executives were recently handed six-month suspended jail sentences for giving bribes to expedite the drug approval process. According to The Beijing News, Gu Lijun, general manager of Zhejiang Zhonghai Pharmaceutical Ltd. (Zhejiang Zhonghai) and Chen Zhong, a senior manager at Yunnan Tongsheng Pharmaceutical Ltd. (Yunnan Tongsheng), paid bribes amounting to RMB 400,000 ($60,790) in 2004 to Chen Haifeng, the then director of Center for Drug Evaluation under the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA). In December 2010, Beijing Xicheng District People’s Court sentenced Chen to an 11-year prison for accepting a total of RMB 1.3 million ($197,568) from several pharma firms, including Zhejiang Zhongha and Yunnan Tongsheng. In his confession, Chen admitted that he approved an application by Zhejiang Zhongha and Yunnan Tongsheng, concerning their joint development of two drugs – diammonium glycyrrhizinate injection and tiopronin injection – despite knowing that they had engaged in deceptive practices. In addition to the criminal penalties, Zhejiang Zhongha and Yunnan Tongsheng were each fined RMB 100,000 ($15,198), according to the report.

Guangzhou Pharma sets up translational research center
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-21)
Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd. has set up a translational research center in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, the company announced. Medical translational research uses research findings from a range of scientific disciplines to inform medical research and account for factors such as the needs of patients and market demands. The center is the first of its kind established by a business in China, the announcement said, and will work with more than ten hospitals and academic research institutions from across the country. It will initially conduct research relating to 12 Guangzhou Pharma products currently on the market, including Baiyunshan Banlangen granules for flu, Zhong Yi Xiaoke pill for diabetes, Xiaoyan Lidan tablet for cholecystitis, and Anshen Bunao solution, a nervous system drug. According to the announcement, the center will help the company anticipate clinical demand, improve marketing and speed up research and development (R&D) projects.

Jingxin Pharma plans issuance to fund $69-mln expansion
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-18)
Integrated pharma firm Zhejiang Jingxin Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. announced that it will issue a maximum of 30 million shares to raise RMB 453.50 million ($68.92 million) to fund an expansion of production capacity. The shares account for about 22 percent of Jingxin Pharma’s total shares after the issuance, and will go to a maximum of 10 investors including Zhejiang Yuanjin Investment Co. Ltd., the announcement said. The plan is subject to the approval of shareholders and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). Of the proceeds, Jingxin Pharma plans to invest about RMB 203.57 million ($30.94 million) to increase production capacity for its export products to 1 billion units annually. The move is expected to boost annual sales by RMB 262 million ($39.82 million). The company will also invest RMB 99.98 million ($15.19 million) in a new production line for Kang Fu Xin solution, an ulcer treatment, with an annual capacity of 10 million units. The facility is expected to generate annual sales of RMB 150 million ($22.79 million).

Biotechnologies

SFDA approves Walvax Bio hepatitis B vaccine trial
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-18)
China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) has given Walvax Biotechnology Co. Ltd. approval to conduct clinical trials of a yeast-recombinant hepatitis B vaccine, the company announced. “Clinical trials of the vaccine are expected to last 18 months to two years,” an investor relations representative. Walvax Bio applied to test the vaccine, which uses hansenula polymorpha yeast, in July 2009, according to its listing prospectus. In November last year the company raised RMB 2.37 billion ($360 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Growth Enterprise Market (GEM). Based in Kunming City, capital of Yunnan Province, Walvax Bio is an emerging vaccine producer with two vaccines on the market, two awaiting production approval, and a further nine under research and development (R&D).

Neptunus Bio plans $219-mln private placement
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-18)
Shenzhen Stock Exchange-listed Shenzhen Neptunus Bioengineering Co. Ltd. plans a RMB 1.44 billion ($218.74 million) private placement to fund construction of drug distribution and production facilities, the company announced. The company will issue a maximum of 139.2 million common A-shares priced at RMB 10.37 ($1.58) per share to no more than 10 investors. The placement is subject to regulatory approval. Of the funds raised, Neptunus Bio plans to invest RMB 1.1 billion ($167.09 million) to build pharmaceutical distribution centers in Weihai, Heze and Zaozhuang cities in Shandong Province, Nanyang City in Henan Province, and Xiaogan City in Hubei Province. The company already distributes drugs in these second- and third-tier cities, and intends to increase its focus there on Grade medical institutions. Furthermore, Neptunus Bio’s wholly-owned drug distribution arm Shenzhen Neptunus Galaxy Pharmaceutical Investment Co. Ltd. will inject an additional RMB 990 million ($150.38 million) of its own capital into the five facilities and manage daily operation. Construction will last three years and the centers are expected to generate total net profit RMB 137 million ($20.81 million) annually once operational.

China-Biotics files for 5 new patent applications
(PR Newswire, 2011-02-21)
China-Biotics, a leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of probiotics products in China, has announced that it has applied for five new patents through its wholly owned subsidiary Growing Bioengineering to the State Bureau of Intellectual Property. These patent applications are related to new products and preparation methods under development for baby care, daily health and beauty product, female hygiene, and soy milk markets. A patent has been filed for a new probiotics supplement and its preparation, to strengthen babies’ immune and digestive systems to reduce diarrhea, a frequent condition for small children. A second patent is for micro-capsulation technique used to create probiotics used in daily health and beauty products. Another patent has been filed for probiotics to be used in female hygiene products. A patent for the preparation of and for the probiotics to be added to soy milk has been filed. The final patent is for the manufacturing methods and uses of the Company’s technology for a heat-resistant micro-encapsulated probiotics. When introduced, these products will be China-Biotics’ first entry into these new markets, which have large growth potential and recurring purchase tendencies.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°180

Mar
17
2011


HEADLINES

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FOCUS

 

  • SFDA outlines priorities for 2011
  • China updates pharma GMP standards
  • SFDA bans opioid painkiller
  • MoH issues MDRO monitoring guidelines
  • China health product trade grows 25 pct in 2010

Healthcare News

Cost of outpatient treatment in Beijing rises in 2010
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-11)
Beijing residents seeking outpatient treatment spent an average of RMB 337 ($51.16) in Niveau II and Niveau III hospitals last year, an increase of 5.39 percent from 2009. Moreover, the average cost of inpatient treatment in Niveau II and Niveau III hospitals reached RMB 15,762 ($2392.7), up 5.83 percent from the previous year, according to Ministry of Health (MoH). Overall, the city’s medical institutions saw more than 140 million patient visits during the year, including 48.27 million to Niveau III hospitals, up 8.8 percent year-on-year. Workloads continued to rise for doctors in Niveau III hospitals, who saw an average of 10 patients per day during the period, the report said. Hospitals in China are classified into three niveaus and Niveau III is the top category. Institutions are also ranked within each niveau as Class A or Class B depending on the quality and size of the facility.

SFDA approves state of the art stent for Lepu Medical
(China SFDA, 2011-02-14)
Lepu Medical Technology (Beijing) Co. Ltd., a leading domestic medical device manufacturer, has received production approval from the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) for a polymer-free drug-eluting stent (DES), the company announced. A DES is a device inserted into problematic peripheral or coronary arteries which releases drugs to block cell proliferation and prevent fibrosis that could otherwise block the artery. Next-generation polymer-free DESs are believed to be more effective and safer than traditional versions. Lepu Medical is listed on the Shenzhen Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) and its DES business is its main source of revenue. The company the same day reported sales revenue of RMB 770.1 million ($116.82 million) in 2010, up 36.25 percent from the previous year. Its net profit rose to RMB 409.75 million ($62.16 million), up 40.23 percent year-on-year. According to its listing prospectus, Lepu Medical is the second largest player in China’s DES market with 25.8 percent share in 2008, after MicroPort Medical (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., a private China-based company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

China updates pharma GMP standards
(China SFDA, 2011-02-14)
The Ministry of Health (MoH) has updated China’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations for pharmaceutical products for first time in over a decade, the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) announced. The long-awaited updates, which were originally expected last year, represent a major overhaul of the rules, and will more than triple the number of constituent articles from 88 to 313. The regulations will apply to new manufacturing facilities from March 1, 2011, and the industry has five years to bring existing workshops into line with the revisions. The new standards focus in particular on management of the production process. They stipulate qualifications for quality control managers as well as more detailed safety measures. The SFDA will soon issue implementation guidelines, the announcement said. The drug watchdog on Feb. 12 called for China’s GMP regulations to be brought into line with international standards, and said the updates will help root out underperformers and nurture competition.

SFDA bans opioid painkiller
(China SFDA, 2011-02-01)
China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) has banned the production and sale of medicines containing the opioid-based analgesic dextropropoxyphene from July 31 this year, and has started to withdraw the drug from the market, the regulator announced. Recent research has shown the medicine has severe adverse effects on the heart and is potentially fatal in high doses, the announcement said. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) proposed withdrawing the drug in June 2009, and the U.S. took the drug off the market in November 2010. The medicine causes withdrawal symptoms, and will be recalled gradually while replacement therapies are introduced. There are two domestic manufacturers of the drug: Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Anhui Province-based China National Medicines Guorui Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. In China, dextropropoxyphene is mainly used for pain-relief by cancer patients.

MoH issues MDRO monitoring guidelines
(China MOH, 2011-01-27)
China’s Ministry of Health (MoH) on Jan. 25 unveiled new guidelines for monitoring multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) in hospitals. MDROs are bacteria which are resistant to three or more antibiotics, such as methicillin-resistant Staphlycoccus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). The guidelines urged Grade II and Grade III hospitals to improve their microorganism research laboratories, which should publish MDRO findings and forecasts at least every six months. In addition, hospitals should ensure anti-infectives are used properly to prevent new MDROs and give regular updates on the development of new MDROs to doctors. The MoH requires hospitals to strengthen management of intensive care, new baby, blood-respiratory and nervous disease wards, which are particularly susceptible to MDRO infections, and to improve staff training. There are four million cases of MDRO infections in China’s hospitals each year.

Shanghai reveals new rules for medical insurance reimbursement
(上海日报, 2011-02-09)
Shanghai will bring in new rules on May 1st governing patient reimbursement under the national medical insurance scheme, the municipal government announced. Under the new regulations, medical institutions and drugstores that fail to comply with standard reimbursement procedures can have their operations suspended for one to six months, while severe violations can incur a fine of RMB 100,000 ($15,175). Violators are currently punished with complete closure. The measure is designed to increase access to medical services, the municipal government said. Patients who abuse the system can be placed on a one- to six-month probationary period under the new rules, during which they can only obtain reimbursement from their insurance provider rather than directly from drugstores or medical institutions. Furthermore, the Shanghai Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau will regulate reimbursement for both the urban and rural medical insurance programs in the city. In most of China, local health bureaus handle rural insurance.

China health product trade grows 25 pct in 2010
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-14)
China’s trade in health care products was worth $60.19 billion in 2010, up 24.57 percent from the previous year, according to figures released Feb. 14 by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products. The total value of health product exports for the year reached $39.73 billion, up 24.87 percent from 2009, while imports totaled $20.46 billion, up 23.98 percent, the chamber said. Meanwhile, exports of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) were up 26.19 percent from 2009 at $20.3 billion, or 51.09 percent of total health product exports. Exports of finished dosage Western medicines also saw rapid growth of 31.19 percent and were worth $1.49 billion. Meanwhile, diagnostic device exports were valued at $4.51 billion, up 25.56 percent. Europe, the U.S. and Japan remained the top three destinations for China-made health care products and together accounted for 54.36 percent of total exports by value. Meanwhile, pharma exports to India, Brazil, Russia hit $3.39 billion, $896 million, $630 million respectively.

SFDA outlines priorities for 2011
(China SFDA, 2011-01-28)
The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) outlined its priorities for the coming year which include updates to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards and rules for reporting adverse drug reactions (ADR). The GMP update, originally due in 2010, will bring China’s standards into line with those in developed countries. The SFDA will also focus on upgrades to China’s adverse drug reaction (ADR) monitoring network, which currently covers 316 cities and prefectures – most of the country. There have been about 600,000 ADR reports annually in recent years. Drug safety remains high on the agenda, and the administration will keep ramping up regulation in areas such as essential drugs, sedative and anti-psychotics, as well as high-risk drugs like traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), injections and vaccines. It will also experiment with a system of drug safety awards for model counties. Other priorities include updates to Good Supply Practice (GSP) standards and increased regulation of finished TCMs and processed TCM materials.

Shanghai bans three medical device suppliers for two years
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-16)
Citing incidence of graft, the Shanghai municipal health bureau banned three companies from selling their medical devices and consumables in the city for two years, the bureau announced. The city’s medical institutions have been ordered to terminate existing purchase contracts with the three suppliers, namely Shanghai Ruiyi Medical Device Co. Ltd., Shanghai Zheming Industrial & Trading Co. Ltd. and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics Inc., a subsidiary of Shenzhen Stock Exchange-listed Livzon Pharmaceutical Group Inc. The bribery allegations stem from reports that the firms paid bribes to an employee of a medical device testing center. The employee is facing criminal charges, but the announcement did not disclose whether the three suppliers would face further legal action.

Glory Medical plans Shenzhen IPO
(Interfax.cn, 2011-01-31)
Hospital equipment provider Shenzhen Glory Medical Co. Ltd. plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Small and Medium Enterprise Board (SME) to help fund a RMB 247.05 million ($37.49 million) expansion project, the company announced. According to its preliminary prospectus, Glory Medical plans to issue 20.5 million shares, or 25.00 percent of its total shares after the issuance. The company will invest about RMB 135.37 million ($20.54 million) in its line of digital control systems for hospital operating rooms, ramping up production capacity from 170 to 600 sets within three years. Glory Medical estimates China’s market for emergency room control systems will be worth a total of RMB 66 billion ($10.02 billion) over the next decade. The market was valued at RMB 3.69 billion ($559.94 million) in 2009, up 21.65 percent from RMB 3.03 billion ($459.79 million) in 2008.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Fosun Pharma to enter vaccine market via Aleph Bio acquisition
(Bioportfolio, 2011-01-31)
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. Ltd. announced that it will acquire a 75 percent stake in vaccine maker Aleph Biomedical Co. Ltd. for RMB 675 million ($102.43 million) in a bid to enter China’s vaccine market. According to the announcement, privately-owned Fosun Pharma will make the acquisition through two of its wholly-owned subsidiaries. Fosun Industrial (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd. will purchase a 74 percent stake for RMB 666 million ($101.06 million), and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Industry Development Co. Ltd. will buy a 1 percent stake for RMB 9 million ($1.37 million). Based in Liaoning Province’s Dalian City, Aleph Bio is one of 11 flu vaccine makers in China, and a leading domestic manufacturer of rabies vaccines. The company has a total registered capital of RMB 52 million ($7.89 million). Its sales hit RMB 97.81 million ($14.84 million) in the first 11 months of 2010, and RMB 66.78 million ($10.13 million) in 2009. Fosun Pharma’s sales revenue grew 19 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2010, while net profit was up 28 percent.

Kaibao Pharma secures patent for swine flu TCM
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-16)
Shanghai Kaibao Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has secured a patent from China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) for an exclusive traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Tan Re Qing injection, which is recommended by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to treat severe cases of swine flu, the company announced. The company’s patented preparation method produces a purer version of the extract used in the preparation of the drug compared to traditional methods, the announcement said. It originally applied for the patent in October 2005. According to Kaibao Pharma’s 2009 annual report, sales of the injection for the year hit RMB 450 million ($68.30 million), or 98.3 percent of the company’s total sales in 2009.

Scientific News

CAS launches stem cell research program
(Interfax.cn, 2011-02-11)
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has launched a stem cell research project, the academy announced. The project, which will focus on liver and nervous system stem cells, is part of the CAS Innovation 2020 Program, the announcement said. The CAS Innovation 2020 Program also conducts research in space science, information technology and energy. The CAS stem cell research centers will be located in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kunming, with various other CAS research institutes participating.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°179

Mar
27
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,

We extend our sincerest wishes for a happy Chinese new year and a successful year 2011.
We will be happy to meet you in two weeks, with our new reports and news on China.
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Happy Chinese new year !

FOCUS


  • MoH issues new rules for reporting adverse medical events
  • China gets on board with the Human Variome Project
  • SFDA issues ADR warning for quinolone antibiotics
  • MoF, MoH issue updated accounting rules for medical institutions
  • China’s pharma sector making competitive strides

Healthcare News

MoH issues new rules for reporting adverse medical events
(China MOH, 2011-01-21)
The Ministry of Health (MoH) issued new rules on Jan. 20 under which medical institutions must report adverse medical events (AME) within certain time-frames according to severity. The rules take effect from April 1 and categorize AMEs as low, mid or top-priority. The MoH will set up a national AME database and medical institutions must report events to the relevant health authorities using an online system. Furthermore, Grade II and Grade III hospitals must conduct regular audits of their reporting mechanisms. Top-priority AMEs are defined as those which result in severe disability or death for three or more patients. Medical institutions must report them to the relevant authorities within two hours of the event, and the authorities must follow up within two hours of the report. Mid-priority events involve severe functional disorder or death in one or two patients, or minor injuries in three patients or more. They must be reported within 12 hours and followed up within another 12 hours.

SFDA issues ADR warning for quinolone antibiotics
(China SFDA, 2011-01-21)
The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) on Jan. 20 issued an (ADR) warning for quinolones, a family of synthetic broad-spectrum antibiotics. From January 2004 to October 2009, the SFDA received more than 80,000 reports of ADRs caused by the 13 quinolones currently on the market, including approximately 3,500 severe reactions. Severe ADRs affect the entire body, the nervous system or involve skin disorders. The administration advised doctors to adhere closely to manufacturers’ instructions when prescribing the drugs. Figures from National Center for ADR Monitoring show that quinolones caused the third highest number of serious ADRs among anti-inflammatory drug categories in 2009, after cephalosporins and penicillins. Overuse of antibiotics is a major problem in China. According to government figures, the country consumes an average of 138 grams of antibiotics per person every year, 10 times the average in the U.S.

China to set up drug inspection database
(Interfax.cn, 2011-01-20)
China plans to set up a database containing information on health care product inspections in a bid to improve coordination between inspection agencies, Shao Mingli, director of China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), said Jan. 19 at a national-level meeting to discuss food, drug and medical device inspections. According to the National Institute for Food and Drug Control (NIFDC), which is responsible for carrying out quality inspections for China’s food and drug industries, the government spent a total of RMB 2.6 billion ($394.54 million) on health care product inspections from 2006 to 2010. This includes RMB 1.3 billion ($197.27 million) spent on advanced inspection equipment and RMB 290 million ($40 million) on information systems.

Beijing Municipal Government increases grassroots health spending
(Interfax.cn, 2011-01-20)
Beijing Municipal Government ‘s spending on grassroots health care increased at an average annual rate of approximately 18.5 percent from 2007 to 2009, according to a municipal health bureau report released Jan. 19. Total spending on grassroots medical institutions, including patient spending, increased from 4.5 percent of the city’s total health care outlay in 2007 to 6.6 percent in 2009. Meanwhile, total spending on general purpose hospitals declined from 68 percent in 2007 to 65.7 percent in 2009. The government increased its proportion of health care expenditure from 26.8 percent of the total in 2007 to 29.1 percent in 2009. And the proportion shouldered by Beijing residents declined from 31.5 percent to 27.2 percent over the same period. Overall health expenditure, including patient spending, reached six percent of the Beijing’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009. This compares with a national average of 4.96 percent, and exceeds World Health Organization (WHO) targets for the Asia-Pacific region of 4 percent to 5 percent.

China gets on board with the Human Variome Project
(Nature, 2011-01-24)
The Human Variome Project received a significant boost this week with the Chinese government announcing it will establish a new US$300 million institute to directly contribute to the project and the study of human genetic variation. As a part of the 10 year agreement, China will not only found a new institute, but will construct, maintain and curate a new database with at least 5,000 new genes/disease specific genetic variations. It will also establish the Human Variome Project Chinese Node to capture and share information on genetic variation within China’s population, which amounts to around 1.4 billion people. China will also assist global databases of genetic variation and will contribute US$20 million over 10 years to assist global coordinating activities.

Heilongjiang sets up colorectal cancer center
(Interfax.cn, 2011-01-25)
The Third Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University recently set up a colorectal cancer prevention and treatment center to serve Heilongjiang Province, the provincial health department announced. The center uses the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) model which promotes coordination between the various hospital departments that are involved in cancer treatment. The hospital has built its reputation on treating digestive cancers, and conducted about 1,500 surgical procedures on colorectal cancer patients in 2009. Last year it organized seminars to promote the MDT model in the provincial capital of Harbin, as well as Qiqhar, Jiamusi and Mudanjiang cities.

Medical syringe exports hit $332 mln in 2010
(Interfax.cn, 2011-01-25)
China’s exports of medical syringes in 2010 were valued $332 million, up 18.6 percent from $280 million in 2009, the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products announced. The pace of growth slipped 3.1 percentage points from 21.7 percent year-on-year in 2009. The U.S. was the largest importer of China-made syringes in 2010 by value, with $66.87 million, followed by Germany with $25.66 million, Russia with $11.29 million, Brazil with $9.69 million, and Italy with $9.11 million.

MoH to crack down on cosmetic surgery industry
(China MOH, 2011-01-19)
China’s Ministry of Health (MoH) on Jan. 18 announced plans to tighten regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry. The move comes following a public outcry over the death last year of a 24-year-old woman during a cosmetic procedure in Wuhan, Hubei Province. The crackdown will target illegal advertisements and unqualified doctors, according to the ministry. Provincial health bureaus have been directed to inspect cosmetic surgery clinics in at least half of counties and cities in their jurisdiction. The cosmetic surgery industry generates annual revenue in excess of RMB 15 billion ($2.28 billion).

MoF, MoH issue updated accounting rules for medical institutions
(Interfax.cn, 2011-01-19)
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) have updated hospital accounting regulations in a bid to strengthen the financial management of China’s medical institutions, the MoF announced. Under the regulations, hospitals are required to improve budget management through regular audits and strictly adhere to official procedures for procurement of large-size medical equipment. Furthermore, the rules compel hospitals to provide a breakdown of revenue and gradually reduce the percentage of revenue derived from pharmaceutical sales. Moreover, the rules call for regular cost-efficiency analysis. The accounting rules will be introduced on a trial basis in 16 cities on July 1 as part of the central government’s pubic hospital reform policy. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, the rules will be applied nationwide. Hospital financial reports must be audited by certified accounts. The Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CICPA) Jan. issued guidelines for hospital audits on Jan. 18. The MoF and MoH also issued accounting regulations for grassroots medical institutions, effective July 1 this year.

Golden Meditech Raises $34.7 Million in Taiwan
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-01-25)
Golden Meditech Holdings raised $34.7 million by listing 90 million Depositary Receipts on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Each unit consists of two shares of Golden Meditech’s Hong Kong-listed stock. The Depository Receipts were priced at a slight discount to the Hong Kong shares, but triggered the Taiwan exchange’s 7% upper limit after they began trading. Golden Meditech, which is based in Hong Kong, has its operations in mainland China.

Pharmaceutical Industry

China’s pharma sector making competitive strides – report
(Bioportfolio, 2011-01-19)
China’s pharma industry has become increasingly competitive on the global stage in the past several years, according to a recent industry report. The China Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Industry Safety Appraisal Report, drafted by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products, rated the competitiveness of the industry at 61.7 out of a possible 100 points. The assessment was based on pharma firms’ financial results, research and development (R&D) achievements, exports, potential for improvement and inspection pass rates, among other criteria. Sales revenue of China pharma firms has risen at an average annual rate in excess of 20 percent in recent years, the report said. The proportion of new pharma products in relation to total sales increased from 12.9 percent in 2004 to 14.3 percent in 2009. Profit margins, which averaged 9 percent in 2004, have climbed to 10 percent for the past two years, according to the report. Research technicians account for approximately four percent of the domestic pharma industry workforce. Though the figure is much lower than the 20 percent seen in developed countries, the report said the number of research technicians is growing. R&D expenditure is less than 2 percent of total industry sales revenue, but companies are channeling more funds into R&D and the government is increasing financial support.

Kelun Pharma to acquire 80 pct stake in Dahua Pharma
(Bioportfolio, 2011-01-25)
Sichuan Kelun Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. announced Jan. 25 it has agreed to purchase 80 percent stake in Guilin Dahua Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. for RMB 144 million ($21.89 million) in a bid to beef up its cephalosporin business and reduce its reliance on large-volume parenterals (LVP). “Kelun Pharma currently has no production lines for cephalosporin active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). Dahua Pharma will also become a major supplier of cephalosporin APIs to Kelun Pharma following the deal. According to the announcement, Dahua Pharma is expected to have annual production capacity for 270 tons of cephalosporin API and 100 million cephalosporin injections by 2012, the announcement said. Based in Guilin City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Dahua Pharma has 14 production approvals for cephalosporin active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and 23 approvals for cephalosporin injections. The company registered operational revenue of RMB 38.63 million ($5.87 million) and net loss of RMB 9.75 million ($1.48 million) in the first 10 months of 2010.

Hybio Pharma plans listing on Shenzhen GEM
(Interfax.cn, 2011-01-24)
Shenzhen Hybio Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. announced Jan. 21 it plans to raise RMB 314.30 million ($47.74 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) on Shenzhen Stock Exchange Growth Enterprise Market (GEM). According to its preliminary prospectus released the same day, Hybio Pharma plans to issue 25 million shares, accounting for 25 percent of its total shares after the issuance. The IPO awaits the approval of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). The company plans to invest RMB 283 million ($42.99 million) of the proceeds in new production lines for peptide-based finished dosages with annual production capacity of 30 million units, according to the prospectus. The remaining RMB 31.3 million ($4.75 million) will be used to set up a pilot plant with scale-up facilities. Hybio Pharma is a leading domestic drug maker engaged in the development, production and distribution of peptide-based drugs for cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular, infectious and geriatric diseases. The company recorded operational revenue of RMB 92.71 million ($14.08 million) and a net profit of RMB 35.37 million ($5.37 million) in 2009.

China’s pharma industry struggles with weak IP management
(Interfax.cn, 2011-01-26)
China’s research institutes continue to struggle with poor intellectual property (IP) management resulting in a low commercialization rate for research findings, Zong Gang, managing director of the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) at the Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences (SIBS), told an industry conference recently. Only about five percent of research findings in China are commercialized compared to about 80 percent in developed countries, according to an article published on the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) Web site last year. Research institutes in China usually have to apply for patents themselves, research institutes often have scant knowledge of the market and little experience of negotiating with potential buyers, so often let opportunities to commercialize research slip through their fingers.

China PharmaHub Announces Incorporation of CPC NuLife, Inc
(PRNewswire, 2011-01-25)
3SBio Inc. a obtenu l’approbation de production de la part de la SFDA pour une extension d’indication pour TPIAO afin de traiter le purpura thrombocytopénique idiopathique. Cette autorisation a été longue à obtenir, 3SBio ayant initialement soumis sa demande en décembre 2008. Lancé en 2006, TPIAO est une thrombopoïétine recombinante humaine initialement autorisée pour le traitement la thrombocytopénie induite par la chimiothérapie ou le déficit plaquettaire.

Biotechnologies

3SBio Announces OK of Additional Indication for TPIAO
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-01-26)
3SBio Inc. was granted SFDA manufacturing approval of an extension of the TPIAO label to include treatment of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. The approval was a long time in the making, as 3SBio originally submitted its application in December 2008. Launched in 2006, TPIAO is a recombinant human thrombopoietin product that was originally approved to treat chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia, or platelet deficiency.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°178

Mar
20
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,

Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held in the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.

Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!

For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS


  • Tibet continues to nurture traditional medicine industry
  • China destroys tonnes of fake, substandard drugs
  • China pharma industry forecast 2011
  • Expert uses a poison as therapy
  • China at JP Morgan Conference – A Few Observations

Healthcare News

Tibet continues to nurture traditional medicine industry
(Interfax.cn, 2010-01-18)
The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) will continue to nurture its traditional Tibetan medicine industry with new policies under the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), the TAR government announced. The government plans tax breaks for manufacturers, including 6-year corporate income tax exemption for developers of new Tibetan drugs and companies specializing in the cultivation of Tibetan medicinal materials. The government will also hand out RMB 10 million ($1.52 million) each year in subsidies for Tibetan medical institutions. In the last five years, the TAR government has spent a total of RMB 750 million ($113.78 million) to improve grassroots Tibetan medical institutions, train Tibetan medicine experts and promote the use of Tibetan medicine in rural farming and herding areas.

Liaoning’s China Medical University acquires Anshan Tiexie Hospital
(Interfax.cn, 2010-01-18)
First Hospital of China Medical University, a top hospital in Liaoning located in the provincial capital of Shenyang, has acquired Anshan Tiexie Hospital, a public facility in Liaoning’s Anshan City, the Anshan government announced. The deal marks the first merger and acquisition (M&A) activity among Liaoning’s provincial-level hospitals under the heath care reform. Anshan is among the cities selected by the central government to take part in tests of the pubic hospital reform. China Medical University plans to conduct further M&As in Liaoning’s Shenyang and Dalian cities.

China destroys tonnes of fake, substandard drugs
(China News, 2010-01-18)
More than 60 tonnes of fake and substandard pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, worth 40 million yuan (6 million U.S. dollars), were destroyed in the country’s latest move to crack down on fake medicines. The destroyed products, confiscated by Beijing’s municipal drug supervision bureau, involved some 130 kinds of drugs and 3,000 pieces of equipment, including fake Viagra and capsules for diabetes, according to the State Food and DrugAdministration (SFDA). The SFDA didn’t give further details about the products destroyed. SFDA deputy director Bian Zhenjia said that a large number of drug inspectors had been trained in an effort to regulate the country’s drug market.

TCM rehab center opens in Shenyang
(新华网, 2010-01-12)
Liaoning TCM Hospital in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning Province, has opened an on-site traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) rehabilitation center, the provincial government announced. According to the announcement, the 5,000-bed center is the largest of its kind in China, and will provide treatment and rehabilitation services for patients suffering from occupational injuries, pediatric cerebral palsy, and geriatric diseases.

Shanghai cord blood transplants up 70 pct in 2010
(新华美通, 2010-01-17)
Consumption of cord blood is rising rapidly in Shanghai with the city’s Cord Blood Bank (CBB) announcing that it carried out 56 cord blood stem cell transplants in 2010, up 69.7 percent from 2009. Umbilical cord blood is blood that remains in the placenta and attached umbilical cord after childbirth. It contains stem cells, including hematopoietic cells, which are used to treat hematopoietic and genetic disorders, mainly in children. Cord blood banks are either private, in which case blood is stored for and costs paid by donor families, or public, with blood stored and made available to unrelated donors. China had a total of seven cord blood banks as of September 2010, and they operate both private and public services. Each administrative region can grant only one exclusive cord blood bank license after regulations were tightened in early 2008.

TCM material exports up 25 pct Jan to Nov 2010
(Interfax.cn, 2010-01-17)
China’s exports of raw and processed traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) materials hit $660 million in the first 11 months of 2010, up 25 percent year-on-year, the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products announced. Ginseng topped the list of raw TCM materials with exports worth $36.22 million over the period. Exports of lycium chinense (Chinese desert-thorn), cordyceps sinensis (caterpillar fungus), radix glycyrrhiza (dried licorice roots and stems) and chrysanthemums all increased by over 40 percent tear-on-year. The chamber attributed growth to the growing popularity of TCM abroad.

China to train 50,000 grassroots doctors as GPs
(Interfax.cn, 2010-01-12)
China will launch a one-year training program to qualify 50,000 doctors from grassroots medical institutions as general practitioners (GP) by end-2012, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced. Grassroots medical institutions in China include community health centers and smaller community health clinics in urban areas, along with township and village-level clinics in rural areas. Improving grassroots medical services and integrating them into the health care system forms an important element of China’s ongoing health care reform. The ministry aims for China to have one or two GPs for every 10,000 urban residents by 2012, and one GP in every township clinic in rural areas, the announcement said.

Sichuan spends $4 bln on health reform in 2 years
(Interfax.cn, 2010-01-14)
Total government spending on health care reform in Sichuan Province over the past two years amounted to RMB 27.15 billion ($4.12 billion), the provincial government announced. According to the announcement, funding mainly went towards the national medical insurance program, public health services, training grassroots doctors and the essential drug system. Over the two year period RMB 3.86 billion went towards upgrading 2,158 grassroots medical institutions. And by end-2010, the essential drug system had been instituted in 3,138 grassroots medical institutions in the province, or 62.8 percent of the total. Meanwhile, prices of essential drugs were 49.79 percent lower than the caps set by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and the third lowest among China’s administrative regions.

Pharmaceutical Industry

China Nepstar Chain Drugstore Announces Special Dividend
(Drugstore, 2010-01-18)
China Nepstar Chain Drugstore Ltd., the largest drugstore chain in China based on the number of directly operated stores, today announced that the Board of Directors has declared a special cash dividend of US$0.30 per American Depositary Share (ADS), which represents a total value to shareholders of approximately US$31 million. The distribution of the special dividend is conditional upon the approval of the relevant PRC government authorities. The special dividend is payable before or around February 28, 2011 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on January 31, 2011. China Nepstar Chain Drugstore Ltd. is China’s largest retail drugstore chain based on the number of directly operated stores.

Free Han Pharma to acquire France’s Echosens
(Bioportfolio, 2010-01-17)
Inner Mongolia Free Han & Mongolia Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. announced Jan. 17 it is preparing to acquire French in vivo device (IVD) maker Echosens SA. Echosens specializes in the development and production of transient elastography (TE) devices, which provide an immediate, non-invasive method of diagnosing liver damage. A subsidiary of Free Han Pharma, Inner Mongolia Furui Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., is currently the exclusive distributor of Echosens TE machines in China, the announcement said. Based in Ulanqab City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Free Han Pharma specializes in integrated diagnostic and treatment services for liver fibrosis. Its flagship drug, Rungan tablet, is an over-the-counter (OTC) traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) used to treat liver fibrosis.

Shijiazhuang Pharma, Hebei government set up R&D fund
(Interfax.cn, 2010-01-13)
Shijiazhuang Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. and Hebei Provincial Department of Science and Technology established a RMB 3 million ($453,172) fund on Jan. 10 to support pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), the government department announced. According to the announcement, the fund is intended to help companies attract eminent scientists to participate in R&D projects and to nurture fresh R&D talent to beef up Hebei’s human resources. It will support research in areas including production techniques and basic pharmaceutical theory – two weak spots for the province’s pharma industry. Funding will be handed out from 2011 to 2013, according to the announcement, but more money would be made available for research in certain areas and depend on the caliber of scientists involved.

Shanghai Pharma to accelerate North China expansion
(Interfax.cn, 2010-01-13)
Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding Co. Ltd. opened a representative office in Beijing Jan. 12 in a bid to accelerate its expansion in North China, the company announced. Shanghai Pharma is also vying to strengthen its presence in Beijing through the acquisition of Beijing Aixin Weiye Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Weiye Pharma) and the planned acquisition China Health System Ltd., both locally-based drug retailers and distributors. Shanghai Pharma acquired a 52.24 percent stake in Weiye Pharma for RMB 225 million ($34.09 million), announcing the deal in November last year. By March of this year, the company will finalize the purchase of a 65.24 percent of stake in China Health System Ltd., a drug maker and distributor for RMB 2.33 billion ($353.03 million).

China pharma industry forecast 2011
(Interfax.cn, 2010-01-12)
China’s pharma industry witnessed rapid growth in 2010, and this is set to continue through 2011, which will also see the expansion of the essential drug system, further industry consolidation, and higher levels of innovation. The total output of China’s health care industry will be worth RMB 1.55 trillion ($233.79 billion) in 2011, up 23 percent year-on-year, according to the Southern Medicine Economic Research Institute (SMERI) under the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA). Drug sales in grassroots medical institutions – community health institutions, and township and village clinics – surged in the first half (H1) of 2010 to hit RMB 67.9 billion ($10.24 billion), up about 40 percent year-on-year. The implementation of the public tender process for essential drug procurement will further depress prices, and the negative impact will mostly be offset by increased sales.

Biotechnologies

Weikang Bio-Technology Expects to Report Fiscal 2010 Revenue of $77.8 Million and Net Income of c31.2 Million or $1.04 Earnings per Share
(Bioportfolio, 2010-01-18)
Weikang Bio-Technology Group Co., Inc., a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Western prescription and OTC pharmaceuticals, and other health and nutritional products in the People’s Republic of China, today announced preliminary revenue and net income results for fiscal 2010. For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010, the Company expects to report net revenues of $77.8 million, representing a 64% increase from revenues of $47.5 million reported for fiscal 2009. The Company also expects to report net income of $31.2 million, which represents an increase of 100% from $15.6 million reported for fiscal 2009, and earnings per share of $1.04.

Events

China at JP Morgan Conference – A Few Observations
(ChinaBio Today, 2010-01-17)
For the first time in 29 years, the industry’s most important annual gathering of life science executives and investment professionals, the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, added a track to focus on a single country – China. Fourteen private and public life science companies from China presented their progress and plans to a standing-room-only crowd on the 32nd floor of the St. Francis tower – which also offered the best view of San Francisco at the event. Presenting companies representing a broad range of industry segments including generics/biopharma (Simcere), 3SBio, Fosun, services (ShangPharma), drug distribution (SinoPharm, Eddingpharm), hospitals/Clinics (Chindex), and novel drug development (Hutchison MediPharma). Although the breakdown appears neat, Chinese companies are sometimes difficult to classify, as the business models in China are often hybrids.

Scientific News

Scientific Evidence Supports Effectiveness Of Chinese Drug For Cataracts
(ScienceDaily, 2010-01-17)
Scientists are reporting a scientific basis for the long-standing belief that a widely used non-prescription drug in China and certain other countries can prevent and treat cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye that is a leading cause of vision loss worldwide. In the study, Tzu-Hua Wu, Fu-Yung Huang, Shih-Hsiung Wu and colleagues note that eye drops containing pirenoxine, or PRX, have been reputed as a cataract remedy for almost 60 years. Currently, the only treatment for cataracts in Western medicine is surgical replacement of the lens, the clear disc-like structure inside the eye that focuses light onto the nerve tissue in the back of the eye. Despite the wide use of pirenoxine, there have been few scientific studies on its actual effects, the scientists note. The solutions contained crystallin – a common lens protein – combined with either calcium or selenite, two minerals whose increased levels appear to play key roles in the development of cataracts.

Expert uses a poison as therapy
(上海日报, 2010-01-15)
Shanghai took 57 prizes at this year’s State Scientific and Technological Awards with 55 of them projects initiated or supported by local experts. Top award winner Wang Zhenyi, 86, who still works as a doctor at the city’s Ruijin Hospital, was honored for research that has greatly improved the survival chances of people with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). His therapy, which combines all-trans retinoic acid – a chemotherapy drug – and arsenic has maintained a 95 percent survival rate among patients, making APL the first treatable adult leukemia. Experts at the Shanghai Institute of Hematology tested Wang’s treatment and found that the arsenic was targeting and killing specific proteins that kept the cancer alive.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°177

Mar
13
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,

Universal Medica Group and its renowned partners are pleased to organize the 2nd edition of the Innovation Days event to be held in the Cite Internationale Universitaire of Paris – France, on September 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2011.
Be part of this unique hotspot and drive your innovation strategy!

For more information, please contact: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS


  • MoH issues clinical guidelines for blood glucose meters
  • $125 bn to be spent on healthcare reforms in China
  • MoH announces goals for Twelfth Five-Year Plan
  • Sinopharm to Acquire 80% of Aurobindo’s China Subsidiary
  • PPD Forms JV, Expanding BioDuro to Include Biologic Drug Discovery

Healthcare News

MoH issues clinical guidelines for blood glucose meters
(China MOH,  2011-01-10)
China’s Ministry of Health (MoH) issued clinical practice guidelines for blood glucose meters in a bid to improve and standardize the tests. The ministry ordered medical institutions to formulate and adhere to standard operating procedures (SOP) for blood glucose meters based on the guidelines. Medical institutions were also urged to provide regular staff training in the use of the meters, and to establish mechanisms to ensure the accuracy of tests. The MoH said that individual medical institutions should only use one model of blood glucose meter in order to ensure consistent results.

Deputy Director of SFDA Fired for Bribery
(China SFDA, 2011-01-10)
Zhang Jingli, who had been one of four Deputy Directors of the SFDA, was officially fired from his post, prohibited from public employment and expelled from the Communist Party. Zhang has been suspended since this past summer, when rumors surfaced that he had accepted bribes. Zhang, who assumed his post in 2003, was in charge of overseeing Medical Devices.

Health reform to target medical expenses, improper drug use
(China MOH, 2011-01-10)
Reducing medical expenses and curbing improper drug use will be high on the health reform agenda in 2011, Deng Haihua, spokesman for the Ministry of Health (MoH), said in Beijing. Health authorities will introduce further measures this year to reduce patient medical expenses, including strengthening the internal management of hospitals and instituting more clinical pathways, according to Deng. The MoH has ordered hospitals and local health authorities to carry out research on the factors affecting medical expenses in their regions, and to set targets for the average cost of inpatient and outpatient treatment. The MoH last year started publishing statistics for medical expenses to help achieve its goals.

$125 bn to be spent on healthcare reforms in China
(Bioportfolio, 2011-01-06)
Chinese hospital prescription pharma market has generated sales of $22.9 billion in 2009, with an annual growth rate of 26.5 percent during 2008-09. Key drivers include China’s support of foreign direct investment, low operating costs, growing economic wealth and a government stimulus of $125 billion to be spent on healthcare reforms during 2009-11. The combination of China’s rising population by 2030, plus the expansion of the elderly population, as a proportion of the total population, will create additional pressure on the government in terms of healthcare provision, especially for the elderly.

MoH announces goals for Twelfth Five-Year Plan
(China MOH, 2011-01-07)
The Ministry of Health announced that it intends to reduce the portion of medical fees shouldered by individuals to below 30 % of the total national health expenditure during the period of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). One of the most important tasks for the next five years is to increase the capacity of medical institutions, according to the announcement. The MoH will continue to upgrade township and village clinics, as well as taking steps to upgrade county level institutions to Grade Two hospitals.

China’s biopharma industry sales up 31 pct from Jan. to Nov. 2010
(Bioportfolio, 2011-01-07)
China’s biopharmaceutical industry generated sales revenue of RMB 106.25 billion ($16.03 billion) during the first 11 months of 2010, up 30.55 percent year-on-year, according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The statistics indicate that sales by large biopharmaceutical manufacturers over the period surged 33.04 percent year-on-year, while sales by small- and medium-sized manufacturers saw growth of 33.04 percent and 21.82 percent, respectively.

Shanghai rural medical insurance premium hits record high
(Interfax.cn, 2011-01-11)
The average premium for rural cooperative medical insurance participants in Shanghai reached RMB 750 ($113.29) in 2010, a national record, the municipal health department announced. The figure represents a 245 percent increase on the average premium of RMB 360 ($54.38) in 2005, according to the announcement. The average premium nationally was RMB 155 ($23.41) in 2010, and the Ministry of Health (MoH) expects it to reach RMB 300 ($45.32) in 2015. In 2010, the Shanghai government spent RMB 713 million ($107.70 million) to subsidize the rural insurance program – 2.67 times more than the total paid by residents.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Chiva Licenses China Rights to Liver Drugs from Ligand
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-01-08)
Chiva Pharmaceuticals has in-licensed China rights for two clinical-stage liver drugs from Ligand Pharmaceuticals. It also will receive non-exclusive rights to Ligand’s HepDirect technology to discover and develop new molecules for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and hepatocellular carcinoma. Chiva, which is headquartered in California, is an affiliate of Hainan Kaihua Pharma.

Tianma Chemicals to enter API market with acquisition
(Interfax.cn, 2011-01-11)
Suzhou Tianma Specialty Chemicals Co. Ltd. (Tianma Chemicals) plans to acquire production technology for clopidogrel active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) from Tianji Biopharma Co. Ltd. for a total consideration of RMB 2.7 million ($407,430) in a bid to enter the API sector, Tianma Chemicals announced. According to the announcement, Tianma Chemicals must still secure good manufacturing practice (GMP) certification for its API production facilities. GMP certification is required to manufacture APIs in China. The company must also apply to the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) for production approval for clopidogrel, an antiplatelet agent used to prevent blood clots associated with cardiovascular diseases.

Sinopharm to Acquire 80% of Aurobindo’s China Subsidiary
(ChinaBio Today, 2011-01-11)
China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation (Sinopharm) will purchase 80% of an Aurobindo Pharma subsidiary in China. Aurobindo is an Indian generic pharmaceutical company, and its China subsidiary makes 6-APA, a derivative of Penicillin-G that Aurobindo uses for its own antibiotic products, which are manufactured in India.

Shanghai Pharma Closes $600 Million Deal for China Health System
(Biospace, 2011-01-12)
Shanghai Pharmaceutical closed its 4 billion RMB ($600 million) acquisition of a 55% stake in China Health System (CHS), one of the three largest drug distributors in Beijing. The purchase makes Shanghai Pharma one of the top two drug distributors in China, as the consolidation of pharmaceutical distribution in the PRC continues.

Kangmei Pharma clinches government funding for TCM park

(Interfax.cn, 2011-01-11)
Kangmei Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has received a grant of RMB 234.63 million ($35.41 million) from the government of Bozhou City in Anhui Province to help fund construction of a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) trading park in the municipality, the company announced. Kangmei Pharma plans to invest a minimum of RMB 2 billion ($301.80 million) in the 1-square-kilometer park, the construction of the trading park started in September 2010 and is expected to last three years.

Biotechnologies

PPD Forms JV, Expanding BioDuro to Include Biologic Drug Discovery
(Bioportfolio, 2011-01-11)
PPD, Inc. announced a joint venture that will extend the services of its China drug discovery division, BioDuro, to include discovery of biotherapeutics. BioDuro will partner with Taijitu Biologics Limited (TBL), forming BioDuro Biologics. BioDuro plans to invest $25 million in the JV, while TBL will contribute a monoclonal antibody technology platform being developed by its partner, MAB Discovery GmbH in Munich, Germany. PPD will own a majority stake in the JV.

Star Lake to enter rabies vaccine market
(Interfax.cn, 2011-01-11)
Guangdong Zhaoqing Star Lake Bioscience Co. Inc. (Star Lake) intends to enter China’s rabies vaccine market with a RMB 99.09 million ($14.97 million) investment for production facilities in Beijing, the company announced. Star Lake subsidiary An Ze Kang (Beijing) Biotech Co. Ltd. will manage the project. The facilities will produce enough vaccines for 2 million people every year, and generate annual sales revenue of RMB 388 million ($58.61 million). Construction is expected to take 38 months. Star Lake the same day announced plans to invest RMB 20 million ($3.02 million) to set up a bioengineering subsidiary, Zhaodong Star Lake Biotech Co. Ltd., in Northwest China’s Heilongjiang Province.

Technology for enterovirus vaccine to be transferred
(Bioportfolio, 2011-01-11)
Taiwan’s National Health Research Institute plans to transfer the technology for producing a self-developed enterovirus vaccine to local companies, after it releases the results from initial experiments conducted with the vaccine in the first half of this year. The government-run research body said that it has conducted the first-stage experiment of the vaccine that can help prevent Enterovirus 71 (EV71) on 100 adults after obtaining approval from the health authorities in October last year. At present, there is no vaccine available for enterovirus.

PPD Forms JV, Expanding BioDuro to Include Biologic Drug Discovery
(ChinaBio Today,  2011-01-11)
PPD, Inc. announced a joint venture that will extend the services of its China drug discovery division, BioDuro, to include discovery of biotherapeutics. BioDuro will partner with Taijitu Biologics Limited (TBL), forming BioDuro Biologics. BioDuro plans to invest $25 million in the JV, while TBL will contribute a monoclonal antibody technology platform being developed by its partner, MAB Discovery GmbH in Munich, Germany. PPD will own a majority stake in the JV.

China begins clinical trials of domestic cervical cancer vaccine
(Interfax.cn, 2011-01-06)
China has begun clinical trials of its first domestically produced cervical cancer vaccine. The vaccine was jointly developed by the National Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases (NIDVD), Xiamen Innovax Biotech Co. Ltd. and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Co. Ltd. Trials are taking place in Jiangsu Province, the report noted.

Scientific News

BGI and GT Life Sciences, Inc. Announce Complete Sequencing of CHO Genome
(PRNewswire, 2011-01-06)
GT Life Sciences, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company that utilizes a proven metabolic modeling and experimental platform to drive the discovery and design of new products and processes for the life sciences field, and BGI (previously known as the Beijing Genomics Institute), the largest genomics organization in the world, announced that they have successfully completed for the first time the sequencing of the Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-K1) genome. Early access to the genome is now available.

Chinese Pharma & Biotech Press Review – N°176

Mar
6
2011


HEADLINES

Dear customers,
We have the great pleasure to meet you in 2011 and we wish you a successful new year. We will continue to provide you with the best new reports and news on China. Please, do not hesitate to contact us if you need any information: info@universalmedica.cn

FOCUS

  • China’s vaccine market to exceed $3.6 bln by 2014
  • SFDA issues warning for hemodialysis machines
  • China relaxes rules for hospital investment coming from Greater China
  • China Will Have Second Biggest R&D Spend Starting in 2011

Healthcare News

China’s vaccine market to exceed $3.6 bln by 2014
(Interfax.cn, 2010-12-22)

China’s vaccine market will continue to see rapid growth and could be worth more than RMB 24 billion ($3.60 billion) by 2014, a senior analyst said at the Vaccine Market Forum 2010 in Taizhou City, Jiangsu Province. Domestic vaccine retail sales hit RMB 1.12 billion ($168.17 million) in 2009, up 40.68 % from 2008. This follows growth of 31.91 percent from 2007 to 2008.

China’s hospitals, clinics should experiment with official cooperation
(China MOH, 2010-12-27)
Health authorities should encourage hospitals and grassroots medical institutions to experiment with new forms of cooperation to improve grassroots health care in China, Zhang Mao, the Ministry of Health (MoH) secretary, told the National People’s Congress (NPC). Improving grassroots medical services and increasing their role in the health care system forms an important element of China’s ongoing health care reform. Many patients currently choose to use hospitals which are perceived to offer better quality services.

SIPI, Harbor Bio Ink. licensing deal for 3 drugs
(Interfax.cn, 2010-12-28)
Shanghai Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry (SIPI) has entered a patent licensing agreement with U.S.-based Harbor BioScience Inc. to develop, manufacture and distribute three drugs in China, SIPI announced. According to the announcement, the three drugs are used to treat cancer, diabetes and inflammation. All are currently undergoing second- or third-phase clinical trials in the U.S.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Shanghai Pharma Spends $570 Million for Two Acquisitions
(Bioportfolio, 2010-12-16)
Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding Co Ltd. plans to spend 3.8 billion RMB ($570 million) to buy two China drug distribution-manufacturing companies. In one deal, Shanghai Pharma will pay 1.5 billion RMB ($225 million) for the antibiotics business of its parent company, Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group. And it finalized the terms on a previously announced transaction, acquiring 65% of China Health System (CHS) for 2.3 billion RMB ($345 million).

NDRC Proposing 40% Cut in China’s Drug Prices
(ChinaBio Today, 2010-12-21)
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is considering cutting drug prices by an average 40% on 658 types of medicines in 307 categories. The reductions are detailed in a document that has been seen by pharma executives. Although the NDRC confirmed the document’s existence, it did not answer questions about whether the cuts will be put into effect or estimate a timetable for their implementation.

Chindex and Fosun Finalize Medical Device Distribution JV
(Bioportfolio, 2010-12-29)
Chindex International and Fosun Pharma have formally created their previously announced JV, an entity dedicated to marketing and distributing medical devices in China. As a secondary objective, the JV will also engage in R&D and manufacturing of medical devices. Chindex will contribute its Medical Products division to the JV, and Fosun will add much of its medical products distribution business after it secures regulatory approval for the transfer.

United Laboratories secures SFDA approval for insulin products
(Interfax.cn, 2010-01-05)
United Laboratories International Holdings Ltd. (United Laboratories) has secured production approval for three insulin products from the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), the Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed pharma company announced. United Laboratories’ Rapid-Acting R, Long-Acting 30R and Long-Acting 50R are recombinant human insulin products used to treat Type I and Type II diabetes. They will be priced 10 to 15 percent lower than similar products already on the China market, the company said.

Biotechnologies

ChinaBio® Investor Forum Selects Two Most Promising Companies
(ChinaBio Today, 2010-12-24)
The ChinaBio® Investor Forum – Guangzhou selected two “Most Promising” companies out of the 14 young companies seeking investment. MingSight Pharmaceuticals was chosen in the drug category, and Cyagen Biosciences was named in the research tool group. The ChinaBio® event brought together more than 330 attendees, including over 50 international VCs and investors.

China Bio and Sinovac Bio approved for HFMD vaccine trials
(Interfax.cn, 2010-12-27)
China National Biotech Group Co. Ltd and Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech Ltd have been approved by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) to conduct clinical trials of vaccine for hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD). According to the announcement, the vaccine targets Enterovirus 71 (EV71) – one of the two common virus strains that cause HFMD, the other being Coxsackie A virus.

Events

2011 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference Features China Track
(ChinaBio Today, 2010-01-04)
For the first time in its 29 years, the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference will include a track focused specifically on China. On Wednesday, January 12, fourteen China-based life science companies will present their plans to interested investors. The special track gives implicit recognition by this important US conference that China has become a critical part of international biopharma.

Asia/Pacific news

China Will Have Second Biggest R&D Spend Starting in 2011
(Emerginvest, 2010-12-18)
In 2011, China will boast the world’s second highest R&D investment, edging out Japan. The PRC is expected to spend $153.7 billion in R&D during 2011, an increase of 8.7% from $141.4 billion this year. Japan, meanwhile, will up its R&D investment by a modest $2 billion to $144 billion.

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