Focus On Asia
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VC Investment in South Korea’s biopharma sector drops again as investors continue to shy away amid higher interest rates and reduced out-licensing deals.
A China returnee CEO has raised roughly $50m for his bioventure that is looking to clinically validate and commercialize an RNA activation platform he co-discovered while working in the US.
Glenmark’s innovation subsidiary, Ichnos, highlights encouraging early data for lead bispecific antibody assets and hopes to accelerate these via licensing and partnership deals.The US-based arm also points to the tough biopharma financing market where investors are no longer satisfied with just the “preclinical story”.
Shionogi’s once-daily oral COVID-19 antiviral finally gets Japan approval after being considered for the third time by an expert panel, paving the way for public availability of the country’s first such home-grown option in early December.
Even as two biosimilar filings in Europe are stuck due to a lack of inspection staff and a biosimilar could be approved in the UK without a Phase III trial, Aurobindo has licensed novel drug Ryzneuta from Yifan Pharma. Meanwhile, a $650-700m revenue forecast for the specialty business has been pushed back as both overall revenues and profits declined during Q2.
Scrip takes a look at the current landscape in the South Korean digital therapeutics sector, where some remaining gaps in regulation and reimbursement are seen but multiple products are now progressing through pivotal local clinical trials.
With growing cases and deaths reported just as the country was preparing to ease some of its most restrictive COVID-19 measures, China takes new control steps amid low booster vaccine uptake and moves to halt the online sale of a repurposed domestic antiviral.
In a third-quarter earnings report that was difficult to fault AstraZeneca left big pharma earnings season on a high note. But raised full-year guidance depends on Evusheld sales and maybe China.
China's biopharma firms including Hengrui Medicine and HUTCHMED actively pursue licensing partners for their drug assets as the economic downturn caused by domestic COVID flare-ups continues worsening. Meanwhile, there are some predictions that smaller biotechs in the country may need to tap into multinationals' deep pockets to raise new funds.
Biocon, which is set to close its deal with Viatris shortly, says it is in a “very good position” to vie for a share of the adalimumab biosimilar pie in the US and has had encouraging preliminary discussions with payers.
In the last 10 years, the Asia Pacific region has become a hotspot for clinical trials, contributing almost 50% of new clinical trial activity globally in 2021, a new infographic analysis by Citeline's Trialtrove shows.
Dr Toichi Takenaka, the first winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award in the inaugural Pharma Intelligence Awards Japan earlier this year, talks to Scrip about his journey from researcher to CEO and today as a mentor for Japanese bioventures. Starting his career in an “empty lab” in the 1960s motivated him to pursue a string of collaborations with universities in Japan and on to the discovery of four successful drugs.
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