Lupin, which has been expanding its manufacturing and marketing footprint internationally via M&A, moved on Brazil in May with the acquisition of generics and OTC maker Medquímica Indústria Farmacêutica. But new markets mean new regulations, and the Indian company has been tripped by some issues that led Brazil to ban some of Lupin's antibiotic products.
Vice President Joe Biden weighed in with the Chinese on FDA's efforts to negotiate an agreement to bump up its inspection staff in the country. So did former FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. But it is locally employed FDA staffer Lixia Wang who has won the prize, in part for her efforts to help seal the deal.
Chinese medical device player Mindray Medical was down 7% in early trading on the news that it would acquire the remaining stake of orthopedics player Wuhan Dragonbio Surgical Implant Co. Mindray first gained a controlling stake in Dragonbio for $35.5 million in 2012. Investors may be taking the deal as a sign that a June take-private offer is now off the table. The deal is slated to close this month.
While recent problems in Russia's economy have thrown some deals off course, Western drugmakers in the last several years have built or bought production capacity in Russia to tap what has been seen as an important emerging market. India's Lupin jumped into that market, picking up a company that will give it a production toehold there.
The HIV-oriented joint venture of Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Japan's Shionogi is turning to a Chinese manufacturer for a cheap supply of dolutegravir, the active ingredient in its Tivicay. The deal is seen as a way to cut the cost in China and some other developing countries of the JV's newest HIV fighter.
Ethicon, the Johnson & Johnson unit devoted to surgical tools, is moving to defend its bariatric surgery territory as a slew of noninvasive medical devices to treat obesity line up to gain approval in the U.S. It will spend $3.2 million on more than 20 clinical trials to examine how early surgical intervention can be used to improve conditions such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
Several years ago, GlaxoSmithKline committed $50 million to set up an antibiotics facility in Singapore to do continuous processing, a radically different manufacturing approach that has a much smaller footprint, and so much lower operating costs and less environmental impact, than traditional batch processing. The drugmaker now says it is ready to embark on a £38 million expansion there.
Hedge fund managers are so flush that now they're giving money away. A pair of prominent fund heads have led a collection of wealthy individuals to back a project at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard researching the bacteria behind tuberculosis with $20 million. The goal is to better understand the bacteria itself, as well as how drug resistance forms in it and to develop a rapid diagnostic test for drug-resistant TB.
China is a hotbed of med tech growth, with local companies competing against foreign devicemakers for their cut of the profits. One Chinese company got a boost in the race, as the World Health Organization (WHO) approved Wuhu SNNDA Medical Treatment Appliance Technology's circumcision device for HIV prevention.
Last month, reports said Valeant was eyeing up one of Egypt's largest drugmakers. Now, word has it, those talks have progressed, and the Canadian pharma could be ready to pull the trigger in the coming weeks.