China's new biotech billionaire beefs up cardio pipeline with $600M buyout

Liu Dian Bo

Newly minted biopharma billionaire Liu Dianbo has added to his fortune while burnishing his rep as one of the top biotech drug developers in China. His company, Luye Pharma Group, acquired a 58% stake in Beijing Jialin Pharma Pharmaceutical for close to $600 million, beefing up its pipeline of cardiovascular drugs while expanding its product lineup.

The move boosted Luye's shares by 15%, according to Forbes, adding considerably to the value of Liu's 31% stake in the company, where he is both CEO and chairman. Luye went public last month, and made quite a splash on the market.

Luye is a big exception in China, a prominent marketer which also develops drugs almost solely for the Chinese market. And Liu has steered the company into oncology, cardiovascular and metabolism, confident that the growing biotech can build its fortunes as the huge population in China ages.

According to Luye's web site, the company has built an R&D team of 260, with production and R&D bases in Singapore, Beijing, Nanjing and Yantai. Part of its research has been focused on natural remedies, a big focus in China which GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) has also been focusing in on.

Luye's share price has been helped by GlaxoSmithKline's woes. The pharma giant has been hit hard by a bribery scandal, which has been hurting its sales in China while Luye has been growing. For Liu, it's a dream come true, after a fashion.

"My childhood dream was to be a doctor and save lives," Liu told Bloomberg recently. "Probably because of that I was never content to just make generic drugs. Innovation is the future."

- here's the story from Forbes