Vectura joins forces with a new JV biotech in China for respiratory therapies

The U.K.'s Vectura has thrown its dry powder inhaler technology into a newly established Chinese joint venture biotech that is setting out to develop and commercialize new respiratory treatments for a growing Asian market. 

Tianjin Kinnovata Pharmaceutical is being set up with the help of Tianjin KingYork, a Chinese pharma company, and the private equity player Zendex Bio Strategy based in Hong Kong. KingYork gets 50% of the new company, with Vectura grabbing 35% and the rest going to Zendex.

The prospect of gaining a share in China's growing pharma market has been driving companies of all sizes to explore similar tie-ups with local players. For biotechs like Vectura the booming Asian market offers a big upside for its technology, while joint ventures with companies already on the ground open doors and help blaze a path to regulators. 

"There is a clear, large and growing need in China and other Asian markets for more affordable, locally-produced asthma and COPD products and, for some time, we have been looking for the best means of entry," said Chris Blackwell, the CEO of Vectura, in a statement. "Combining Vectura's established technology with KingYork's local regulatory expertise and experience in corticosteroid products, Kinnovata has an opportunity to capture a significant market share of the growing Asian respiratory market."

- here's the press release