Biotech drug development // Drug Repurposing

Biotech drug development

China's National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) will invest $3.2 billion in R&D projects for new drugs that target ten major diseases. The effort is to take place during the 12th Five-Year Plan, which ends in 2015, leaving less than two years to make the investments. The diseases include cancer, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disorder, mental disorders, diabetes, autoimmune disease, drug-resistant pathogen infection, tuberculosis and other common diseases.

To speed up approval of innovative medical devices, the CFDA has set up a special office at the Center for Medical Device Evaluation. The division will decide whether a specific device qualifies as innovative. If it does, the same group will supervise the approval process under priority procedures. Both foreign and domestic companies are eligible for the program. The priority review is expected to shorten the entire approval process to about 160 days. Under the old system, it was a year or more.

The CFDA has begun a five-month campaign to root out unsafe medical products in China. The effort will target a wide range of possible problems, ranging from counterfeit products, to medical equipment that is not sterile, to websites promoting useless products, to complex medical devices whose clinical trial data may have been compromised. The increased oversight is a precursor to more thorough regulatory reform. Soon, China's State Council will issue a revision of the Regulations on Medical Instrument Management, which will put new long-term rules in place for monitoring the safety of medical devices.

Company News

Sagent Pharma (NSDQ: SGNT) will invest $30 million to build a second production line at its China production plant (see story). At full capacity, the Chengdu facility will be able to supply 25% of its annual product needs. In general, Sagent uses partners to produce its portfolio of injectables products, but it spent $25 million last year to buy out its China JV partner and bring the Chengdu operation entirely in-house, the only production facility Sagent owns.

On Monday, March 24, Qiagen (NSDQ: QGEN) will celebrate World TB Day by staging the China launch of QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube, its TB diagnostic blood test (see story). Qiagen says its test is more accurate than the traditional skin test for TB, which is known to give false positives. Qiagen, a Dutch maker of samples and assays, expects China to become one of its major markets for the test.

Simulations Plus (NSDQ: SLP) of California signed up the Research Institute for Liver Diseases, located in Shanghai, to distribute its pharmaceutical discovery/development simulation and modeling software in China (see story). Simulations calls its products "in silico consulting services" and positions them as a natural fit for RILD's in vitro experimental systems.

Trials and Approvals

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Lots of biotech and clinical testing and

by everything-else

Is up for grabs. India is making a big play for biotech research which is very labor intensive from research through development. Drug companies are salivating at the prospect of having drugs produced 50% cheaper by outsourcing.
Another big area of outsourcing is medical testing where your stool sample or whatever gets physically transported to wherever for the tender loving attention of whomever at a huge saving.
China and India have an effectively infinite supply of cheap, high quality labor so none of this is surprising. But what to do about it?
Interestingly, npr seems to be turning it into an ethical issue which is typical of leftie elites to give short shrift to American labor concerns which is the real story (though Sam De Lazaro is Indian so maybe there is something else at work).

Advice on a contract agreement

by mystartup

I just started a company specializing in finding buyers and negotiating terms for US biotech/pharm to sell their regional rights of drugs in foreign countries. My service will provide complex analysis of each potential buyer with regard to its development capability, therapeutic focus, financial strength, and other valuable info for deal making. I don't charge retainer fee or monthly expanses, so the service is success fee based. I got a contract draft from a firm who has immediate need to raise cash by selling their development drug rights outside US but is lack of contacts and culture/language skill to strike a deal

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