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20190902-0908 Weekly in Asia
Korea’s JW Pharmaceutical Acquires Vietnamese Drugmaker
Recently, the Southeast Asian drug market, such as Vietnam, is growing at a rapid pace, however, it is difficult for foreign companies to enter the market due to drug rating system and price competitiveness problems.
JW Pharmaceutical Corporation (formerly Choongwae Pharma), one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Korea announced that it has acquired Euvipharm, a Vietnamese pharmaceutical company, as part of its strategy to target pharmerging markets in ASEAN countries. The company did not disclose the financial information of the acquisition. Euvipharm’s plant is the largest in Vietnam and has received good manufacturing practice approval from the World Health Organization. The plant can produce 1.9 billion medicine products annually. JW will gradually transfer production and quality control technologies, including its differentiated formulation research capabilities to Euvipharm and apply for a pharmaceutical inspection co-operation scheme (PIC/S) certification. The company will also conduct a contract manufacturing business through Euvipharm.
About JW Pharmaceutical Corporation
JW Pharmaceutical headquarters in Seocho-dong, Seoul. The company is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Korea with core competencies in antibiotics, and anti-cancer treatments.
Euvipharm, founded in 2005, was acquired by Canada’s largest drugmaker Valeant (currently Bausch Health Companies) in 2013 and operates a pharmaceutical plant with the most modern manufacturing facilities in Vietnam.
Taiwan’s Cathay Pacific Hospital helps Vietnam’s Vietduc Hospital Build its Emergency Medical Information System
Vietduc Hospital is the largest trauma surgery center in the north part of Vietnam and receives a large number of referral patients every day. However, the lack of information systems resulted in emergency stagnation. An average of 40 patients are waiting for surgery in the emergency room each day. Cathay Hospital announced that in line with the Taiwan government’s new southward policy, in June this year, Cathay Hospital and the hospital’s evaluation and medical quality policy association jointly formed a smart medical team to visit the emergency department of Vietduc Hospital and review its emergency operation process. The medical team diagnosed that during the transfer process, Vietduc Hospital could not know the patient’s pre-hospital status in advance. In addition, the lack of information system assistance in emergency medical examination, surgical grading and surgical scheduling, etc. led to overcrowding and emergency congestion. In order to promote the effective application of medical resources, Cathay Pacific Hospital and Vietduc Hospital signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to assist Vietduc establish an emergency medical information system, including the introduction of pre-hospital ambulance telemedicine system, establishment of emergency medical examination and surgical scheduling. From October onwards, Vietduc will further dispatch 3 professionals to Cathay Hospital for training.
NMPA approves AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso as a 1st-line Treatment for EGFR-mutated Non-small Cell Lung Cancer
In China, 30-40% non-small cell lung cancer patients are diagnosed with an EGFR mutation, more than any other country in the world.
AstraZeneca announced that it has received marketing authorisation from China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) for Tagrisso (osimertinib) as a 1st-line treatment for adults with locally-advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have the genetic mutations of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 19 deletions or exon 21 substitutions. The approval is based on results from the Phase III FLAURA trial. Tagrisso significantly increased the time patients lived without disease progression versus the comparator. Tagrisso is a third-generation, irreversible EGFR-TKI designed to inhibit both EGFR-sensitising and EGFR-resistance mutations, with clinical activity against CNS metastases.
AstraZeneca is a global biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism (CVRM) and Respiratory. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.
Insilico Medicine Raises $37M in Series B Funding
Insilico Medicine, a pioneer in next-generation artificial intelligence technology for drug discovery based in Hong Kong, recently completed a $37 million in Series B financing, which was led by Qiming Venture Partners. Through a network of joint ventures, partnerships with early-stage biotechnology and large pharmaceutical companies, Insilico Medicine is powering the new digital-age biopharmaceutical industry. The funding will be allocated to commercialize the validated generative chemistry and target identification technology. Insilico Medicine will also build up a senior management team with the experience in the pharmaceutical industry, further develop its pipeline in cancer, fibrosis, NASH, immunology and CNS for the purposes of partnering with the pharmaceutical companies on specific therapeutic programs.
About Qiming Venture Partners
Founded in 2006, Qiming Venture Partners is a leading China venture capital firm with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Seattle, Boston and San Francisco Bay Area. Currently, Qiming Venture Partners manages over US$4 billion.
About Insilico Medicine
Insilico Medicine is an artificial intelligence company headquartered in Hong Kong, with R&D and management resources in six countries. The company is developing and applying the next-generation deep learning approaches to the drug discovery and drug development process.
Singapore’s New Infectious Disease Centre Tracks Everyone in the Building in Case of Outbreak
Disease outbreaks happen suddenly without warning, it often poses threat to public health and safety. Extreme weather, infectious diseases, industrial accidents or intentional acts are its causes. An outbreak may last for a few days or weeks, or for several years.
The National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), Singapore’s infectious disease management and prevention center is a facility with 330-beds. NCID announced on September 5th that the center will establish the Real-Time Location System (RTLS), a real-time tracking system for all staff members, visitors and patients by the end of this year, to make contact tracing easier in a disease outbreak, thus reducing the harm it causes. Other than tracking the contact among people, the RTLS can also monitor the hand hygiene of staff members and locate equipment like beds and wheelchairs in the NCID. In cases of outbreak, staff members will be able to easily recall equipment for use.
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