2019-02-22| Asia-Pacific

Weekly Top 5 in China (0217-0223)

by GeneOnline
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Burning Rock Completes RMB 850 Million for Series C Round of Funding and Aims to Build an International Leading Tumor Precision Medicine Brand

Burning Rock officially announced the closing of the Series C round of funding, totaling RMB 850 million, led by Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, followed by LYFE Capital, CMB International Capital Limited, Lilly Asia Ventures, Sequoia Capital China and T&Brothers Capital. It is another round of large-scale funding after the B round of funding of RMB 300 million in 2016. It is reported that the funds will be mainly directed towards early cancer detection product development and marketing expansion. Burning Rock is now an international leading tumor precision medicine brand and will continue to lead cancer genetic testing industry in China.

Currently, Burning Rock has established the highest industry standards in each field. In 2018, Burning Rock and Chinese Thoracic Oncology Group (CTONG) was one of the first laboratories to pass the technical review required to obtain the designation of “NGS laboratory” by China’s National Center for Clinical Laboratories. As a result, the lab became the only clinical laboratory to have obtained official recognition from China’s NGS laboratory authority, as well as the CLIA and CAP designations in the U.S.

About Burning Rock

Founded in 2014, Burning Rock is a provider of Next-Generation Sequencing diagnostics solutions for precision medicine in oncology. At present, the business covers three major sectors: cancer patient companion diagnostics, early cancer detection, and cancer genome big data ecosystem. Burning Rock maintains its leading position in innovative technology, clinical product design and quality control system. Burning Rock also had the strategic partnership with many pharmaceutical companies, such as Agilent Technologies, PerkinElmer, Illumina, and QIAGEN, etc.

Cstone Pharmaceuticals is Set to Initiate Avapritinib Phase III Clinical Trial for Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors in China

CStone Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held pharmaceutical company devoted to developing innovative drugs, is set to initiate a Phase III clinical trial for its partnered drug candidate avapritinib, discovered and developed by US-based Blueprint Medicines, as a third-line treatment or higher treatment for KIT-driven gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) in Greater China, approved by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA).

GISTs are rare mesenchymal malignancies of the gastrointestinal tract. Most GISTs harbor a KIT (80%) or a platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα) (10%) mutation that leads to constitutive activation of the tyrosine kinase receptor.

Avapritinib is an oral, potent and highly selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor, preclinical data demonstrated that it is active against KIT and PDGFRα mutations. The avapritinib phase III clinical trial will be performed as part of the global VOYAGER phase III trial, compared to the current standard regorafenib, in GIST patients who had prior therapy with imatinib and one or two additional tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This trial will monitor progression-free survival as the primary efficacy endpoint to study the safety and efficacy of avapritinib.

About Cstone Pharmaceuticals

Cstone Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company devoted to the development of a new generation of innovative drugs. The company develops cancer therapeutics with a focus on immuno-oncology based combination therapies. It engages in developing model for drug development with a focus on clinical development. In July of 2016, Cstone Pharmaceuticals announced the completion of its $150 million Series A financing.


WuXi Biologics Passes Pre-Approval Inspection of the EMA

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has completed the Pre-Approval Inspection (PAI) of WuXi Biologics ‘s cGMP Drug Substance (DS) and Drug Product (DP) manufacturing facilities for the production of TaiMed Biologics’ TrogarzoTM with no critical findings. WuXi Biologics is expected to obtain GMP certification in May 2019.

After the completion of inspection, WuXi Biologics will become the first cGMP biologics DS facility, the first cGMP biologics DP facility and the first cGMP cell banking facility in China to be approved by the EMA for commercial manufacturing.

DS, the pure material that stimulates any pharmacological action, also known as Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) and DP, the finished product of any drug that is available in the market and is ready to use. Both DS and DP are also the first in China to pass the U.S. FDA inspection, approving WuXi Biologics to supply biologics globally. The completion of EMA inspection is a milestone for WuXi Biologics, further qualifying the company as a global leading biomanufacturing company.

About WuXi Biologics

WuXi Biologics is a leading global open-access biologics technology platform offering end-to-end solutions to discover, develop and manufacture biologics for protein therapeutics and biologic drugs from concept to commercial manufacturing.

Merck and Tencent Collaborated on Providing Intelligent Digital Health Services in China

German multinational pharmaceutical Merck and Chinese Internet value added services provider Tencent signed a strategic collaboration agreement to increase public disease awareness and provide more accessible healthcare services via digital platforms, aiming to transform the lives of 40 million patients in China by 2025. The collaboration will help patients to better manage chronic diseases by providing more convenient and smarter medical services.

The Healthcare Business of Merck in China has committed to developing a multi-dimensional intelligent medical ecosystem in collaboration with cross-industry partners. Tencent, while committed to consumer-based internet, also actively entering the healthcare field by leveraging the company’s artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing capabilities. The two companies will jointly explore innovative healthcare platforms, including allergies, infertility, diabetes, thyroid disorders and cardiovascular diseases, as well as oncology such as metastatic colorectal cancer. In the future, the two companies will extend their collaboration to the development of artificial-intelligence doctors.

About Merck

Merck, is a German multinational pharmaceutical, chemical and life sciences company headquartered in Darmstadt, with around 50,000 employees in around 70 countries. The company provides a range of pharmaceutical and chemical products for various industries. The company has three business sectors: Healthcare, Life Science, and Performance Materials.

About Tencent

Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, and founded in 1998, Tencent is a Chinese multinational investment holding conglomerate that specialises in various internet-related services and products, entertainment, artificial intelligence and technology. Tencent’s mission is to “improve the quality of life through internet value-added services”.

Jennewein and Yili have the Partnership to Develop Milk Products for Chinese Market

Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are complex sugar molecules originally found in breast milk. Researchers discovered that HMOs, and 2′ fucosyllactose in particular, have a crucial role in infant development. HMOs is favor of the growth of beneficial microorganisms, but inhibit the growth of pathogens at the same time. Recent studies indicate that unhealthy microbiome may lead to obesity, autism or allergy development. However, most milk products on the market do not contain HMOs, as of today.

China is the largest market for baby food, with 50% of the total global market volume (USD$76bn by 2021). China’s leading dairy company Yili Group provides dairy products to the market based on scientific research. Jennewein Biotechnologie GmbH, the world-leader in the manufacturing of HMOs, first launched HMO and 2′-fucosyllactose onto the global baby food market back in 2015. Jennewein Biotechnologie GmbH recently announced signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Yili Group on infant microbiome and HMO to develop an innovative infant formula and dairy products specifically for the Chinese market.

About Jennewein Biotechnologie GmbH

Founded in 2005, Jennewein Biotechnologie GmbH is a world-leader in the manufacturing of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), which is an important component of human breast milk. Based on scientific research, the company has developed a unique manufacturing process using the latest fermentation technology.

About Yili Group

Yili Group is a state-owned dairy company headquartered in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China. It is engaged in processing and manufacturing of milk products, including ice cream, milk tea powder, sterilized milk and fresh milk under “Yili” brand, powdered milk under “Pro-Kido” brand, and organic milk under “Satine” brand. In 2018, it is the world’s 3rd best-performing food brands.


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