Teva looks to sell generics in China through joint venture with Guangzhou Pharma
As the world’s largest generics maker, Teva still doesn’t have much of a presence in China, even though it is a country relies heavily on generics. The Israeli company is looking to remedy that as Teva has said it “has no agreement with any local partner to form a JV in China,” but went short of denying such a possibility or whether it’s in talks with Guangzhou Pharma. Teva had made some inroads in China more than a decade ago with a $7.4 billion Ivax acquisition deal in which it gained 50% of the shares in Kunming Baker Norton Pharma, a joint venture between China’s Kunming Pharma and Ivax. The company’s amoxicillin is one of the best-selling antibiotics in China. But then in 2015, Kunming Pharma bought back 49% of the shares, leaving only 1% for Teva. Teva has an API plant in China—which was dealt a warning letter from the U.S. FDA in April—and is selling drugs through a distribution agreement with a local company.
Valeant trades $1B buy for 6% royalty on a drug that’s not selling
Valeant said it’s selling Sprout Pharmaceuticals to a group of former Sprout shareholders in exchange for a 6% royalty on Addyi sales after 18 months. Valeant says it will lend $25 million to the investors to help them get the Sprout operation up and running. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year. Valeant purchased Sprout for $1 billion in August 2015, with former CEO J. Michael Pearson calling the buy a “perfect opportunity to establish a new portfolio of important medicines that uniquely impact women.” As industry watchers know, things for Valeant haven’t gone according to plan since that deal.
Roche’s Genentech whacking 130 jobs at California plant
The fortunes of Roche’s Genentech biologics plant in California, to a large degree, have followed the ebb and flow of the Swiss drugmaker’s expected battle with biosimilars of its blockbuster cancer drugs. Right now, biosimilars are on the rise and the California plant’s fortunes are on a downward slide, with dozens of workers set to lose their jobs. Genentech today confirmed 130 workers at the plant in Vacaville will be laid off by the end of the year after determining that fewer workers are needed for the demand it is forecasting for its injected medications. Genentech said that workers will get extended healthcare and other help through the transition and that it is “committed to the continued success of our operations in Vacaville, which is our largest manufacturing facility and a vital part of the global Roche network.
J&J’s next potential frontier for Stelara can be Lupus, thanks to positive phase 2 data
Johnson & Johnson has been looking for ways to expand its blockbuster drug Stelara, now that a raft of new competitors have made things tougher in psoriasis. And the immunology med might just have a good prospect in lupus. On Nov 6, the New Jersey drugmaker’s Janssen unit said the med had impressed in a phase 2 study. Sixty percent of patients receiving Stelara showed significant improvements in disease activity at week 24 of treatment, while just 31% of the placebo group did. Based on those results, the pharma giant plans to take its star into the next stage of development, Newman Yeilding, Janssen’s head of immunology development, said in a statement, adding that they “provide a strong rationale for moving into a phase 3 clinical development program.”