Lilly’s deal with Regor is another example of large pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. and Europe showing interest in Chinese biotechs for their research, rather than as a means of accessing the second-largest market for prescription drugs.
In recent years, Amgen, Pfizer and Seagen have struck partnerships with, or invested in China-based biotechs, while AstraZeneca set up a new R&D center in Shanghai to, among other things, better collaborate with companies there. The investment has come as Chinese biotechs have taken advantage of new rules for stock listings in Hong Kong to raise record-setting sums.
Amgen’s 2019 partnership with Beigene, which has a market capitalization of $30 billion on Nasdaq, was the most notable, both by financial value and for the number of clinical-stage drugs involved.
Lilly, too, has dipped its toes into China-based biotech research. In 2015, the drugmaker grabbed partial rights to a cancer immunotherapy developed by Innovent Biologics. That drug, now known as Tyvyt, has since been approved in China for two types of lymphoma and could be cleared for lung cancer as well. Last year, Lilly paid $200 million to broaden the partnership. READ MORE
By Ned Pagliarulo
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