Week In Review: JHL Biotech Signs $257 Million Biosimilar Deal With Sanofi

Deals and Financings

JHL Biotech (TWO: 6540), a Taiwan-China biologics company, signed a $257 million partnership agreement that gives Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) rights to market a JHL clinical-stage rituximab biosimilar, initially for China (see story). Sanofi also invested $80 million in JHL stock. JHL will develop, register and manufacture the biosimilar, while Sanofi will be in charge of commercialization. Rituximab is used to treat autoimmune disorders, cancer and transplant rejection. JHL received approval to start a European Phase I trial of the rituximab biosimilar in February 2016. 

BioAtla, a San Diego-Beijing biotech, will receive over $100 million from Sinobioway of Beijing in a deal that grants Sinobioway greater China rights to four BioAtla drug candidates (see story). The two companies made a final selection of four molecules (which were not disclosed) to include in the collaboration, triggering a $35 million payment that put the deal value over $100 million. Previously, Sinobioway had paid $70 million that included an investment and an upfront payment. BioAtla is developing a portfolio of Conditionally Active Biologic antibody therapeutics, which remain encapsulated until they are released in specific microenvironments. 

Aier Eye Hospital Group (SHZ: 300015) of Changsha will pay $84 million to buy out its partners in nine hospitals, which were acquired by two funds Ayer co-established in 2014 with two Chinese private equity firms (see story). To pay for the transaction, Aier will raise $348 million in a secondary offering, which will also be used to build a new company headquarters, expand its existing facilities and improve its technology infrastructure. Aier operates over 130 ophthalmology hospitals and clinics in China. 

Mandarin Capital Partners, a China private equity firm, paid $17.4 million to acquire a majority stake in an Italian CMO, Mipharm SpA of Milan (see story). Mipharm specializes in making generic drugs and has traditionally had a close relationship with Sandoz, the generic arm of Novartis (NYSE: NVS). Mandarin Capital focuses on European companies and on European businesses that want to expand into China. It closed its second fund, Mandarin Capital Partners II, early this year at $218 million. 

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