Home health remedies FiercePharmaAsia—BeiGene’s $2.1B share sale; Harbour’s meaty C round; Lupin plant COVID-19 closure

FiercePharmaAsia—BeiGene’s $2.1B share sale; Harbour’s meaty C round; Lupin plant COVID-19 closure

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Amgen is maintaining its ownership percentage in BeiGene by pouring $421 million into the Chinese biotech’s $2.1 billion stock offering. Harbour BioMed landed $102.8 million in a series C round as its cancer and COVID-19 antibody projects drew investors. Lupin became the latest Indian drugmaker to close a plant after reports of COVID-19 cases among staffers. And more.

1. Amgen doubles down on BeiGene investment as Chinese biotech aims to raise $2.1B

BeiGene is raising $2.1 billion in a direct stock offering to fund its R&D programs, potential licensing deals and commercial activities in China and the U.S. To maintain its stake in the Chinese biotech, Amgen has snapped up $421 million worth, on top of the $2.7 billion it shelled out in a strategic collaboration formed last year.

2. Harbour BioMed nabs meaty C round as cancer, COVID-19 work draws investors

Just a few months after a series B worth $75 million, Chinese biotech Harbour BioMed has nabbed $102.8 million in series C cash. The money will go toward its clinical programs, including therapeutics targeting CTLA-4, FcRn and TNF-alpha. It’s also working on antibody drugs against the novel coronavirus, with recent tie-ups with AbbVie and Mount Sinai Health System.

3. Lupin shuts down Indian plant after 18 workers test positive for COVID-19: report

Lupin has shut down an Indian manufacturing plant in western Gujarat state after 18 workers tested positive for COVID-19, two government officials told Reuters. The affected plant is one of 11 the company operates at its Ankleshwar site, which sprawls across 40 acres and employs 984 workers.

4. Junshi taps Revitope for next-gen anti-cancer bispecifics

Junshi Biosciences has tapped Revitope Oncology to help develop T-cell engagers for its next-generation bispecific antibodies. For each cancer-fighting molecule selected, Junshi is paying up to $160 million in milestones. The news came right before Junshi’s debut on China’s Nasdaq-like STAR market, raising CNY 4.5 billion ($643 million).

5. Little-known Chinese firm builds $79M COVID-19 vaccine plant, eyes production next year

China’s AIM Vaccine Group broke ground on a manufacturing and R&D base for its coronavirus vaccine, with CNY550 million ($79 million) earmarked for the project. The goal is to start production of the company’s inactivated COVID-19 shots in the first half of 2021. Currently, the company has made public neither animal data on its candidate nor a timeline for moving into the clinic.

6. Merck KGaA opens its largest life science collaboration center in Shanghai (release)

Merck KGaA’s life science business MilliporeSigma has opened its M Lab Collaboration Center in Shanghai, the company’s largest of nine such hubs worldwide. The site boasts total lab size of about 10,000 square meters, with facilities covering the entire pharma value chain from drug R&D to manufacturing. It houses a BioReliance facility offering CDMO services.

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