Strategic biologicals alliance between Sanofi and JHL Biotech in China

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Sanofi and JHL Biotech (JHL) announced on 5 December 2016 that they were forming a strategic biologics alliance in China.  The two companies will be collaborating on the development and commercialization of biological therapeutics in China, with potential for further international expansion.

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Sanofi is a long established global healthcare leader with its headquarters in France. They opened their first China office in 1982 and Sanofi China’s headquarters are in Shanghai. Their business spans the country and ranges from pharmaceuticals, vaccines, consumer health care and rare diseases (Genzyme), to animal health (Merial). Sanofi has seven manufacturing plants and over 9,000 employees in China. The alliance sees this pharmaceutical giant join forces with JHL, a start-up biopharmaceutical company founded in 2012 by a group of industry veterans. JHL focusses on research and development of new protein-based therapies and biosimilars. They have development and manufacturing facilities in Wuhan, China and Taiwan.

The collaboration between Sanofi and JHL has been formed to bring together their complementary capabilities. In their announcement, the two companies stress that the alliance also represents a commitment to expanding patient access to affordable, high quality modern therapies through local development of biologicals in China.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi will invest US$80 million in newly issued JHL shares. They will also make an upfront payment of US$21 million to acquire exclusive rights for the proposed biosimilar of rituximab and options to certain JHL pipeline products. Following this, Sanofi will lead the product commercialization efforts in China. In return, the efforts of JHL will be focussed on leading the development, registration and manufacturing activities of products in China.

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Source: JHL Biotech

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