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Taiwan: Panion & BF kidney treatment set to enter Chinese market


(Source: ETaipei Times 2014-09-02)

Panion & BF Biotech Inc, which makes pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and consumer healthcare products, yesterday clinched a deal to form a joint venture with Shandong Weigao Pharmaceutical Co to sell its new drug for treating hyperphosphatemia, an electrolyte imbalance from chronic kidney disease in China.

Panion & BF is to license its new kidney drug Nephoxil to the new venture, with a down payment and milestone payments of 150 million yuan (US$24.42 million) in total from the new company in the near future, manager Lillian Hsu said by telephone yesterday.

Panion & BF is to hold 49 percent of the shares of the new company, while Shandong Weigao Pharmaceutical is to have 51 percent of the shares, Hsu said. The companies have not finalized the new venture’s initial investment yet, she added.

“The reason for us to establish a joint venture is because we want to engage more with the Chinese market,” Hsu said. “We aim to make the new company an enterprise dedicated to provide treatments for kidney problems in China.”

China-based Shandong Weigao Pharmaceutical makes medical supplies for hemodialysis in China and has its own retail routes for selling related products, Hsu said, adding that the Chinese company is part of Weigao Group, which is listed as the sixth largest medical group in China in terms of annual profit by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

From January through July, Panion & BF reported revenue of NT$513.81 million (US$17.21 million), up 17.18 percent from NT$438.48 million a year ago, according to the company’s filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

In the first six months of this year, the company posted profit of NT$14.93 million, or NT$0.34 per share, up 3.82 times from NT$3.1 million, or NT$0.08 per share, the previous year, filing said. Panion & BF said the revenue and profit growth was because Nephoxil was approved to be sold in Japan in January.

Panion & BF shares rose 5.71 percent to NT$409 in Taipei trading yesterday, outperforming the over-the-counter benchmark index, which was up 0.99 percent.

The company and its US partner, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc, are still working on drug permits for Nephoxil in the US and Taiwan, it said.

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