18 May 2010 09:19

Tasly to set up JV with Transgene SA

Shanghai. May 18. INTERFAX-CHINA - Tianjin Tasly Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., China's leading traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) manufacturer, announced on May 18 that it will set up a joint venture (JV) with French company Transgene SA Ltd. for the development of biological drugs.

The two sides signed an agreement on May 14 to establish a 50:50 JV, Tasly Chuangshijie (Tianjin) Biological and Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., with each party contributing an investment of RMB 1 million ($146,413).

The JV will focus on the research and development (R & D) of biological drugs, which Tasly hopes will strengthen its current capacity for biological drug development, especially Urokinase, which is used to treat cardiovascular diseases, Zhang Wei, a pharmaceutical analyst from Guohai Securities told Interfax on May 18.

In 2008, Tasly attempted to establish a cooperation with British Northway Holdings Ltd. to develop Urokinase, but the British company was unable to fulfill its commitment due to the economic downturn.

A number of Chinese chemical drug producers and TCM companies have began investing in biological drug development, according to Zhang.

"China is not lagging far behind developed markets in the area of biotechnological development," he said.

Transgene SA designs and develops immunotherapeutic products, which manipulate immune responses to treat cancers and chronic infectious diseases.