In Race for Blood Cancer Therapy, a Chinese Biotech Firm Surges 500% - (Bloomberg via NewsPoints Desk)

  • GenScript Biotech expects to start formal clinical trials of an investigational CAR-T therapy in the next quarter, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

  • Shares in the drugmaker have climbed more than six-fold since the company unveiled promising results of a small study of 35 patients with multiple myeloma.

  • GenScript is among several Chinese companies seeking to develop CAR-T therapies such as Cellular Biomedicine and Galaxy Biomedical Investment, while Fosun Pharmaceutical formed a joint venture with Kite Pharma to launch the latter's Yescarta in China.

  • "There's a lot of capital in China sloshing around," remarked Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Laura Nelson Carney, adding "it's easier to get a new biotech company funded in China than in the US right now."

  • In December, GenScript entered into a deal with Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Biotech unit to jointly develop the drugmaker's investigational treatment.

  • Although Jason Siu of Guosen Securities estimated that GenScript's treatment only has a one-in-three chance of reaching the market, CEO Frank Zhang suggested that the possibility for the company's treatment "to become a final commercialised drug is very high."

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