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Amgen & Zhejiang Beta Pharma announce planned joint venture in China

By: Pharma News | Views: 1233 | Date: 28-May-2013

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Zhejiang Beta Pharma Co., Ltd. (Zhejiang Beta Pharma) today announced that the companies have signed an agreement to form a joint venture to commercialize Amgen's Vectibix® (panitumumab) in the Chinese market. Together, Amgen and Zhejiang Beta Pharma aim to quickly and efficiently deliver Vectibix to patients in China.

Amgen and Zhejiang Beta Pharma announce planned joint venture in China

AMGEN





Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Zhejiang Beta Pharma Co., Ltd. (Zhejiang Beta Pharma) today announced that the companies have signed an agreement to form a joint venture to commercialize Amgen's Vectibix® (panitumumab) in the Chinese market. Together, Amgen and Zhejiang Beta Pharma aim to quickly and efficiently deliver Vectibix to patients in China.

The joint venture will benefit from Zhejiang Beta Pharma's strong expertise in the development and commercialization of molecularly targeted therapies as well as Zhejiang Beta Pharma's industry-leading oncology sales network in China. Zhejiang Beta Pharma's China capabilities are complementary to Amgen's global expertise in the development and manufacturing of human therapeutics.

"This joint venture brings us one step closer to providing Chinese patients with Amgen's medicines and supports our strategy of expanding in key, fast-growing markets," said Anthony C. Hooper, executive vice president at Amgen. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to join forces with Zhejiang Beta Pharma, a leader in developing and commercializing innovative medicines that shares our goal of making a new treatment option available to colorectal cancer patients in China."

"Amgen is a pioneer and a global leader in the biotech industry. Our partnership with Amgen will be of long-term strategic significance not only for Zhejiang Province, but also for the whole medical community in China," said Lieming Ding, chairman of Zhejiang Beta Pharma. "We share Amgen's passion for developing molecularly targeted therapies for unmet medical needs, and are confident that together we can help many Chinese patients who suffer from colorectal cancer."

"This is an important step forward in Amgen's commitment to the China market," said James Li, vice president and general manager, Amgen Greater China. "We are excited about the formation of our partnership with Zhejiang Beta Pharma and look forward to bringing Vectibix to Chinese patients within the coming years. Amgen's 30-year track record of developing innovative medicines means we are well-positioned to support the development of China's biotech sector. We see this as a clear step that enables Amgen to help China achieve its goals for the biotech industry."

"This is certainly a groundbreaking event for the biotech industry in China," said Yinxiang Wang, CEO of Zhejiang Beta Pharma. "We are pleased to be joining forces with Amgen in the war against cancer."

According to the agreement, the new joint venture will be named Amgen-Beta Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. Zhejiang Beta Pharma will own 51 percent and Amgen will own the remaining 49 percent interest in the joint venture. The creation of the joint venture is subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions, including the approval of relevant government authorities in China.

About Amgen
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe, effective medicines from lab to manufacturing plant to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping people around the world in the fight against serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives.

About Zhejiang Beta Pharma Co., Ltd.
Zhejiang Beta Pharma is a leading innovative pharmaceutical company in China with fully integrated capabilities that include R&D, GMP manufacture, sales and marketing. We were founded in 2003 and are headquartered in Hang-Zhou with R&D operations in Beijing. Over the last 10 years, we have been dedicated to the development of novel therapeutics and launched Icotinib in 2011 for the treatment of NSCLC patients in China. Going forward, we will continue to focus on pharmaceutical innovation so that we can benefit many more patients.

About Vectibix
Vectibix is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). It is grouped within a class of medications called biologics, which are therapies derived from human cells. Vectibix is approved in more than 40 countries.

Vectibix is the first fully human anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibody approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Vectibix was approved in the U.S. in September 2006 as a single agent for the treatment of metastatic colorectal carcinoma with disease progression on or following fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin and irinotecan chemotherapy regimens. Approval is based on progression-free survival; no data demonstrate an improvement in disease-related symptoms or increased survival with Vectibix.

Retrospective subset analyses of metastatic colorectal cancer trials have not shown a treatment benefit for Vectibix in patients whose tumors had KRAS mutations in codon 12 or 13. Use of Vectibix is not recommended for the treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC) with these mutations.

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