Earlier today, Adocia announced an expanded insulin partnership with China’s Tonghua Dongbao Pharmaceuticals. Tonghua Dongbao will manufacture and supply Adocia with biosimilar insulin glargine and with biosimilar lispro APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients), which Adocia can then market worldwide outside of China.
In April, Adocia licensed phase 3-ready BC Lispro (an ultra-rapid-acting prandial insulin) as well as BC Combo (75/25 glargine/lispro) to Tonghua Dongbao for development and commercialization in China (receiving a $50 million payment upfront, increasing Adocia’s stock nearly 30% that day). Today’s news shows a strengthening of this collaboration. According to the company announcement, the insulin glargine candidate has been submitted for regulatory approval in China; presumably, the drug still needs to be filed in other geographies.
Meanwhile, lispro should soon enter phase 3 clinical studies in China, led by Tonghua Dongbao (this morning’s announcement did not offer a more specific timeline). Adocia is also seeking a dedicated partner for BC Lispro in other markets – with Tonghua Dongbao agreeing to manufacture lispro API, Adocia can afford to choose a partner company regardless of its insulin manufacturing capabilities, which we see as a significant win. We’re keeping our ears peeled for further partnership updates.
Notably, Tonghua Dongbao is a major insulin manufacturer in China, and the company boasts production capacity of >three tons of insulin per year.
-- by Payal Marathe and Kelly Close