DKSH Supports Growth for Vitabiotics in Hong Kong and Malaysia

DKSH, the leading Market Expansion Services provider with a focus on Asia, and Vitabiotics, Britain’s largest and fastest growing major vitamin supplement company, has signed an agreement to expand the firm’s product range into Hong Kong and Malaysia.

BANGKOK, April 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — DKSH Business Unit Healthcare, a leading partner for healthcare companies seeking to grow their business in Asia, will provide marketing, sales, distribution, logistics and regulatory services for Vitabiotics in Hong Kong and Malaysia. The agreement is an extension of a collaboration that started in Taiwan in 2011.

DKSH will broaden Vitabiotics’ already established market position and product range in Hong Kong on offer by leveraging its reach and deepening distribution to more pharmacy outlets. The Vitabiotics range is also undergoing approval by authorities in Malaysia.

According to a recent study by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, the Market Expansion Services market for over-the-counter healthcare products in Hong Kong is expected to grow by 5-6% annually between 2014 and 2019. Malaysia is expected to see a slightly higher growth rate of 6-7% growth per year over the same period.

“The diverse Asian market shows excellent long term growth potential for Vitabiotics’ products. Working with our regional partner DKSH allows us to accelerate our growth and enter new strategic markets at the same time. While we can focus on our core strengths, DKSH’s strong commitment to compliance and governance gives us the security that the expansion of our business is in safe hands,” said Robert Taylor, Vice President, Vitabiotics.

“Our regional reach and integrated services give Vitabiotics the convenience of working with one strategic partner across multiple markets. With the insights and commercial capabilities of our local experts and our broad capillary distribution, we are confident to spur further growth for Vitabiotics in Asia,” said Andrew Frye, Head of Business Healthcare, DKSH.

The agreement will strengthen DKSH’s market position in Asia over time.

About Vitabiotics

Vitabiotics has pioneered advances in nutritional healthcare for 45 years, a British company committed to human health and research. As the UK’s No.1 vitamin company, Vitabiotics has created a unique portfolio of products at the forefront of scientific developments in key sectors, with no fewer than 8 brands in the top 18 VMS brands in the UK, including Pregnacare, Osteocare, Wellman and Wellwoman. Vitabiotics is widely acknowledged as leaders in innovation and in 2013 became the first vitamin company to receive the Queen’s Award for Innovation, awarded for its ground breaking clinical research.

As the fastest growing major vitamin company in the UK, Vitabiotics exports to over 100 countries, and has twice received the Queen’s Awards for International Trade. Designed to provide maximum efficacy by supporting the human body in its own natural processes, each product is developed using the latest research available and is produced to the highest pharmaceutical standards.

About DKSH

DKSH is the leading Market Expansion Services provider with a focus on Asia. As the term “Market Expansion Services” suggests, DKSH helps other companies and brands to grow their business in new or existing markets.

Publicly listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since March 2012, DKSH is a global company headquartered in Zurich. With 750 business locations in 35 countries — 720 of them in Asia — and 27,600 specialized staff, DKSH generated net sales of CHF 9.8 billion in 2014.

In 2015, DKSH celebrates its 150th anniversary. With strong Swiss heritage, the company has a long tradition of doing business in and with Asia, and is deeply rooted in communities and businesses across Asia Pacific.

DKSH Business Unit Healthcare is the leading Market Expansion Services provider for healthcare companies seeking to grow their business in Asia. Custom-made offerings comprise registration, regulatory services, market entry studies, importation, customs clearance, marketing and sales, physical distribution, invoicing and cash collection. Products available through DKSH Healthcare include pharmaceuticals, consumer health and over-the-counter (OTC) products, as well as medical devices. With 150 business locations in 14 countries and around 9,200 specialized staff, Business Unit Healthcare serves over 150,000 customers and generated net sales of around CHF 4.5 billion in 2014.

Latin American Contract Research Organizations Set to Get More Local Outsourcing Opportunities

– Currently, multinational companies outsource a larger proportion of their clinical trials than local firms, finds Frost & Sullivan

SAO PAULO, April 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — As market penetration stood at only 64 percent in 2013, huge opportunities exist for contract research organizations (CROs) to expand their market share in Latin America (LATAM). Local contracts, which accounted for 21.6 percent of the total market size in 2013, will begin to contribute more to overall revenues. The local development of biosimilars, domestic pharmaceutical companies’ plans to increase the number of clinical trials to comply with regulations, and focus on geographic expansion will give rise to more local contracts for CROs in the region.

Research

Research

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New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Latin American Contract Research Organization Market (http://www.frost.com/p849), finds that the market earned revenues of $438.5 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach $661.3 million in 2019 at a compound annual growth rate of 7.1 percent. The study covers phase I, phase II, phase III and late phase clinical development as well as biostatistics, central laboratory services and data management. Health economics studies, a part of late phase trials, will gain significant traction in the coming years, since they are utilized while deciding which new molecules to include in the list of reimbursed drugs considered by public health services and private insurance plans.

For complimentary access to more information on this research, please visit: http://corpcom.frost.com/forms/LA_PR_FValente_P849-52_27Mar15.

“Multinational pharmaceutical companies tend to outsource about 70 percent of their trials by adopting either a fully outsourced or function-to-function model,” said Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Consultant Sanjeev Kumar. “However, local pharmaceutical companies have lower outsourcing rates that range from 50 to 70 percent in countries across LATAM.”

In Argentina and Brazil, regulatory issues have restrained clinical development, thereby dampening the prospects of CROs in the region. Bottlenecks in the Agencia Nacional de Vigilancia Sanitaria (ANVISA) submission and approval processes have meant that protocol approval takes 12 to 15 months in Brazil and an average of 6 months in Argentina.

In addition, limited outsourcing among big pharmaceutical clients that can conduct in-house R&D and clinical drug testing has restricted CRO market growth. Nevertheless, as large, well-established CROs have begun to use specialized research technologies that can cater to the rising demand for drug development, pharmaceutical clients’ reliance on in-house R&D is likely to reduce considerably. Along with this trend, the rise of innovative therapeutic options as well as the need for increased drug efficacy and safety will promote market development.

“In order to better serve and become the preferred partner of bio-pharmaceutical companies, CROs in LATAM must make an effort to expand their range of services,” noted Kumar. “Mergers and acquisitions with local CROs will be a cost-effective approach to achieve this end.”

Latin American Contract Research Organization Market is part of the Life Sciences (http://www.lifesciences.frost.com) Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: Global Diabetes Drug Delivery Market, Global CRO Market, Global Stem Cell Market, and Global Infectious Disease Diagnostics Market. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants.

Our “Growth Partnership” supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

  • The Integrated Value Proposition provides support to our clients throughout all phases of their journey to visionary innovation including: research, analysis, strategy, vision, innovation and implementation.
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For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?

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Latin American Contract Research Organization Market
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Global Strategic Partners Merck and Pfizer Finalize Agreement to Co-Promote XALKORI(R) (crizotinib)

DARMSTADT, Germany and NEW YORK, April 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —

Not intended for UK-based media 

  • In the second and third quarters of 2015, Merck and Pfizer will begin co-promoting XALKORI in the United States, Canada, Japan and five European Union countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) 
  • In the United States and Canada, XALKORI will be co-promoted by EMD Serono, the US and Canadian biopharmaceutical businesses of Merck  
  • Co-promotion of XALKORI allows the Merck-Pfizer alliance to establish a combined oncology sales organization in key markets for the program 

Merck and Pfizer today announced the finalization of the co-promotion agreement allowing the companies to jointly co-promote Pfizer’s anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor XALKORI® (crizotinib). This agreement showcases the alliance’s commitment to establishing a combined oncology sales organization in key markets in advance of the potential launch of avelumab*-based treatment regimens in the future.  

XALKORI is the first ALK inhibitor approved in the United States, Japan and the European Union (EU) and is supported by two positive global randomized trials in the first- and second-line ALK-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment settings. To date, globally more than 8,000 patients have been treated with XALKORI, including those who received XALKORI in clinical trials.

Under the agreement, XALKORI will be co-promoted in two waves, the first of which will begin in the second and third quarters of 2015 in the United States, Canada, Japan and five European Union countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom). In the United States and Canada, XALKORI will be co-promoted by EMD Serono, the US and Canadian biopharmaceutical businesses of Merck. The second wave will begin in 2016 and includes China and Turkey.  

In 2015, Merck will receive a reimbursement associated with its promotion of XALKORI, followed by an 80 percent (Pfizer), 20 percent (Merck) profit sharing on the product starting in 2016. The co-promotion term will last through December 31, 2020 for the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom and from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2021 in China and Turkey. Pfizer will report the sales of XALKORI in countries where it is co-promoted with Merck.

“We are proud and excited to share the legacy of XALKORI, a medicine that changed the treatment paradigm for patients with ALK-positive metastatic NSCLC, with Merck,” said Liz Barrett, President and General Manager, Pfizer Oncology. “Through our co-promotion of XALKORI, we will establish a best-in-class global sales organization that will be exceptionally prepared for the potential launches of our future oncology medicines.”

“As we progress our robust program to co-develop and co-commercialize avelumab, the co-promotion agreement is an exciting milestone for the alliance between Merck and Pfizer, allowing us to establish our combined oncology sales organization in key markets for the program,” said Dr. Andrew Schiermeier, General Manager for the Merck-Pfizer Alliance and Head of Global Oncology, adding: “For Merck, this agreement is particularly important as it accelerates the establishment of our United States and Canada oncology sales organization ahead of our potential avelumab launches and positions us for future success in this market.”

This co-promotion relationship is related to the announcement in November 2014 of a global strategic alliance between Merck and Pfizer to jointly develop and commercialize avelumab, an investigational anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody, to accelerate the development of immuno-oncology medicines for patients with cancer. The immuno-oncology alliance will also advance Pfizer’s PD-1 antibody.  

*Avelumab is the proposed International Nonproprietary Name (INN) for the anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody (MSB0010718C)

About Non-small Cell Lung Cancer 

Globally, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in men and the second most common in women, responsible for almost twice as many deaths as both breast and prostate cancer combined[1]. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for 85 to 90 percent of all lung cancers[2]. Locally advanced and metastatic disease account for approximately 35 to 40 percent[3 and 70 percent[4 of patients, respectively with NSCLC.

About XALKORI® (crizotinib) 

XALKORI is a kinase inhibitor indicated in the US for the treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors are anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive as detected by an FDA-approved test. The US indication is not limited to any specific line of therapy. In the EU, XALKORI is indicated for the treatment of adults with previously treated ALK-positive advanced NSCLC. XALKORI has received approval in more than 80 countries.  For more information and full prescribing information, please see: http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/EPAR_-_Product_Information/human/002489/WC500134759.pdf.

Merck-Pfizer Alliance 

Immuno-oncology is a top priority for Merck and Pfizer. The global strategic alliance between Merck and Pfizer enables the companies to benefit from each other’s strengths and capabilities and further explore the therapeutic potential of avelumab, an investigational anti-PD-L1 antibody initially discovered and developed by Merck.  The immuno-oncology alliance will jointly develop and commercialize avelumab and advance Pfizer’s PD-1 antibody. The companies will collaborate on up to 20 high priority immuno-oncology clinical development programs, including combination trials, many of which are expected to commence in 2015.

Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world® 

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world’s best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more, please visit us at http://www.pfizer.com.

Merck 

Merck of Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials. The company has six businesses – Biopharmaceuticals, Consumer Health, Allergopharma, Biosimilars, Life Science and Performance Materials – and generated sales of € 11.3 billion in 2014. Around 39,000 employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to foster the success of customers and to help meet global challenges. Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company – since 1668, the company has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70% interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States, where the company operates as EMD Serono, EMD Millipore and EMD Performance Materials.

All Merck press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Website. Please go to http://www.merckgroup.com/subscribe to register online, change your selection or discontinue this service.

Pfizer Disclosure Notice 

The information contained in this release is as of April 7, 2015. Pfizer assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release as the result of new information or future events or developments. 

This release contains forward-looking information about an agreement between Pfizer and Merck to co-promote Pfizer’s XALKORI in certain markets as well as about the companies’ immuno-oncology alliance involving avelumab and Pfizer’s anti-PD-1 antibody and clinical development plans, including their potential benefits, that involves substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, uncertainties regarding the success of the co-promotion arrangement and whether the companies will realize the anticipated benefits of the co-promotion arrangement; the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including the ability to meet anticipated clinical study commencement and completion dates as well as the possibility of unfavorable study results; risks associated with interim data, including the risk that the final results of the Phase I study for avelumab and/or additional clinical trials may be different from (including less favorable than) the interim data results and may not support further clinical development; the risk that clinical trial data are subject to differing interpretations, and, even when we view data as sufficient to support the safety and/or effectiveness of a product candidate, regulatory authorities may not share our views and may require additional data or may deny approval altogether; whether and when drug applications may be filed in any jurisdictions for any potential product candidates or combination therapies; whether and when any such applications may be approved by regulatory authorities, which will depend on the assessment by such regulatory authorities of the benefit-risk profile suggested by the totality of the efficacy and safety information submitted; decisions by regulatory authorities regarding labeling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of any of such product candidates or combination therapies; and competitive developments.

A further description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Information That May Affect Future Results”, as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the SEC and available at http://www.sec.gov and http://www.pfizer.com.

References 

  1. American Cancer Society. (2011). Global Facts & Figures Second Edition.  Retrieved from: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-027766.pdf
  2. American Cancer Society. (2014). Lung Cancer (Non-Small Cell) [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003115-pdf.pdf
  3. Blumenschein, G. R., Paulus, R., Curran, W. J., Robert, F., Fossella, F., Werner-Wasik, M., Herbst, R. S., Doescher, P. O., Choy, H., & Komaki, R. (2011). Phase II study of cetuximab in combination with chemoradiation in patients with stage IIIA/B non-small-cell lung cancer: RTOG 0324. Journal of clinical oncology: official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 17, 2312-2318.
  4. Wood, S. L., Pernemalm, M., Crosbie, P. A., & Whetton, A. D. (2013). The role of the tumor-microenvironment in lung cancer-metastasis and its relationship to potential therapeutic targets. Cancer treatment reviews, 4,558-566.

SAFC Launches New EX-CELL® Advanced™ Products for Scalable, Efficient Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing

ST. LOUIS, April 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (NASDAQ: SIAL) today announced that SAFC® Commercial (www.sigma-aldrich.com/safc), the Company’s business unit providing products and services for use in regulated pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical applications, has launched the EX-CELL® Advanced™ product line. Designed to address the needs of an evolving industry where speed to market is paramount, the new product line provides for increased performance, streamlines regulatory compliance, and offers the supply chain security needed in today’s biopharmaceutical environment.

The first EX-CELL Advanced product is the high-performing batch media system developed for a range of widely used industrial CHO cell lines, including SAFC’s proprietary CHOZN® cell line. During rigorous testing, the EX-CELL Advanced CHO Fed-batch System outperformed other commercially available equivalents by displaying significantly higher titers. Robust scale up and effortless adaptation offers those in biopharmaceutical development the opportunity to get their process up and running quickly and efficiently. Protein quality, another vital consideration in the development process, remains uncompromised.

“At SAFC we recognize our customers’ needs are constantly changing”, said Deb Stutz, Director of Biopharm Marketing. “Our team has utilized unique expertise in raw material science, understanding of process knowledge and decades of experience in cGMP manufacturing in development of the new EX-CELL Advanced line. We are delighted to launch this product in response to market needs for new levels of speed and performance, while continuing to provide the confidence of a secure and transparent supply chain.”

EX-CELL Advanced products are available now as catalog products in a range of pack sizes. To learn more or to make a purchase inquiry about the EX-CELL Advanced CHO Fed-batch System, visit www.sigma-aldrich.com/CHOperformance.

©2015 Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC. All rights reserved. Sigma-Aldrich, SAFC, EX-CELL, EX-CELL Advanced and CHOZN are trademarks of Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC or its affiliates, registered in the U.S. and other countries.

AMRI to Close Holywell, U.K. API Manufacturing Facility

ALBANY, N.Y., April 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — AMRI (NASDAQ: AMRI) announced today that it has decided to close its Holywell, U.K. facility following a consultation process with employee representatives. The Holywell site provides chemical development services and small- and large scale-manufacturing services of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and intermediates.

“This was a difficult decision as it impacts team members who have made valuable contributions to AMRI,” said William S. Marth, AMRI President and Chief Executive Officer. “We will work diligently to ensure the closing of the Holywell facility goes as smoothly as possible for our customers and employees.”

AMRI will transition activities at the Holywell site to other facilities within the AMRI network and plans to cease operations at the site by the end of 2015. Closure of the site is expected to affect approximately 62 positions.

About AMRI
Albany Molecular Research Inc. (AMRI) is a global contract research and manufacturing organization that has been working with the Life Sciences industry to improve patient outcomes and the quality of life for more than two decades. With locations in North America, Europe and Asia, our key business segments include Discovery and Development Services (DDS), Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), and Drug Product Manufacturing. Our DDS segment provides comprehensive services from hit identification to IND, including expertise with diverse chemistry, library design and synthesis, in vitro biology and pharmacology, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, as well as natural products. API Manufacturing supports the chemical development and cGMP manufacture of complex API, including potent, controlled substances, biologics, peptides, steroids, and cytotoxic compounds. Drug Product Manufacturing supports pre-clinical through commercial scale production of complex liquid-filled and lyophilized parenteral formulations. For more information about AMRI, please visit our website at www.amriglobal.com or follow us on Twitter (@amriglobal).

About AMRI API Manufacturing
With demonstrated success in large scale API Manufacturing, we offer the preeminence and scale to support the chemical development and cGMP manufacture of complex Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API). Our global manufacturing footprint, which also includes manufacturing in Europe and India, provides customers with access to global markets and low-cost manufacturing of APIs or intermediates. In addition, we have the skills and infrastructure to adequately provide complex API research and development, analytical support and support with global regulatory activities.

Aptuit To Expand API Capacity Due To Increased Demand For Integrated Development

– Opens 1600L/1000L reactor stream at Oxford, UK and increases API capacity at Verona, Italy

GREENWICH, Conn., April 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Jonathan Goldman, CEO, Aptuit LLC, announced that Aptuit has increased its global capacity for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) Manufacture due to increased demand for API, and for its integrated and comprehensive candidate-to-IND development solution.

Dr. Goldman stated, “Customer demand for our high quality, integrated, fully inclusive candidate-to-IND solutions has increased over 300% on an annual basis. As part of our strategy of investing in our infrastructure, we therefore have opened a 1600L/1000L reactor stream at our internationally renowned API facility in Oxford, UK and increased throughput at our 400L reactors at our world-class, fully integrated, former large Pharma R&D center of excellence in Verona, Italy.

Dr. Goldman explained that Aptuit’s strategy will allow increased throughput of integrated development programs, as well as deliver standalone API at 40-120 kg batch scale for early to mid-stage clinical trials. “There is a gap in the market for high quality API at this scale, and Aptuit is delighted to serve this need.”

“As recognized by our recent 2015 Life Science Leader CMO Leadership Award for Quality, our company differentiates in API by quality, best-in-class science, and delivery of complex chemistry solutions. Our ability to combine this with drug product and analytical services results in unique integrated offerings in both CMC and complete IND enabling solutions. The innovative approach has created strong demand amongst customers, and stimulated our plan to re-invest to increase our capacity in API.

Dr. Goldman concluded, “Our mission is to help discover and develop new medicines with outstanding quality and world class scientific problem solving. Aptuit is committed to being the best-in-class provider of fully integrated drug discovery and development services, supported by a culture of scientific excellence and innovation.”

Aptuit LLC provides the most complete set of integrated early discovery to mid-phase drug development services in the pharmaceutical industry including Drug Design & Discovery, API Development and Manufacture, Solid State Chemistry, CMC, Preclinical and IND enabling GLP/GMP programs. Fully integrated drug discovery & development services are available from a single site at The Aptuit Center for Drug Discovery & Development center in Verona, Italy. The company maintains resources around the world, with facilities in the US, UK and Italy. Aptuit LLC is partnered with Welsh, Carson, and Anderson & Stowe, one of the world’s leading private equity investors.

For more information about Aptuit, visit www.aptuit.com

CONTACT: Nerina Coppini, nerina.coppini@aptuit.com

Chairman of Jintian Pharmaceutical Purchased Approximately HK$113 Million Worth of Shares Citing Confidence in Company’s Development in Online and Offline MacroHealth Business

HONG KONG, April 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Jintian Pharmaceutical Group Limited (“Jintian Pharmaceutical” or the “Company”; stock code: 2211) announced that Mr. Jin Dongtao, chairman and executive director purchased 40,000,000 ordinary shares (the “shares”) of the Company, representing 2% of the existing entire issued share capital of the Company from AMG Holdings Limited, at HK$2.82 per share with the total amount of approximately HK$113 million. Upon the completion of the transaction, Mr. Jin Dongtao’s shareholding will increase from 45.17% to 47.17%.

Mr. Jin Dongtao, chairman and executive director and 2014 Annual Results Announcements

Mr. Jin Dongtao, chairman and executive director and 2014 Annual Results Announcements

Mr. Jin Dongtao, with over 20 years’ experience of pharmaceutical industry, enjoying great influence in China’s pharmaceuticals industry. In addition to focus on the Company’s business development, as the leader of the Group, Mr. Jin Dongtao also pays close attention to the market and industry trend, actively promotes the industry concept of MacroHealth (Holistic wellness which includes healthcare and medical industry), develops the market of e-commerce, aiming at building up Jintian Pharmaceutical into a leader in international MacroHealth brand management.

Mr. Jin Dongtao’s explanation of the increase of shareholding will better interpret the Company’s strategic conception:

First, Mr. Jin Dongtao has great confidence in the development of China’s MacroHealth industry.

With China entering aging society, MacroHealth industry, strongly supported by the nation, enjoys huge development potential. Jintian Pharmaceutical, as the forerunner in the pharmaceutical distribution industry, takes the lead in implementing layout of MacroHealth industry with its extraordinary healthcare entity network.

Second, Mr. Jin Dongtao has great confidence in the development of cross-border trading.

By the international perspective resulted from listing in Hong Kong, on one hand, through distributing and selling international MacroHealth brands’ products, the Company achieved strategic cooperation with multiple world-renowned manufactures, expanded the market for the products, and improved profitability and competitiveness among domestic peers; on the other hand, the Company follows closely with the development of free trade zones in China and arrange its business accordingly, in the future the Company will enter the international market to cooperate with famous enterprises from Asia and even from Europe and the United States, so as to establish overseas MacroHealth brand operation and management enterprise.

Third, Mr. Jin Dongtao has great confidence in the establishment of mobile internet platforms.

The Chinese government revealed “Internet Plus” strategy recently, which brought huge development potential for the industry. During 2014, after cooperation with Ali Health, the Company introduced elite teams from the Internet field to actively develop retail and distribution network, and to establish competitive O2O platform. The Company combines with advantages of its entity network to promote fast implementation of our e-commerce strategy to best leverage our leading real economy advantage. The Golden Rules of Marketing and professional training of Jintian Institute make contribution to promoting the Company’s high-margin products. In the meantime, under the thinking mode of platform cooperation, the Company established crossover in e-commerce business in a great extent and depth with dozens of MacroHealth industry-related enterprises at home and abroad.

Mr. Jin Dongtao mentioned, “CVC Capital Partners, as one of our main pre-ipo private fund investors, their lock-up period has expired after three and a half years’ holding period. This transaction is a win-win investment decision. The Company and I maintain a good relationship with CVC. We hereby gratitude to CVC for their years of support.”

Strong FY14 Results. MS maintain their Valuation “Attractive”

In 2014, the revenue and gross profit of the Group increased by 31.1% and 35.4% respectively as compared with 2013. Over gross profit margin increased to 29.1%. Earnings per share for the Reporting Period was RMB23.77 cents.

As at 31 December 2014, the Group acquired 157 retail pharmacies and opened 2 new retail pharmacies. The Group had 953 self-operated pharmacies in total, of which 4 are located in Hong Kong. The Group has established a nationwide distribution network covering approximately 6,500 customers. Meanwhile, the Group now has a total of six logistics centres in Shijiazhuang, Harbin, Jiamusi and other places, which further strengthened our advantages of nationwide distribution network. During the Reporting Period, the Group cooperated with Alibaba Health to launch online prescription drug business in Northeast China.

The Group has high net profit margin which benefits from the focus on branded premium products portfolio, the unique direct supply model, central procurement platform and low operating costs. Jintian Training Institute provides professional training service to employees and customers representing strong abilities of execution and acquisitions integration. In this way, the product portfolio and advanced business model can be applied into the acquisition business. The Group has established a unique business model and strong core competitiveness. In addition, e-commerce and mobile Internet services and MacroHealth has been brought into the Group’s strategy.

Based on FY14 results, Morgan Stanley maintains their bear-case valuation of “Attractive”. And they expect the price target can be HK$4.50 and the stock will bullish on the Group’s accelerating sales growth through offline distribution and retail channels and online platforms.

About JINTIAN PHARMACEUTICAL GROUP LIMITED

Jintian Pharmaceutical Group Limited (“Jintian Pharmaceutical” or the “Company”, stock code: 2211) is one of the leading pharmaceutical retailers and distributors in China, and certified as the Top 10 of 2013-2014 China chain pharmacy stores by the State Food and Drug administration. As at 31 December 2014, the Company has 953 retail pharmacies in including four stores in Hong Kong and approximately 6,500 distribution customers. The Company has high net profit margin, which is attributable to the product mix with a focus on high-gross-margin products, the effective direct-supply model, the centralized procurement platform and low operation costs. The Company provides training programs to its employees and customers through Jintian Institute. The Company also has strong execution capability for acquisitions and integration which enables it to implement its product mix, advanced business model and sophisticated operation procedures in the acquired businesses. The Company has formed distinctive business model and core competitive strengths.

This press release is issued by Wonderful Sky Financial Group Holdings Limited on behalf of JINTIAN PHARMACEUTICAL GROUP LIMITED.

For further information, please contact:

Wonderful Sky Financial Group Holdings Limited
Connie Liu / Angus Song / Sylvia Zhang
Tel: (852) 3970 2290 / (852) 3970 2175 / (852) 3970 2161  
Fax: (852) 2598 1588
Email: po@wsfg.hk / angussong@wsfg.hk / sylviazhang@wsfg.hk

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International Vaccine Board Meeting held in Kuala Lumpur

Board meeting discussed the future of vaccines for the first time in Asia.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The Vaccine International Advisory Board (VACCIAB) held their first ever meeting in Asia, where ten of the most reputable vaccine experts from Malaysia and the world discussed issues surrounding vaccines and immunisation at InterContinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur today.

Seated from Left to Right: Dr. Tabassum Khan – Managing Director AJ Pharma Holding Sdn Bhd, Dr. Pierre Morgon - CEO AJ Biologics Sdn Bhd and Sir Roy Anderson - Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London.

Seated from Left to Right: Dr. Tabassum Khan – Managing Director AJ Pharma Holding Sdn Bhd, Dr. Pierre Morgon – CEO AJ Biologics Sdn Bhd and Sir Roy Anderson – Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London.

VACCIAB members comprises of a panel of international, world class experts from varying disciplines within the vaccine and immunisation specialty, including experts from Malaysia. Members discussed and deliberated on issues surrounding immunisation policies regarding the evolution of paediatric combinations based polio immunisation as the “end game” for the traditional vaccine is nearing, as well as developments in the meningococcal vaccine space. The ultimate aim of the advisory board is to create papers that can be used as reference by policy makers to shape more effective immunisation schedules.

“The meeting itself discussed science-based arguments and the output is very much within the scope of public health. Today, we outlined recommendations aimed at supporting public health initiatives, particularly in Malaysia,” says Dr. Pierre Morgon, CEO of AJ Biologics Sdn Bhd. “Vaccination is an important part of any public health policy, as you are actually immunising to protect the population against transmissible diseases.”

In any country, disease prevention is key to a successful public health programme, which leads to disease prevention through vaccines and effective immunisation programmes. Research has shown that immunisation reduces disease burden, long-term disabilities, and generates savings for citizens and a country’s health system.

With the availability of new vaccines, a series of complex decision making steps is now required in selecting new prevention options and the overall strengthening of healthcare systems. Immunisation coverage rates are also a good measure of the overall strength of a Government’s public health system primary care capabilities.

Immunisation rates in Malaysia are very good at over  95% coverage throughout the country. The recommended immunisation schedule implemented by the Ministry of Health is also very much up to date and includes the recommendations made by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Malaysia initiated its vaccination services from as early as 1956, and progressed with the introduction of WHO’s Expanded Programme for Immunisation in 1972. As testament to the need for immunisation, Malaysia successfully eradicated polio and was endorsed polio free by the WHO in 2000. The last case of wild polio infection detected was in 1977.

Historically, vaccines have been responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that were once common including polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella, mumps, tetanus and Haemophilus influenza Type b. Vaccination programmes were also responsible for the eradication of smallpox, one of the most devastating diseases in history.

Today’s meeting marks the second annual meeting for VACCIAB where the inaugural meeting was held at The Institute of Directors in London last year. VACCIAB was established via an unrestricted research and education grant sponsored by AJ Biologics Sdn Bhd. AJ Biologics is a wholly owned subsidiary of AJ Pharma Holding Sdn Bhd, a healthcare and biotechnology investment company established in Malaysia under the Bio-nexus and Entry Point Project (EPP) program.

For further details, please contact:

Hannah Nawi
VACCIAB Secretariat
Email: hannah@ajbiologics.com
Phone: +6019 228 3022

For media inquiries, please contact:

Syuhada Adam
Avas Associates Sdn Bhd
Email: avasassocs@gmail.com
Phone: +6018 2699 412

FACT SHEET

Vaccine International Advisory Board (VACCIAB)

The Vaccine International Advisory Board (VACCIAB) is an independent advisory board and was established through an unrestricted research and education grant from AJ Biologics in March 2014.

The Advisory Board aims to function as an advisory committee and will provide reports and/or recommendations to Governments and relevant bodies with regards to the vaccine industry, and immunisation programmes and strategies. The primary focus initially will be Malaysia, and in the future encompass the region and the rest of the world.

Members of the Advisory Board consist of a group of professionals, with the common pursuit to share experience and knowledge in vaccines, epidemiology and health economics for the betterment of societies at large. All members bring a depth of knowledge in individual fields all related to vaccines, vaccine development, disease distribution and public health. Members were selected based on notable contribution to their industry and a strong commitment to the advancement of healthcare for populations.

The Committee is purely advisory in nature. However it intends to hold comprehensive discussions surrounding the following topics, which will allow them to develop white papers and strategy, documents, which can assist policy makers and industry with regards to immunisation programmes and strategies, and new vaccine therapies available.

Discussion areas:

— Recent trends in disease distribution patterns

— Health economics

— Cost burden of vaccine preventable diseases

— New developments or techniques in vaccine therapies

— Potential immunisation strategies and programmes

— Potential opportunities for the development of Halal vaccines

— Public health perspectives and vaccine uptake

VACCIAB Panel members

Dr. Tabassum Khan – Managing Director AJ Pharma Holding

Dr. Tabassum Khan is a Medical Doctor who holds an MBA in Finance and a PhD in Healthcare Management. He is a top tier strategy consultant and is a widely respected authority on the efficient and effective management of healthcare related industries internationally. He has more than 20 years of top management experience in a multinational environment and has led organisations with very successful track record.

He is a lead tutor and runs regular sessions on Strategic Planning, Innovation and Value Management. In United Kingdom, he is a member of the Institute of Directors and Institute of Business Consulting. His expertise in Value Management has not only helped Government and private organisations to optimise their operations, revenues and costs but has also been instrumental in defining long term strategies and policies. He is also a regular speaker on international forums in the domains of Health Economics, Diabetes, Hypertension, Translational Medicine and Disease Prevention.

Dr. Pierre A Morgon – CEO AJ Biologics Sdn Bhd

Dr. Pierre A Morgon has over 26 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biological industry and in healthcare IT, both in marketing positions and in operations. Through these local and global positions, he has acquired direct experience with blockbuster products in diverse markets (primary care, specialty care, hospital, vaccines, and biotechnology), geographies (US, Europe, Japan, China, India, Emerging Markets) and organisations.

Currently, he is the Regional Partner for Switzerland at Merieux Developpement. He is also Non-Executive Director to the Board of Theradiag since March 2012, a company focusing on in vitro diagnostics in auto-immunity, infectious diseases and allergy, as well as Non-Executive Director to the Board of Eurocine Vaccines since December 2013, a company dedicated to developing nasal vaccines.

He holds a Doctorate of Pharmacy from Lyon University, France, a Master in Business Law from the Lyon Law School and a MBA from ESSEC, France. He is also an alumnus of INSEAD, IMD and MCE executive programs.

Jean-Michel Peny

Jean-Michel has extensive experience both in the pharmaceutical industry as well as in the world of academia. His pharmaceutical accolades includes 7 years of experience as General Manager for Servier International and Novartis Generiques France. He also spent 19 years in Strategy and Management consulting for the pharmaceutical sector with big consulting companies such as Bain & Co, Arthur D. Little, AT Kearney, and ISO Health Care Consulting. Throughout his career, Jean-Michel also gained over 20 years of experience in academia via teaching for some of the top universities in France.

Dato Dr. Nazlee Kamal

Dato Dr. Nazlee Kamal is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) bringing with him over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical sector. Prior to joining BiotechCorp, Dr. Nazlee was the Founding CEO of Inno Biologics Sdn Bhd, a biopharmaceutical manufacturing and cell based diagnostics company. Among his experience in the pharmaceutical sector, he also worked with Amersham Biosciences, Sartorius and BBraun. He also served 10 years as a lecturer at the University of Technology Malaysia where he developed the Bioprocess Engineering Programme.

BiotechCorp is an agency under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and is responsible for executing the objectives of the National Biotechnology Policy.

Sir Roy Anderson

Sir Roy Anderson is a Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London. He has mathematically modelled the spread of disease such as new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and AIDS. He also currently chairs the science advisory board of WHO’s Neglected Tropical Diseases programme, is a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Grand Challenges in Global Health advisory board, and chairs the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) advisory board funded by the Gates Foundation. He is a non-executive director or GlaxoSmithKline. He has published over 450 scientific papers on the epidemiology, population biology, evolution and control of a wide variety of infectious disease agents including HIV, BSE, Foot and Moth Virus, vCJD, SARS, dengue virus parasistic helminthes and protozoa and respiratory tract viral and bacterial infections.

Dr. Michael Clark

Dr. Michael Clark graduated as a Medical Doctor from the University of Paris specialising in Haemotology, and has since spent over 25 years in the Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical industry. His business experience includes senior responsibilities in operational marketing in Europe and Emerging Countries, in strategic marketing world wide and in vaccine portfolio development world-wide for global pharmaceutical companies such Servier and Beecham, SmithKline Beecham and GSK Biologicals.

At GSK Biologicals, Dr. Clark was responsible for worldwide strategic marketing for GSK Biologicals’ complete product portfolio, post which he was also the head of GSK’s vaccines business in Latin America. Dr. Clark oversaw the global launch of over 10 innovative vaccines and biotechnology products; he was also the project lead for several Biopharmaceutical products and contributed to over 20 development projects over a period of 15 years.

Klaus Hermansen

Klaus Hermansen is one of those rare people in the vaccines industry who combines world-class manufacturing knowledge, deep business understanding and cultural appreciation of working across the world. He is a senior technology partner within the business development group in NNE Pharmaplan and heads the company’s vaccine design group.

Klaus started his career at Novo Nordisk, where he was in charge of manufacturing. Later, in 1987, he moved into the vaccines industry and has held key positions in the manufacturing supply chain in Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK.

Klaus joined NNE Pharmaplan in 2005 when he played a major role in setting up the vaccine design and technology group. He has been instrumental in developing manufacturing strategies for key customers in Europe, the US and emerging markets, especially China and India. He is an expert within the area of vaccine manufacturing, facility design, biocontainment and single-use technologies.

Dr. Varaprasad Reddy

Dr Varaprasad has extensive experience in the development and production of vaccines and has been involved in a number of projects in India. Dr. Varaprasad was part of the team that was responsible for the development and commercialisation of India’s first r-DNA Hepatitis B vaccine. It was for this effort that Dr. Varaprasad was awarded the National Award Padma Bhushan by the President of India for his efforts in developing an affordable vaccine against Hepatitis B through indigenous efforts to benefits the common man and thereby creating a biotech revolution in India.

Dato Seri Jamil Bidin

Dato Seri Jamil Bidin was appointed CEO of Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) in 2006, with more than 30 years experience in the corporate sector. He started his career as an Accountant with Rothmans of Pall Mall Berhad. Since then, he has acquired extensive experience in auditing, corporate finance and financial management in various positions in public listed companies such as CI Holding Berhad, Arab Malaysian Group and the Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad. In 2002, Dato Seri Jamil was made the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Putera Capital Berhad, a main board public listed company with activities in manufacturing, construction, property development and engineering.

Professor Dr. Tin Tin Su

Dr. Tin Tin Su is the Head of the Centre of Population Health (CePH) which is responsible for looking at areas such as health economy, public health policy, healthcare financing, social epidemiology violence sexual health.

Dr. Tin Tin Su has qualifications from Institute of Medicine in Yangon as well as the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Dr. Su’s area of expertise is Health Economics (Economic evaluation, econometric modelling, health economic study in non-communicable diseases, and quality in healthcare).

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Development and Commercialization of Antibacterial Drugs to Speed Up

– The recently implemented GAIN Act is expected to lure companies back into R&D as well as attract new participants, finds Frost & Sullivan

LONDON, March 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The growing threat posed by multi-drug resistant gram-negative organisms (MDR-GNBs) is lending a sense of urgency to the development of antibacterial drugs worldwide. Upcoming regulatory reforms to lower R&D costs and provide incentives for new drug identification will create attractive opportunities for pharmaceutical manufacturers.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, A Product and Pipeline Analysis of the Antibacterial Drugs Market, finds that nearly 80 percent of drugs currently in the pipeline are from smaller pharmaceutical and biotech companies, of which half do not have any commercialized products in the market. GlaxoSmithKline (www.gsk.com), AstraZeneca (www.astrazeneca.com) and Merck & Co (www.merck.com) are the only three established pharmaceutical organizations in the antibacterial drug space.

For complimentary access to more information on this research, please visit: http://corpcom.frost.com/forms/EU_PR_AZanchi_MABA-52_20Mar15.

“Thirty eight antibacterial drugs currently under development have the potential to address many, but not all, resistant bacteria,” said Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Senior Research Analyst Aiswariya Chidambaram. “Plazomicin and Eravacycline are two emerging compounds that have a broad-spectrum activity against most MDR-GNBs.”

Discovering new antibacterial drugs and identifying novel compounds that can successfully target bacteria is scientifically challenging. Given the high probability of failure and steep research and development (R&D) costs, big pharma companies that were once leaders are closing down their antibacterial research facilities.

Agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America are deploying several initiatives to lure companies back into antibacterial R&D. The recently implemented Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) Act is expected to facilitate more efficient clinical studies and reduce barriers to market entry. In Europe, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has launched two projects — Combatting Bacterial Resistance in Europe (COMBACTE) and TRANSLOCATION (molecular basis of the bacterial cell wall permeability) — that showcase an unprecedented partnership between industry, biotech organizations, and academia to fight antibiotic resistance.

“Further, collaborations in the form of public-private partnerships among industry, academia, investors and key opinion leaders will effectively address the vast unmet clinical and commercial needs in the antibacterial drugs market and quicken the journey towards commercialization,” concluded Chidambaram.

A Product and Pipeline Analysis of the Antibacterial Drugs Market is part of the Life Sciences Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: A Competitive Analysis of the Global Breast Cancer Therapeutics Market, A Product and Pipeline Analysis of the Opioid Therapeutics and Drug Delivery Market, A Product and Pipeline Analysis of the Lung Cancer Therapeutics Market, and Product and Pipeline Analysis of the Global Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapeutics Market. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?

Contact
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Corporate Communications — Europe
P: +39.02.4851 6133
E: anna.zanchi@frost.com
http://www.frost.com

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New Molecular Structures Challenge Conventional Concepts of Drug Action at Receptors

Structures of human P2Y1 receptor bring new excitement to GPCR research

BEIJING, March 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — A team of Chinese and US scientists has determined the high-resolution atomic structure of a cell-surface receptor that plays a critical role in thrombosis, or blood clot, formation. This research unexpectedly discloses many new structural features, which challenge the conventional concepts of drug action at G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and open a new door for future drug discovery.

The new Nature study reveals the structure of the human P2Y1 receptor, which mediates thrombosis formation. The image shows that two different ligands that inhibit platelet aggregation interact with P2Y1R by binding to two completely distinct sites of the receptor. The receptor structure is shown as grey ribbon and surface. The ligands MRS2500 and BPTU are shown as magenta and yellow spheres, respectively. (Image courtesy of Yekaterina Kadyshevskaya of the Bridge Institute at the University of Southern California.)

The new Nature study reveals the structure of the human P2Y1 receptor, which mediates thrombosis formation. The image shows that two different ligands that inhibit platelet aggregation interact with P2Y1R by binding to two completely distinct sites of the receptor. The receptor structure is shown as grey ribbon and surface. The ligands MRS2500 and BPTU are shown as magenta and yellow spheres, respectively. (Image courtesy of Yekaterina Kadyshevskaya of the Bridge Institute at the University of Southern California.)

In a paper published in Nature on March 30, the researchers at Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM), Chinese Academy of Sciences, collaborating with research groups from National Institutes of Health (NIH, U.S.), Bridge Institute at University of Southern California (U.S.) and iHuman Institute of ShanghaiTech University (China), provide a detailed molecular map of the human P2Y1 receptor (P2Y1R), a GPCR, in complex with a nucleotide antagonist MRS2500 and a non-nucleotide antagonist BPTU.

Human purinergic receptors P2Y1R and P2Y12R play a major physiological role in adenosine 5′-diphosphate (ADP)-mediated platelet aggregation, an important component of thrombosis, which can subsequently result in life-threatening diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. While most of the available antithrombotic drugs act on P2Y12R, P2Y1R has been suggested as a new promising antithrombotic drug target and may offer a safety advantage over P2Y12R inhibitors in terms of reduced bleeding liabilities. However, efforts to develop new drugs have been impeded by poor understanding of receptor-ligand interaction.

“The P2Y1R structures help us understand how this receptor and different types of experimental drugs interact at the molecular level, and could enable further exploration to design new and safer antithrombotic drugs with reduced adverse effects,” said team leader Dr. Beili Wu, Professor of SIMM.

The new study provides many valuable insights into the structure of P2Y1R. One very exciting finding is that the P2Y1R structures reveal two completely distinct ligand-binding sites. The nucleotide ligand MRS2500 recognizes a binding site within the transmembrane bundle of P2Y1R; however, it is different in shape and location from the nucleotide-binding site in P2Y12R structure previously determined by the same collaboration. Although recognized by the same endogenous ligand ADP, P2Y1R and P2Y12R structures reveal very different features in binding their nucleotide ligands. “It is amazing to observe that two GPCRs recognize the same ligand in such different ways,” said Dr. Wu. “The finding highlights the diversity of signal recognition mechanisms in GPCRs, and this is of great value to drug design for each receptor with high selectivity.”

The most surprising finding of this research is that, instead of interacting within the transmembrane bundle, the non-nucleotide ligand BPTU binds to a pocket on the outer interface of the receptor that is embedded in the cell membrane. This is the first structurally characterized selective and high affinity GPCR ligand located entirely outside of the helical bundle, and it represents a new paradigm in ligand binding to alter signaling in GPCRs. The P2Y1R structure opens new opportunities to broaden the scope of future GPCR drug discovery to target novel sites outside of the conventional GPCR ligand-binding pocket, which may greatly improve drug selectivity and reduce side effects, and will thus facilitate the development of new pharmaceuticals for treatment of many severe diseases.

“The new structures will allow drug designers to work more efficiently and with greater precision to build new molecules to modulate the function of this receptor and other closely related receptors, many of which have potential for treating cancer and inflammation,” said Dr. Kenneth Jacobson, Chief of the Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at NIH. Jacobson coauthored the study and invented the antagonist MRS2500 that was crystallized with P2Y1R.

In addition to Wu and Jacobson, the contributors to the study, “Two disparate ligand-binding sites in the human P2Y1 receptor”, were lead author Dandan Zhang, Kaihua Zhang, Jiang Wang, Cuiying Yi, Limin Ma, Wenru Zhang, Hong Liu, Hualiang Jiang and Qiang Zhao, all of SIMM; Zhan-Guo Gao, Evgeny Kiselev, Steven Crane and Silvia Paoletta of NIH; Gye Won Han, Vadim Cherezov and Vsevolod Katritch of the Bridge Institute at the University of Southern California, and Raymond Stevens from the Bridge Institute at the University of Southern California and the iHuman Institute, ShanghaiTech University.

The study was funded in part by the National Basic Research Program of China (grants 2012CB518000, 2014CB910400 and 2012CB910400), CAS Strategic Priority Research Program (XDB08020300), the National Science Foundation of China (grants 31422017, 31370729 and 91313000), the National Science and Technology Major Project (2013ZX09507001), ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai Municipal Government, the National Institutes of Health (grant Z01 DK031116-26), and the National Institutes of Health Protein Structure Initiative (grant U54 GM094618). To view the study, visit http://www.nature.com/ .

In the implementation of the “One-Three-Five” strategic plan, SIMM has identified “Significant progress in GPCRs as drug targets” as one of the “3-in-1” focuses of the institute. Since 2013, SIMM has achieved several breakthroughs in research on structure and function of drug targets. There is no doubt that the three dimensional structure determination of P2Y1R is another breakthrough from SIMM’s “One-Three-Five” development layout. Currently SIMM is taking all strength to establish the Institutes for Drug Research Innovation with the related R&D capability of drug discovery within Chinese Academy of Sciences. As one of the development directions of the Institutes for Drug Research Innovation, basic research aiming at new targets, new biomarkers, new mechanism and novel molecular entities is critical to meet the needs of drug innovation. Therefore, the three dimensional structure determination of P2Y1R and the discovery of the related drug candidates will definitely lay the foundation for the establishment of the Institutes for Drug Research Innovation.

About Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences

The Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences emerged from the Institute of Materia Medica of the Peking Academy of Sciences, founded in 1932. By combining basic and applied research in chemistry and biological disciplines, SIMM carries out modern drug discovery. SIMM is also involved in the discovery of new therapeutic targets and carries out comprehensive pre-clinical evaluation of drug candidates, while also promoting commercialization, thereby playing a key role in building China’s drug innovation capabilities. For more information, visit http://www.simm.cas.cn/ .

About National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH, the U.S.’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

About University of Southern California

Founded in 1879, the University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology and international business, USC’s diverse curricular offerings provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study, and collaboration with leading researchers in highly advanced learning environments. With a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education, USC fosters a vibrant culture of public service and encourages students to cross academic as well as geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge.

About iHuman Institute at ShanghaiTech University

The iHuman Institute was founded in 2012 and is located on the campus of ShanghaiTech University in Shanghai, China. The institute is focused on the study of human cell signaling using a combination of state of the art integrative structural biology, cell biology, chemistry, computational chemistry and biology. For more information, see http://ihuman.shanghaitech.edu.cn.

To request an interview with Dr. Kenneth Jacobson, please contact Krysten.carrera@nih.gov. The opinions and conclusions are those of the authors of the release and do not necessary reflect the official views of the NIH.

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