China’s Sunpower To Acquire Valeant’s US Biopharma Unit Dendreon For $819M

Chinese companies remain active buyers of overseas healthcare related assets.  Privately owned conglomerate Sanpower Group has agreed to acquire Valeant’s biopharma unit Dendreon for US$819.9 million, as Valeant aims to offload its non-core assets, the companies announced.

Earlier today, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., Ltd. and Santa Monica, California-based Kite Pharma announced they will establish a joint venture to develop and commercialize cancer treatment in China.

Dendreon’s first and only commercialized product is Provenge, an autologous cellular immunotherapy for prostate cancer treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2010.

The number of prostate cancer case has increased by ten times in the past 20 years in China, according to surveys cited by the companies in a statement.

"We aim to introduce one of the most advanced medical technologies and treatments to China and also other major Asian markets, and make Sanpower Group China’s leading enterprise in cellular immunotherapy," said Yuan Yafei, chairman of Sanpower Group.

With this sale, Valeant will exit one of its non-core therapeutic areas oncology in order to focus on its core businesses.

After the completion of the acquisition, Sanpower Group plans to accelerate Provenge sales penetration into the U.S. and also align its own resources to introduce Provenge to China and other major markets in Asia.

Established in 1993, Nanjing-headquartered Sanpower Group was founded by former government official Yuan Yafei and started as an IT retail franchise. The company now owns numerous A-share listed companies, and operates primarily in the healthcare, information services, commerce, financial services, and real estate sectors.

The conglomerate has aggressively expanded in the healthcare sector in recent years, having acquired Chinese senior care service provider AnKangTong, Israeli at-home senior care company Natali, and travel nursing company A.S. Nursing.

In 2016, the group announced the acquisition of China Cord Blood Corporation and Shandong Cord Blood Bank, becoming the world’s largest cord blood banking operator. The group also owns many medical and health institutions.

The big data from its cord blood bank provides the foundation for precise medical care. The acquisition of Provenge will allowed the group to expand its umbilical cord blood bank to practical application.