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Bristol-Myers To Partner With Simcere Pharma On Orencia SC In China

Biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) and China-based Simcere Pharmaceutical Group (SCR) said Thursday that they have agreed to jointly develop and commercialize the subcutaneous formulation of Bristol-Myers' rheumatoid arthritis drug Orencia or abatacept in China.

The agreement expands on the two companies' strategic relationship formed in 2010. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Under the terms of the deal, Simcere will perform and fund all development and regulatory activities required to obtain market approval for Orencia SC in China. The companies will share responsibility for commercializing Orencia, and will share profits and losses related to the drug in China. Orencia SC is already on the market for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Hongquan Liu, CEO of Simcere said, "Orencia SC is the third program in our R&D collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb, underscoring our joint commitment to our broad strategic partnership. Combining Orencia SC with our existing portfolio in rheumatoid arthritis treatment, we are committed to delivering more innovative and effective medicines to Chinese patients."

Beatrice Cazala, executive vice president, Commercial Operations, Bristol-Myers said, "If successful, not only could Orencia SC bring a new option to Chinese patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, but also it could become Bristol-Myers Squibb's first biologic medicine for the Chinese market."

In early March, Simcere said its board received a non-binding proposal letter from a consortium led by founder chairman Jinsheng Ren, to acquire all of the outstanding ordinary shares of the company for $9.56 per American Depositary Share or ADS or $4.78 per ordinary shares in cash.

BMY closed Thursday's trading at $47.17, up $0.60 on a volume of 8.51 million shares, while SCR closed trading at $9.40, down $0.03 on a volume of 1,400 shares.

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