HONG KONG, CHINA
Hutchison China MediTech, Limited, achieved positive late-stage results for fruquintinib, a drug designed to treat colorectal cancer. Chi-Med is a company backed by billionaire Li Ka-shing. Li invested $75 million in the company in its first five years. Chi-Med has since raised $400 million in two rounds and entered a partnership with Eli Lilly & Company in 2013. Fruquintinib works by stopping the growth of capillaries supplying blood to hard tumors. The last test indicated the drug increased overall survival in patients. Chi-Med is now preparing an application to the China Food and Drug Administration for permission to use the drug as a third recourse by 2018. To date, investors in the Chinese biotechnical sector have seen lackluster returns, so this marks a milestone. Some of Chi-Med’s 330 scientists are now investigating applications for the drug in treating lung and gastric cancer.