The deal will see NeoStem take a 51 per cent controlling interest in Suzhou Erye Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of China Biopharmaceuticals, which produces over 100 drugs on seven good manufacturing practice (GMP) compliant lines.
NeoStem’s business is currently focused on the collection, research and development of stem cells, with the acquisition marking its first venture into small molecules.
Robin Smith, CEO of NeoStem, said: "We are excited about our collaboration with Suzhou Erye Pharmaceutical Co Ltd as it will open new markets, distribution channels and capabilities for production of stem cell related products in the world's fastest growing economy."
Eyre is currently undergoing a three-year expansion plan, which is intended to add additional manufacturing capacity and enhance revenues and profits.
Madame Jiang, general manager at Eyre, said that the deal with NeoStem would enhance the company’s pipeline and give it access to new technologies. The deal is expected to be closed in the first calendar quarter of 2009.
NeoStem aims at Asia
In a further attempt to gain a foothold in the Asian market, NeoStem has agreed to acquire Beijing HuaMeiTai Bio-technology and its holding company.
NeoStem is particularly keen to capitalise on the contracts HuaMeiTai has with the Shandong New Medicine Research Institute of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine.
Shandong is a provider of regenerative medical therapies in China, with NeoStem believing it can use this distribution channel to get its products to market in the nation.
In addition NeoStem and Shandong are looking to collaborate on new technologies, in particular very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs). NeoStem has a worldwide exclusive license for the identification and isolation of VSELs.