Chinese pharma starts notching up success

China-based pharmaceutical group Hutchison China MediTech (Shanghai) announced the Phase III results of its Fresco clinical trial, enrolling 416 patients, designed to assess fruquintinib in treating advanced, metastatic intestinal (colorectal) cancer. The company has provided highly positive data, indeed the clinical trial has shown a statistical mortality reduction in patients versus those treated with conventional chemotherapy. Fruquintinib has been co-developed with US-based Eli Lilly and is likely to be approved as early as 2017 in China and in 2018 in the US, becoming the first drug developed in China to be sold globally. The drug is likely to yield $740m in global sales by 2024, which could rise to as much as $1.5bn if it were approved for lung and stomach cancer as well, analysts say. Hutchison China MediTech was founded in 2000 and already has 7 therapies in advanced-phase clinical trials. Hutchinson’s shares, listed in London, rose over 10% soon after the announcement. (Source: ShareCast)