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TaiGen Biotechnology and HEC Pharmaceutical are forming a joint venture to develop hepatitis C virus treatments for China. HEC will get a 51% stake for funding construction of a plant and contributing a drug candidate, yimitasvir, that recently started clinical trials in China. TaiGen will get a 49% stake for contributing furaprevir, which is undergoing Phase II trials in China and Taiwan. The two candidates—both oral drugs for interferon-free HCV regimens—are likely to be approved in China because they are similar to existing drugs, says Tommy Lin, HEC’s director of business development and licensing.
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