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Simcere Pharmaceutical Group recently received encouraging news from the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA). The Chinese SFDA granted the good manufacturing practice (GMP) certification to the influenza vaccine production facility at Jiangsu Simcere Vaxtec Bio-Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. A GMP is a production and testing procedure that ensures the quality of the product.

Simcere Vaxtec is a subsidiary of Simcere Pharma. Simcere Pharma holds a 52.5% equity interest in Simcere Vaxtec. Simcere Vaxtec now plans to recommence its influenza vaccine production.

Meanwhile, Simcere Pharma announced that the company’s executive vice president, Mr. Hong Zhao recently resigned due to personal reasons. The resignation will be effective from Apr 1, 2013.

Earlier this month, Simcere Pharma announced that the company’s board has received a buyout proposal from Mr. Jinsheng Ren, New Good Management Limited, Assure Ahead Investments Limited and its subsidiaries.

As per the proposal, the conglomerate intends to acquire the entire outstanding ordinary shares of Simcere Pharma, for $9.56 per American Depositary Share (ADS) or $4.78 per ordinary share in cash (1 ADS = 2 shares).

In response, Simcere Pharma’s board has formed a special committee of independent directors, headed by Mr Alan Au, to consider the proposal. The special committee has retained Shearman & Sterling LLP as its legal counsel for the proposed transaction. The proposal is under consideration.

We note that Simcere is a major player in the oncology market in China with drugs such as Endu and Sinofuan in its product portfolio. Simcere Pharma boasts of associations with leading players in the pharmaceutical space such as Merck & Company Inc. (MRK - Analyst Report) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY - Analyst Report) to expand its product portfolio.

Simcere Pharma currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Right now, Athersys Inc. (ATHX - Snapshot Report) looks better placed in the pharma space with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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