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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One) 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                          to                        
Commission file number: 001-37686
BGNE New Logo 2.jpg
BEIGENE, LTD.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
Cayman Islands98-1209416
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
c/o Mourant Governance Services (Cayman) Limited
94 Solaris Avenue, Camana Bay
Grand Cayman
Cayman Islands KY1-1108
(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)
+1 (345949 4123
(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)
    Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
American Depositary Shares, each representing 13 Ordinary Shares, par value $0.0001 per shareBGNEThe NASDAQ Global Select Market
Ordinary Shares, par value $0.0001 per share*06160The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited
*Included in connection with the registration of the American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The ordinary shares are not listed for trading in the United States but are listed for trading on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (“HKEx”).
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: The RMB shares are ordinary shares of the registrant issued to permitted investors in the People’s Republic of China and listed and traded on the STAR Market in Renminbi. The RMB shares are not listed for trading in the United States or on the HKEx and are not fungible with the ordinary shares listed on the HKEx or the ADSs representing the ordinary shares listed on NASDAQ, and in no event will any RMB shares be able to be converted into the ordinary shares listed on the HKEx or the ADSs listed on NASDAQ, or vice versa.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well‑known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes   No 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes   No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes   No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S‑T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes   No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non‑accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b‑2 of the Exchange Act. :
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filerSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b).
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b‑2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐  No
As of June 30, 2023, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of the ordinary shares, including in the form of ADSs, each representing 13 ordinary shares, held by non‑affiliates of the registrant was approximately $10.5 billion, based upon the closing price of the registrant’s ADSs on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on June 30, 2023.



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As of February 14, 2024, 1,359,513,224 ordinary shares, par value $0.0001 per share, were outstanding, of which 861,019,991 ordinary shares were held in the form of 66,232,307 ADSs, and 115,055,260 were RMB shares.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
The registrant intends to file a definitive proxy statement pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days of the end of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023. Portions of such definitive proxy statement are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K.


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BeiGene, Ltd.
Annual Report on Form 10‑K
TABLE OF CONTENTS
  Page
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Forward‑Looking Statements and Market Data
This Annual Report on Form 10‑K (the “Annual Report”) contains forward‑looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and projections about future events and trends that may affect the business, financial condition, and operating results. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this Annual Report, including statements regarding our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenue, projected costs, prospects, plans, objectives of management and expected growth, are forward‑looking statements. Forward-looking statements often include words such as, but not limited to, “aim,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “goal,” “intend,” “may,” “ongoing,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” or the negative of these terms or similar expressions. These forward‑looking statements include, among other things, statements about:
our ability to successfully commercialize our approved medicines and to obtain approvals in additional indications and territories for our medicines;
our ability to successfully develop and commercialize our in-licensed medicines and drug candidates and any other medicines and drug candidates we may in-license;
our ability to further develop sales and marketing capabilities and launch and commercialize new medicines, if approved;
our ability to maintain and expand regulatory approvals for our medicines and drug candidates, if approved;
the pricing and reimbursement of our medicines and drug candidates, if approved;
the initiation, timing, progress and results of our preclinical studies and clinical trials and our research and development programs;
our ability to advance our drug candidates into, and successfully complete, clinical trials and obtain regulatory approvals;
our reliance on the success of our clinical stage drug candidates;
our plans, expected milestones and the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals;
the implementation of our business model, strategic plans for our business, medicines, drug candidates and technology;
the scope of protection we (or our licensors) are able to establish and maintain for intellectual property rights covering our medicines, drug candidates and technology;
our ability to operate our business without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating the intellectual property rights and proprietary technology of third parties;
costs associated with enforcing or defending against intellectual property infringement, misappropriation or violation, product liability and other claims;
the regulatory environment and regulatory developments in the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the European Union and other jurisdictions in which we operate;
the accuracy of our estimates regarding expenses, revenues, including collaboration revenue, capital requirements and our need for additional financing;
the potential benefits of strategic collaboration and licensing agreements and our ability to enter into and maintain strategic arrangements;
our construction and operation of independent production facilities for small molecule medicines and large molecule biologics, as well as clinical R&D facilities, to support the global demand for both commercial and clinical supply;
our reliance on third parties to conduct drug development, manufacturing and other services;
our ability to manufacture and supply, or have manufactured and supplied, drug candidates for clinical development and medicines for commercial sale;
the rate and degree of market access and acceptance of our medicines and drug candidates, if approved;
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developments relating to our competitors and our industry, including competing therapies;
the size of the potential markets for our medicines and drug candidates and our ability to serve those markets;
our ability to effectively manage our growth;
our ability to attract and retain qualified employees and key personnel;
statements regarding future revenue, key milestones, expenses, capital expenditures, capital requirements and share performance; and
the future trading price of our American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”) listed on NASDAQ, our ordinary shares listed on HKEx, and our ordinary shares issued to permitted investors in China and listed and traded on the STAR in Renminbi (“RMB Shares”), as well as the impact of securities analysts’ reports on these prices.
These statements involve risks and uncertainties, including those that are described in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report, that may cause actual future events or results to differ materially from those expected. Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
We do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
This Annual Report includes statistical and other industry and market data that we obtained from industry publications and research, surveys and studies conducted by third parties. Industry publications and third-party research, surveys and studies generally indicate that their information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, although they do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information. While we believe these industry publications and third-party research, surveys and studies are reliable, you are cautioned not to give undue weight to this information.
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PART I
Unless the context requires otherwise, references in this report to “BeiGene,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to BeiGene, Ltd. and its subsidiaries, on a consolidated basis.
Item 1. Business
Overview
We are a global oncology company discovering and developing innovative treatments that are more accessible and affordable to cancer patients worldwide. We generated global revenue of approximately $2.5 billion in 2023, which increased by approximately $1.0 billion, while reducing our net loss by approximately $1.1 billion in comparison to 2022.
We currently have three approved medicines that were internally discovered and developed, including BRUKINSA®(zanubrutinib), a small molecule inhibitor of Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (“BTK”) for the treatment of various blood cancers; TEVIMBRA® (tislelizumab), an anti-PD-1 antibody immunotherapy for the treatment of various solid tumor and blood cancers; and PARTRUVIX® (pamiparib), a selective small molecule inhibitor of PARP1 and PARP2. We have obtained approvals to market BRUKINSA in the United States (“U.S.”), the People’s Republic of China (“China” or the “PRC”), the European Union (“EU”), the United Kingdom (“UK”), Canada, Australia, and additional international markets; TEVIMBRA (tislelizumab) in the EU and China; and PARTRUVIX in China. By leveraging our strong commercial capabilities, we have in-licensed the rights to distribute an additional 14 approved medicines for the China market. Supported by our global clinical development and commercial capabilities, we have entered into collaborations with world-leading biopharmaceutical companies such as Amgen Inc. (“Amgen”) and Beijing Novartis Pharma Co., Ltd. (“Novartis”) to develop and commercialize innovative medicines.
We are committed to advancing best- and first-in-class clinical candidates internally or with like-minded partners to develop impactful and affordable medicines for patients across the globe. Recognizing the importance of clinical trial activities in our industry and the challenges associated with outsourcing to third-party contract research organizations (“CROs”), we have built our own 3,000+ person internal clinical team and are largely CRO-free. We have conducted more than 130 clinical trials in-house, with over 22,000 subjects enrolled in approximately 45 regions. This includes more than 40 pivotal or potentially registration-enabling trials across our portfolio.
We have built, and are expanding, our internal manufacturing capabilities. We are building a commercial-stage biologics manufacturing and clinical R&D center at the Princeton West Innovation Park in Hopewell, New Jersey (the “Hopewell facility”), in addition to our existing state-of-the-art biologic and small molecule manufacturing facilities in China to support current and potential future demands of our medicines. We also work with high quality contract manufacturing organizations (“CMOs”) to manufacture our internally developed clinical and commercial products.
Since our inception in 2010, we have become a fully integrated global organization of over 10,000 employees worldwide, primarily in the U.S., China, and Europe.
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Our Holding Company Structure
We are a holding company incorporated in the Cayman Islands with operations primarily conducted through our subsidiaries in the U.S., China, UK, Switzerland, and Australia. The following diagram depicts a summary of our corporate structure. Our corporate structure contains no variable interest entities.
org structure.jpg
Our Strategy
We were founded with the vision to create an integrated biopharmaceutical company to address challenges in the pharmaceutical industry, creating impactful medicines that will be affordable and accessible to far more patients around the world. We have made significant progress towards accomplishing this vision over our first 13 years and have five strategic competitive advantages positioning us for success both near- and long-term:
1.We have built a substantial global development and medical affairs team of 3,000+ people on five continents, allowing us to run clinical trials predominantly without reliance on CROs. Clinical development accounts for over 75% of the cost and most of the time to develop a medicine. We believe that by fully integrating these capabilities, we can create a strategic competitive advantage. By retaining clinical development activities internally, we can decrease the costs of our trials, increase enrollment speed, and leverage technology to ensure quality and consistency across trials and clinical sites. It also allows us to become more inclusive in the location and number of clinical sites to help improve the diversity of patients in our trials. Our demonstrated ability to complete large-scale, multi-regional clinical trials is one of our most important strategic competitive advantages and addresses an immense challenge in the pharmaceutical industry.
2.We have built one of the world’s largest, most productive and cost-effective oncology research teams with 1,100+ scientists. Their efforts have been validated by commercial approvals, clinical data, and collaborations that have secured $1.5 billion in collaboration payments to the company. We have successfully developed three commercially approved medicines from our internal discovery engine, including BRUKINSA and TEVIMBRA. We design each research program with a differentiated biological hypothesis or a first-in-class mechanism of action. Our lead medicine, BRUKINSA, has demonstrated superiority for both progression-free survival and overall response rate versus ibrutinib in relapsed or refractory (“R/R”) chronic lymphocytic leukemia (“CLL”). Our broad pipeline also includes internally developed products with the potential to be best-in-class or first-in-class, including sonrotoclax (our BCL-2 inhibitor) and BGB-16673 (a BTK-targeted CDAC) that have both demonstrated their potential with early data. Our pipeline also includes many early-stage assets for targets including, pan-KRAS, PRMT5, CDK4, CDK2, B7H3 ADC, CEA-ADC, B7H4-ADC, MUC1 x CD16A bispecific antibody (“BsAb”), and Claudin6 x CD3 BsAb. We have invested in technology platforms, including CDAC protein degraders, bispecific antibodies, tri-specific antibodies, ADCs, cell therapies, and mRNA. Our research and innovation capabilities will ensure we discover high-quality and impactful medicines for patients.
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3.We have built a strong commercial portfolio, centered around two foundational medicines, BRUKINSA and TEVIMBRA, that are primary revenue sources and support the development of our future pipeline and additional combination therapies. Our hematological franchise is led by BRUKINSA, which is supported by a broad clinical program with over 5,000 patients in 37 trials in 29 markets. We ran two extensive head-to-head studies versus ibrutinib with over 800 patients enrolled. We are the first and only BTK inhibitor to demonstrate superior efficacy versus ibrutinib, and the data from the head-to-head ALPINE trial were selected for the prestigious late-breaker session at the American Society of Hematology (“ASH”) meeting in late 2022, with simultaneous publication in The New England Journal of Medicine. Based on the pooled safety data generated from our trials, we have shown a very favorable safety profile, especially when compared to ibrutinib in cardiovascular safety, including atrial fibrillation, ventricle arrhythmia, and hypertension. In December 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved a label update for BRUKINSA to include superior progression-free survival (“PFS”) results from the Phase 3 ALPINE trial comparing BRUKINSA against IMBRUVICA in previously treated patients with R/R CLL. We believe the differentiation of BRUKINSA has been recognized by the market and global BRUKINSA sales increased 128.5% in 2023 vs. 2022. BRUKINSA allows us to build a strong position in heme-oncology and we plan to solidify our leadership in CLL with sonrotoclax (BCL2i) and our BTK-CDAC while amplifying our impact in other B-cell malignancies with progressive treatment strategies such as fixed duration and rational sequencing. Our solid tumor franchise is led by our anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, TEVIMBRA, which is currently approved in China in twelve indications and has achieved the commercial market leader position in China in the PD-1/PDL-1 class. Outside of China, TEVIMBRA has been approved in Europe and South Korea and we anticipate U.S. approval on or before July 2024 for first-line ESCC. With TEVIMBRA and the potentially best-in-class or first-in-class pipeline assets targeting pan-KRAS, PRMT5, CDK4, CDK2, B7H3 ADC, CEA-ADC, B7H4-ADC, MUC1 x CD16A BsAb, and Claudin6 x CD3 BsAb, we are well-positioned to build our solid tumor business and deliver innovative therapies and combinations to patients.
4.We have a differentiated global commercial organization of over 3,700 people to deliver medicines to patients around the globe, including over 500 in North America and Europe. In North America, our team continues to grow BRUKINSA sales following the approvals in the U.S. and Canada for CLL and small lymphocytic lymphoma (“SLL”) indications in 2023. In China, the commercial team is marketing 17 internally developed and licensed medicines across solid tumors and hematology. BRUKINSA and TEVIMBRA continue to strengthen market leadership positions in China in the BTKi and PD-1/PDL-1 classes, respectively. Altogether, BRUKINSA has been approved in more than 65 markets, with additional filings pending or planned. We reacquired the global rights of TEVIMBRA from Novartis in 2023 upon bilateral agreement. TEVIMBRA received approval from EMA and South Korea and additional approvals and filings are pending or planned. Our strategy is to commercialize our medicines broadly throughout the world. Our commercial capabilities have expanded into the Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East regions through our affiliates or distribution partners. We have built a global commercial organization that will drive the delivery of highly effective and differentiated medicines to patients around the globe and will continue to collaborate with business partners to bridge health inequities.
5.We have financial strength. In a time when the cost of capital has risen, we are well positioned financially. We had cash and cash equivalents of $3.2 billion as of December 31, 2023. We already have substantial product revenue of $2.2 billion including from our cornerstone assets, which we expect to continue to grow significantly in 2024 and beyond. We expect product revenue growth to outpace our operating expense growth, which will allow us to continue to improve our operating leverage and cash flow. We will continue to be thoughtful and strategic in how we deploy our capital, and we are committed to generating long-term value for our shareholders.
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Our Commercial and Registration Stage Products
The following table summarizes the status of our commercial products as of February 26, 2024:
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PRODUCTLEAD INDICATIONSMECHANISM OF ACTIONREGULATORY STATUSBEIGENE COMMERCIAL RIGHTSPARTNER 
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U.S.: CLL/SLL, R/R MCL1, WM & R/R MZL1; China: R/R MCL2, R/R CLL/SLL, TN CLL/SLL, R/R WM & TN WM; EU3: WM, R/R MZL, R/R CLL/SLL, R/R FL
BTK inhibitorApproved in more than 65 markets, incl. U.S., China, EU, and other marketsGlobalN/A
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China: 1L squamous and non-squamous NSCLC/ 2/3 L NSCLC/ R/R classical hodgkin’s lymphoma2 / 2/3 L HCC2/ R/R PD-L1+ UC2, MSI-H or dMMR solid tumors, 2L ESCC, 1L NPC, 1L GC/GEJC, 1L ESCC, 1L HCC; EU: 2L ESCCAnti-PD-1 antibody
Approved in China, EU4, and 3 other markets; BLA accepted in U.S.4
GlobalN/A
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3L BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer2
PARP inhibitorApproved in ChinaGlobalN/A
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Giant cell tumor of bone / Skeletal related events (SREs)8
Anti-RANK ligand antibodyApproved in ChinaMainland China
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R/R acute lymphocytic leukemiaAnti-CD19 x anti-CD3 bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE) Approved in ChinaMainland China
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R/R multiple myeloma8
Proteasome inhibitorApproved in ChinaMainland China
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R/R adult multiple myeloma, newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, previously treated follicular lymphomaAnti-angiogenesis, immuno-modulationApproved in China
Mainland China9
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Myelodysplastic syndromes, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic myelomonocytic leukemiaDNA hypomethylationApproved in China
Mainland China9
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Idiopathic multicentric Castleman diseaseIL-6 antagonistApproved in ChinaGreater China
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High-risk neuroblastoma2
Anti-GD2 antibodyApproved in ChinaMainland China
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POBEVCY® (Avastin biosimilar)
Colorectal, lung, glioblastoma, ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal, and cervical cancersAnti-VEGF antibodyApproved in ChinaGreater China
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BAITUOWEI® (goserelin microspheres for injection)
Breast and prostate cancersGonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist Approved in ChinaMainland China
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TAFINLAR® (dabrafenib)
NSCLC5, melanoma
BRAF inhibitorApproved in China
China Broad Markets7
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MEKINIST® (trametinib)
NSCLC5, melanoma
MEK inhibitorApproved in China
China Broad Markets7
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VOTRIENT® (pazopanib)
Advance renal cell carcinomaVEGFR inhibitorApproved in China
China Broad Markets7
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AFINITOR® (everolimus)
Advanced renal cell carcinoma6, NET, SEGA & breast cancers
mTOR inhibitorApproved in China
China Broad Markets7
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ZYKADIA® (ceritinib)
ALK + NSCLCALK inhibitorApproved in China
China Broad Markets7
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1. Approved under accelerated approval. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial. 2. Conditionally approved. Full approval for these indications is contingent upon results from ongoing randomized, controlled confirmatory clinical trials. 3. The approval is applicable to all 27 EU member states, plus Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. 4. U.S.: For patients with unresectable recurrent locally advanced or metastatic ESCC after prior systemic therapy, and as a first-line treatment for patients with unresectable, recurrent, locally advanced, or metastatic ESCC. EU: Accepted for review for patients with NSCLC including: locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC after prior chemo, in combination with chemotherapy for 1L advanced or metastatic squamous NSCLC, and in combination with chemotherapy for 1L locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous NSCLC with no EGFR or ALK positive mutations. 5. TAFINLAR, in combination with MEKINIST, is indicated for the treatment of patients with metastatic NSCLC with BRAF V600E mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test. 6. Following progression on or after vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted therapy. 7. Rights to promote and market in China’s broad markets pursuant to a Market Development Agreement with an affiliate of Novartis Pharma AG. 8. Conditionally approved. Full approval of any particular indication will depend on the results of required post-marketing study(ies) in China. 9. As part of the settlement agreement with BMS, the license and supply agreement covering REVLIMID and VIDAZA was terminated as of December 31, 2023, subject to our right to continuing selling inventory until it is sold out or December 31, 2024.
Abbreviations: ALK = anaplastic lymphoma kinase; BLA = Biologics License Application; BRAF = B-rapidly accelerated fibrosarcoma; CLL = chronic lymphocytic leukemia; EGFR = epidermal growth factor receptor; ESCC = esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; GC = gastric cancer; GEJC = gastroesophageal junction cancer; HCC = hepatocellular carcinoma; MAA = marketing authorization application; MCL = mantle cell lymphoma; MEK = mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) / Extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK); mTOR = Mammalian target of rapamycin; MZL = marginal zone lymphoma; NET= neuroendocrine tumor; NPC = nasopharyngeal cancer; NSCLC = non-small cell lung cancer; R/R = relapsed / refractory; SEGA= subpendymal giant cell astrocytoma; SLL = small lymphocytic lymphoma; UC = urothelial carcinoma; VEGFR = vascular endothelial growth factor receptor; WM = Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia
Please see the section of this Annual Report titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for revenue by product.
We commercialize the following internally developed cancer medicines:
BRUKINSA
BRUKINSA is a next-generation small molecule inhibitor of BTK designed to maximize BTK occupancy and minimize off-target binding effects. It is an orally active inhibitor that covalently binds to BTK, resulting in irreversible inactivation of the enzyme.
We are marketing BRUKINSA in the U.S., China, Europe, the UK, Canada, Australia, and other markets.
In the U.S., BRUKINSA received accelerated approval as a treatment for mantle cell lymphoma (“MCL”) in adult patients who have received at least one prior therapy (November 2019), and has since also been approved for patients with Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (“WM”) and R/R marginal zone lymphoma (“MZL”) who have received at least one anti-CD20-based regimen. The MCL and MZL indications were approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate. Continued approval for these indications may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial. In January 2023, BRUKINSA was approved by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of adult patients with CLL or SLL. In December 2023, the FDA approved a label update for BRUKINSA to include superior progression-free survival (“PFS”) results from the Phase 3 ALPINE trial comparing BRUKINSA against IMBRUVICA in previously treated patients with R/R CLL. The FDA is currently reviewing a supplemental new drug application (“sNDA”) submission for BRUKINSA in R/R follicular lymphoma (“FL”) with a Prescription Drug User Free Act date in March 2024.
In Europe, BRUKINSA has received approval from the European Commission (“EC”) for the treatment of adult patients with WM who have received at least one prior therapy or for the first-line treatment of patients unsuitable for chemo-immunotherapy, as well as for the treatment of patients with R/R MZL and for the treatment of patients with CLL. In November 2023, the EC approved BRUKINSA in combination with obinutuzumab for the treatment of adult patients with R/R FL who have received at least two prior lines of systemic therapy. BRUKINSA is now approved to treat more patient populations in the EU than any other BTK inhibitor.
In China, BRUKINSA has received approval from the China National Medical Products Administration (“NMPA”) for treatment-naïve adults with CLL or SLL, treatment-naïve adults with WM, R/R CLL/SLL, R/R WM, and conditional approval for adult patients with MCL who have received at least one prior therapy. Currently, all five approved indications for BRUKINSA are included in the updated National Reimbursement Drug List (“NRDL”) by the China National Healthcare Security Administration (“NHSA”).
BRUKINSA is approved across several indications in more than 65 markets as of February 2024.



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Market Opportunity
Lymphomas are blood-borne cancers involving lymphatic cells of the immune system. They can be broadly categorized into non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In 2022, estimated global revenues for BTK inhibitors were approximately $8.5 billion according to published reports. Global revenues are projected to be more than $15 billion in 2028, according to published reports. Please see the section of this Annual Report titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for BRUKINSA net revenue generated in 2022 and 2023.
TEVIMBRA (tislelizumab)
TEVIMBRA is a humanized IgG4 monoclonal antibody against the immune checkpoint receptor programmed cell death protein 1 (“PD-1”) that we specifically designed to minimize binding to Fc receptor gamma (“FcγR”), which is believed to play an essential role in activating phagocytosis in macrophages, to minimize its negative impact on T effector cells.
Tislelizumab is approved in China in twelve indications:
full approval for the first-line treatment of patients with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma with high PD-L1 expression in combination with fluoropyrimidine and platinum chemotherapy;
for first-line treatment of patients with advanced squamous non-small cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”) in combination with chemotherapy;
for first-line treatment of patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC in combination with chemotherapy;
for second- or third-line treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC who progressed on prior platinum-based chemotherapy;
for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (“ESCC”) who have disease progression following or are intolerant to first-line standard chemotherapy;
for first-line treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic ESCC in combination with chemotherapy;
for first-line treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal cancer (“NPC”);
for first-line treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (“HCC”);
for the treatment of patients with HCC who have received at least one systemic therapy;
conditional approval for the treatment of patients with classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma (“cHL”) who received at least two prior therapies;
for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (“UC”) with PD-L1 high expression whose disease progressed during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy; and
for patients with previously treated, locally advanced unresectable or metastatic microsatellite instability-high (“MSI-H”) or mismatch repair-deficient (“dMMR”) solid tumors.
Full approval for these indications is contingent upon results from ongoing randomized, controlled, confirmatory clinical trials.
Tislelizumab was included in the NRDL in 2020 for cHL and UC, in 2021 for non-squamous NSCLC, squamous NSCLC and HCC, in 2022 for locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC, MSI-H solid tumors, locally advanced or metastatic ESCC following progression or intolerance to prior first-line chemotherapy, and first-line recurrent or metastatic NPC, and in 2023 for first-line locally advanced unresectable or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma with high PD-L1 expression and first-line unresectable locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic ESCC.
In addition, three supplemental Biologics License Applications (“sBLAs”) for tislelizumab for patients with first-line extensive stage small cell lung cancer (“ES-SCLC”) and for patients with first-line locally advanced unresectable or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma (“GC/GEJ”) regardless of PD-L1 status and tislelizumab in combination with platinum-based doublet chemotherapy as neoadjuvant treatment for patients with NSCLC are under review by the Center for Drug Evaluation (“CDE”) of the NMPA.
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In Europe, the EC has approved TEVIMBRA as monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic ESCC after prior platinum-based chemotherapy, along with additional filings.
In the U.S., we have filed a Biologics License Application (“BLA”) with the FDA for TEVIMBRA as a treatment for patients with unresectable recurrent locally advanced or metastatic ESCC after prior systemic therapy. Additionally, the FDA accepted for review a BLA for TEVIMBRA as a first-line treatment for patients with unresectable, recurrent, locally advanced, or metastatic ESCC.
We are evaluating tislelizumab in a broad pivotal clinical program for both solid tumor and hematological indications globally. BeiGene has launched more than 17 potentially registration-enabling trials with tislelizumab, of which 11 Phase 3 randomized trials and 4 Phase 2 trials have already had positive readouts. More than 900,000 patients have been prescribed TEVIMBRA globally to-date.
In September 2023, we announced that we had entered into an agreement with Novartis to regain worldwide rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize TEVIMBRA.
Market Opportunity
Globally, the top four PD-1/PD-L1 antibody medicines had revenues of approximately $36 billion in 2022 based on public reports. The 2022 China PD-1/L1 market (net revenue) was approximately $2.2 billion.
Global revenues are projected to be more than $50 billion by 2025 according to published reports, driven by multiple factors including indication expansion, approvals and adoptions in earlier lines of therapies, further market penetration, and extension of duration of therapy.
PARTRUVIX (pamiparib)
PARTRUVIX is a selective small molecule inhibitor of poly ADP-ribose polymerase 1 (“PARP1”) and PARP2 enzymes. Pamiparib has demonstrated pharmacological properties such as brain penetration and PARP-DNA complex trapping in preclinical models.
In China, PARTRUVIX received conditional approval for treatment of patients with germline BRCA (“gBRCA”) mutation-associated recurrent advanced ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who have been treated with two or more lines of chemotherapy in May 2021. Full approval for this indication is contingent upon results from ongoing corroborative trials confirming the clinical benefit of PARTRUVIX in this population. PARTRUVIX was included in the 2021 NRDL in its approved indication.
In-Licensed Products from Amgen
We are currently commercializing the following cancer medicines in China under an exclusive license from Amgen:
XGEVA®
XGEVA (denosumab) is an antibody-based RANK ligand (“RANKL”) inhibitor that was approved globally for the prevention of skeletal-related events (“SREs”) in patients with bone metastases from solid tumors and in patients with multiple myeloma (“MM”), and for the treatment of adults and skeletally mature adolescents with giant cell tumor of bone (“GCTB”). XGEVA is approved in over 70 countries worldwide. In China, XGEVA received conditional approval in the GCTB indication in May 2019 (converted to regular approval) and received conditional approval for the SRE indications in November 2020. We began marketing XGEVA in China in July 2020. In December 2020, we announced the inclusion of XGEVA in the NRDL for the treatment of GCTB, which was successfully renewed for inclusion in 2023. Beginning in January 2024, the SRE indication was also included in the NRDL.
BLINCYTO®
BLINCYTO (blinatumomab), a bispecific CD-19 directed CD3 T-cell engager, is the first and only approved bi-specific T-cell engager (“BiTE”) immunotherapy. It has been approved in 60 countries for use in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (“ALL”). In China, BLINCYTO received conditional approval as a treatment for adult patients with R/R ALL in December 2020 (converted to regular approval) and was conditionally approved in April 2022 for pediatric patients with R/R B-cell precursor ALL. We began commercializing BLINCYTO in August 2021.
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KYPROLIS®
KYPROLIS (carfilzomib), a proteasome inhibitor, has been approved in over 60 countries for use in patients with R/R MM. It was approved in China as a treatment for patients with R/R MM in July 2021 and we began commercializing KYPROLIS in January 2022. KYPROLIS was included on the NRDL beginning in March 2023 for its approved indication in China.
In-Licensed Products from BMS
We commercialize the following cancer medicines in China under an exclusive license from BMS through 2024:
REVLIMID®
REVLIMID (lenalidomide) is an oral immunomodulatory medicine that was approved in China in 2013 for the treatment of MM in combination with dexamethasone in adult patients who have received at least one prior therapy. In February 2018, REVLIMID received NMPA approval of a new indication for the treatment of MM in combination with dexamethasone in adult patients with previously untreated MM who are not eligible for transplant.
REVLIMID was listed on the NRDL in June 2017. In November 2019, we announced that REVLIMID received formal inclusion on the NRDL in China for R/R MM. In November 2020 our sNDA for the use of REVLIMID in combination with rituximab in adult patients with previously treated follicular lymphoma was approved by the NMPA.
VIDAZA®
VIDAZA (azacitidine for injection) is a pyrimidine nucleoside analog that has been shown to reverse the effects of DNA hypermethylation and promote subsequent gene re-expression. VIDAZA was approved in China in April 2017 for the treatment of intermediate-2 and high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (“MDS”), chronic myelomonocyte leukemia (“CMML”) and acute myeloid leukemia (“AML”) with 20% to 30% blasts and multi-lineage dysplasia. In January 2018, VIDAZA became commercially available in China.
In addition to REVLIMID and VIDAZA, we previously commercialized ABRAXANE® (paclitaxel albumin-bound particles for injectable suspension), a solvent-free chemotherapy approved for use in certain patients with metastatic breast cancer, in China until March 2020. On March 25, 2020, the NMPA suspended the importation, sales and use of ABRAXANE in China previously supplied to us by BMS, and the drug was subsequently recalled by BMS. This suspension was based on inspection findings at BMS’s contract manufacturing facility in the U.S. Following the suspension and recall of ABRAXANE, we initiated an arbitration proceeding against BMS which has since been settled. As part of the settlement agreement, the license and supply agreement covering REVLIMID and VIDAZA was terminated as of December 31, 2023, subject to our right to continuing selling inventory until it is sold out or December 31, 2024. For additional information, please see the section of this Annual Report titled “Legal Proceedings”.
In-Licensed Products from EUSA Pharma
We commercialize the following medicines in China under an exclusive license from EUSA Pharma:
SYLVANT®
SYLVANT (siltuximab), an interleukin-6 (“IL-6”) antagonist, was approved as a treatment for patients with idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (“iMCD”) who are human immunodeficiency virus (“HIV”) negative and human herpesvirus-8 (“HHV-8”) negative. SYLVANT was approved in China in December 2021 for the treatment of adult patients with multicentric Castleman disease (“MCD”) who are HIV negative and HHV-8 negative, also known as iMCD. Beginning in January 2024, Sylvant was included in the NRDL.
QARZIBA®
QARZIBA (dinutuximab beta), a mouse-human chimeric monoclonal GD2 antibody, was granted conditional approval by the NMPA for the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma in patients aged 12 months and above who have previously received induction chemotherapy and achieved at least a partial response, followed by myeloablative therapy and stem cell transplantation, as well as patients with a history of R/R neuroblastoma with or without residual disease. We began commercializing QARZIBA in December 2021.
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In-Licensed Product from Bio-Thera
We commercialize the following product in China under an exclusive license from Bio-Thera:
POBEVCY® (BAT1706)
POBEVCY is a biosimilar to Avastin (bevacizumab) developed by Bio-Thera Solutions, Ltd., a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company located in Guangzhou, China. In China, Avastin is approved for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, NSCLC, glioblastoma, ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal, and cervical cancers.
POBEVCY was approved by the NMPA in China in November 2021 and launched in late 2021 for the treatment of patients with advanced, metastatic or recurrent NSCLC, and metastatic colorectal cancer.
We have acquired the right to develop, manufacture and commercialize POBEVCY in China, including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
In-Licensed Product from Luye Pharma
We commercialize the following product in China under an exclusive license from Luye Pharma:
BAITUOWEI® (goserelin microspheres for injection)
Baituowei (Goserelin Microspheres for Injection), developed by Luye Pharma, is the world’s first and only approved microsphere formulation of Goserelin. With its innovative microsphere formulation, Baituowei is able to ensure efficacy and safety while significantly improving patient experience. Baituowei was approved by the NMPA in China in June 2023 for the treatment of patients with prostate cancer requiring androgen deprivation therapy and included in the NRDL in 2023, and was approved by the NMPA in China in September 2023 for treating breast cancer in premenopausal and perimenopausal women that can be treated with hormones.
Reimbursement and Market Access
Our sales are largely dependent on the availability and extent of coverage and reimbursement by third party payors. In many markets these third parties are government health systems and in some markets such as the U.S. there are also private payors such as private health insurers and health systems. As of December 31, 2023, we have commercialized our products in over 65 markets.
In China, there is one main payor, the government’s national health care coverage system, which provides Basic Medical Insurance to the majority (greater than 95%) of China’s approximately 1.4 billion people. There are three types of coverage plans in China at the national level that depend on if a resident lives in an urban or rural setting and if they are employed. The different plans have different characteristics in terms of how the plan is paid for and what it covers. Coverage and reimbursement of pharmaceuticals in China comes under the purview of the NHSA, which oversees the NRDL. The NRDL is composed of three lists. The ‘A’ and ‘B’ list are commonly referred to as the ‘regular’ lists. The A list generally includes older, off-patent medicines, while the B list generally includes newer medicines, some with remaining patent protection, which are reimbursed at a lower rate compared to the A list. In 2017, a third list was added to the system, often referred to as the ‘C’ list or the ‘negotiation’ list. This list generally includes newer innovative medicines which are accepted on the list after successful negotiation between the NHSA and the company. Typically, inclusion on the C list is accompanied by a discount to the prevailing list price in China for the medicine at the time of inclusion. The NRDL price for a medicine is its prevailing price in China, but the actual reimbursement rate that is used can be modified at the provincial level. Innovatively, in the 2022 NRDL, a price bidding process for non-exclusive drugs was undertaken on the C list to set the national reimbursement price benchmark. As additional indications are included in the NRDL, the price of the medicine is reduced to reflect increased patient demand as a result of NRDL inclusion.
In the 2023 NRDL, some new rules were added into contract renewal rules:
For Category 1 chemical drugs, therapeutic biological products, as well as Category 1 and 3 traditional Chinese medicines, manufacturers could apply for re-negotiation. The price cut may not necessarily be higher than that of simple contract renewal rules. If re-negotiation is failed, the drug will lose NRDL listing.
Drugs that have been included in negotiation list for more than 4 years (including 4) could have a half price cut based on the simple contract renewal rules.
Drugs that have been included in negotiation list for more than 8 years (including 8) could be transferred to Category B.
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Several of our medicines are listed on the NRDL. In the latest NRDL list announced in December 2023, the following medicines and indications have been included in the NRDL, effective January 1, 2024:
Tislelizumab in eleven of its eligible approved indications:
In combination with fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-based chemotherapy, for the first-line treatment of patients with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma with high PD-L1 expression (approved in February 2023 and included in the NRDL at the end of 2023);
In combination with paclitaxel plus platinum-based or fluoropyrimidine- plus platinum-based chemotherapy, for the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic ESCC (approved in May 2023 and included in the NRDL at the end of 2023);
For the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous NSCLC who are negative for epidermal growth factor receptor (“EGFR”) and anaplastic mesenchymal lymphoma kinase (“ALK”) mutations and have progressed after or are intolerant of prior chemotherapy with platinum-containing regimens; and adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic squamous NSCLC who are negative or unknown for EGFR and ALK mutations and have progressed after or are intolerant of prior chemotherapy with platinum-containing regimens (approved in January 2022 and included in the NRDL at the beginning of 2023);
For the treatment of adult patients with advanced unresectable or metastatic MSI-H or dMMR solid tumors: patients with advanced colorectal cancer with disease progression after prior treatment with fluoropyrimidines, oxaliplatin and irinotecan; patients with other advanced solid tumors with disease progression after prior treatment and no satisfactory alternative treatment options (approved in March 2022 and included in the NRDL at the beginning of 2023);
For the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic ESCC who have progressed after or are intolerant of prior first-line standard chemotherapy (approved in April 2022 and included in the NRDL at the beginning of 2023);
As a first-line treatment for patients with recurrent or metastatic NPC (approved in June 2022 and included in the NRDL at the beginning of 2023);
For use in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy as a first-line treatment in patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous NSCLC, with EGFR genomic tumor aberrations negative and ALK genomic tumor negative (approved in June 2021 and included in the NRDL in 2021);
For the treatment of patients with HCC who have been previously treated with at least one systemic therapy (conditionally approved in June 2021 and included in the NRDL in 2021);
For use in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin as a first-line treatment in patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic squamous NSCLC (approved in January 2021 and included in the NRDL in 2021);
For the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic UC with PD-L1 high expression whose disease progressed during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy (conditionally approved in April 2020 and included in the NRDL in 2020); and
For the treatment of patients with cHL who have received at least two prior therapies (conditionally approved in December 2019 and included in the NRDL in 2020).
BRUKINSA in all five of its approved indications:
For treatment-naïve patients with CLL or SLL (approved in April 2023 and included in the NRDL at the end of 2023);
For treatment-naïve patients with WM (approved in April 2023 and included in the NRDL at the end of 2023);
For the treatment of adult patients with WM who have received at least one prior therapy (conditionally approved in June 2021 and included in the NRDL in 2021; converted to regular approval in May 2023);
For the treatment of adult patients with MCL who have received at least one prior therapy (conditionally approved in June 2020 and included in the NRDL in 2020); and
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For the treatment of adult patients with CLL/SLL who have received at least one prior therapy (conditionally approved in June 2020 and included in the NRDL in 2020; converted to regular approval in May 2023).
BAITUOWEI in one of its eligible approved indication:
For the treatment of patients with prostate cancer requiring androgen deprivation therapy (approved in June 2023 and included in the NRDL at the end of 2023).
SYLVANT in its approved indication:
For the treatment of adult patients with MCD who are HIV negative and HHV-8 negative (approved in December 2021 and included in the NRDL at the end of 2023).
XGEVA now listed as a Category B medicine and included all of the approved indications:
Prevention of skeletal-related events (fracture, spinal cord compression, or the need for radiation or surgery to bone) in patients with MM and in patients with bone metastases from solid tumors (approved in November 2020 and included in the NRDL at the end of 2023);
For the treatment of patients with GCTB that is unresectable or where surgical resection is likely to result in severe morbidity (first included in the NRDL in 2020).
PARTRUVIX successfully renewed its approved indication:
For the treatment of patients with gBRCA mutation-associated recurrent advanced ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who have been treated with two or more lines of chemotherapy (conditionally approved in May 2021 and included in the NRDL in 2021).
KYPROLIS in its approved indication:

In combination with dexamethasone for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least two lines of therapy, including proteasome inhibitor and immunomodulator. (approved in July 2021 and included in the NRDL at the beginning of 2023).
Additionally, two of our medicines were listed in past NRDLs: REVLIMID was included in the 2017 NRDL negotiation list and later received formal inclusion in the 2019 Category B list, while VIDAZA was listed in the 2018 NRDL negotiation list and later received formal inclusion to the 2020 Category B list.
In 2018, China started a new program to centrally purchase non-exclusive medicines for the nation’s health care system called “volume-based procurement”, or “group purchasing organization” or “4+7” when the program was first piloted in 11 major cities. After the 2018 pilot program, it was implemented nationally in 2019. It is a tender-based system that provides guaranteed volume for lowered pricing. Participation in the program requires a product to have passed a generic quality consistency evaluation, which in turn requires passing a bioequivalence comparison to the reference listed drug (“RLD”). The system offers a major portion of a market’s volume to winning bidders. More than one company can win a given tender, and more guaranteed volume is awarded as more bidders win. The system is still evolving and, as such, the exact terms of how many bidders win and what amount of volume is won and at what price are also evolving.
It is common in China for pharmaceutical companies to employ patient assistance programs to help patients afford their innovative medicines. These programs have typically been offered to patients who are self-paying. A typical program provides a certain number of free doses to patients after a certain number of doses have been paid for. Usually these programs end when a medicine is included in the NRDL. We offer these types of patient assistance programs to our patients.
In the U.S., most health insurance coverage is provided by private insurers, often accessed via employer-sponsored plans, and the two main public insurance programs, Medicare and Medicaid. All three types of programs usually have some type of coverage for pharmaceutical products. Often this is through a pharmacy benefit manager (“PBM”). The structure of the pharmacy benefit can be quite different for different beneficiaries depending on the negotiations between plan sponsors and plan purchasers. There is no central list of covered pharmaceuticals in the U.S., as there is no single payer system. As such, the prices paid for pharmaceuticals in the U.S. can vary.
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We offer patient assistance programs in the U.S. under our myBeiGene program. This program seeks to enhance access to BRUKINSA by assisting with obtaining reimbursement, co-pay assistance when allowed, temporary supply of free product for insurance delays, and free product assistance for some uninsured and underinsured patients. The programs also seek to support patients and caregivers by providing education and information about BRUKINSA and its approved indications, nurse advocates, and connecting patients to sources of support such as support groups and transportation/lodging assistance.
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Our Pipeline Products
The following table summarizes the status of our internally-discovered drug candidates as of February 26, 2024:
Internally-discovered pipeline_Feb 2024.jpg
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The following table summarizes the status of our in-licensed drug candidates as of February 26, 2024:
PartnerMolecule / AssetIndicationsPhaseCommercial Rights
Amgen logo 2021.jpg
tarlatamab ^^
SCLCPhase 3China
XaluritamigProstate cancerPhase 1China
Mirati_Logo.jpg *
Sitravatinib † + Tislelizumab
NSCLCPhase 3Asia, Australia, New Zealand
Sitravatinib † + Tislelizumab
ESCCPhase 2China
zymeworks-logo.jpg
Zanidatamab + chemo + TislelizumabGEAPhase 3Asia, Australia, New Zealand
Zanidatamab (monotherapy)BTCPhase 2Asia, Australia, New Zealand
ZanidatamabBC, GC, GEAPhase 2Asia, Australia, New Zealand
springworks-logo.jpg
BGB-32451
Solid tumorsPhase 1Ex-Asia plus Japan
Pfizer.jpg
SEA-CD70MDS, AMLPhase 1Asia, Australia, New Zealand
Leads Logo.jpg
LBL-007 + TislelizumabCRC, NSCLC, HNSCC, ESCC, Melanoma, NPCPhase 2Ex-China
DualityBio.jpg
BG-C9074/DB1312BC, EC, OC, CCA, sqNSCLCPhase 1aGlobal
Ensem.jpg
CDK2iBreast cancer and other solid tumorsPre-clinicalGlobal
InnoRNA.jpg
INOVA-1, INOVA-2, cancer vaccine LNP NSCLC TAA and KRAS neoantigen, liver-specific LNP, and cancer vaccine LNP Pre-clinicalGlobal
^ BiTE® molecule; ^^ Half-life extended BiTE®; † XmAb® is a registered trademark of Xencor, Inc. *Mirati was acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb in January 2024; †† ZW25; 1 By MapKure, a JV with SpringWorks
Abbreviations: AML = acute myelogenous leukemia; BC = breast cancer; BTC = biliary tract cancers; CRC = colorectal cancer; GC = gastric cancer; GEA = gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma; GEJC = gastroesophaegeal junction cancer; HCC = hepatocellular carcinoma; LNP= lipid nanoparticle; MDS = myelodysplastic syndromes; NSCLC = non-small cell lung cancer; SCLC = small cell lung cancer
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Our Commercial- and Clinical-Stage Drug Candidates
A description of our commercial- and clinical-stage drug candidates and clinical data from selected clinical trials is set forth below. Historically, we have made available, and we intend to continue to make available, clinical data and/or topline results from clinical trials of our drug candidates in our press releases and/or filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (“HKEx”), and the Shanghai Stock Exchange (“SSE”), copies of which are available on the Investors section of our website.
Commercial-Stage
BRUKINSA (zanubrutinib), a BTK Inhibitor
We are currently evaluating zanubrutinib in a broad pivotal clinical program globally to treat a number of B-cell malignancies. Zanubrutinib has demonstrated sustained 24-hour BTK occupancy in both the peripheral blood and lymph node compartments in patients. Zanubrutinib is the only BTK inhibitor to demonstrate superior progression-free survival in R/R CLL versus IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib), an approved BTK inhibitor.
Overview of Clinical Development Program and Regulatory Status
We have announced BRUKINSA approvals around the world, including in the U.S., China, the EU, the UK, Canada, Australia, South Korea and Switzerland. As of December 2023, 32 additional marketing authorization applications for BRUKINSA have been submitted and are under review, including by BeiGene and with support from our five distribution partners: Adium Pharma in Latin America and the Caribbean, NewBridge Pharmaceuticals in the Middle East and North Africa, Erkim in Turkey, Nanolek in Russia, and Medison in Israel.
Based on the clinical data to date, we believe that BRUKINSA has a best-in-class profile, BeiGene has initiated broad global pivotal programs in multiple indications, including 11 registration or registration-enabling clinical trials. Six of the 11 trials are Phase 3, 3 are designed to be registration-enabling Phase 2 trials, and 2 are confirmatory trials.
ROSEWOOD A Global Randomized Study of Zanubrutinib plus Obinutuzumab vs Obinutuzumab Monotherapy in Relapsed/ Refractory Follicular Lymphoma (FL) (NCT03332017).
MAGNOLIA A Single-Arm Multicenter Study of Zanubrutinib subjects With Relapsed or Refractory Marginal Zone Lymphoma (MZL) (NCT03846427)

A Phase 2, Single-Arm, Open-Label, Multicenter Study of the Bruton Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Zanubrutinib in subjects With CD79B Mutant Relapsed/Refractory Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (NCT05068440).

ASPEN A Global Randomized Study of Zanubrutinib vs Ibrutinib in Subjects With Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia (WM) (NCT03053440).

SEQUOIA A Global Randomized Study of Zanubrutinib vs Bendamustine Plus Rituximab in subjects With Previously Untreated Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma (CLL/SLL) (NCT03336333).

ALPINE A Global Randomized Study of Zanubrutinib vs Ibrutinib in subjects With Relapsed/Refractory Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma (CLL/SLL) (NCT03734016).

MANGROVE A Randomized Global Study Comparing Zanubrutinib Plus Rituximab vs. Bendamustine Plus Rituximab in subjects With Previously Untreated Mantle Cell Lymphoma Who Are Ineligible for Stem Cell Transplantation (MCL) (NCT04002297).

MAHOGANY Zanubrutinib Plus Obinutuzumab vs Lenalidomide plus Rituximab in Relapsed/ Refractory Follicular Lymphoma (FL) (NCT05100862).

A Phase 2, Multicenter, Single-arm Study of Zanubrutinib in Patients With Previously Treated B-Cell Lymphoma Intolerant of Prior Treatment With Ibrutinib and/or Acalabrutinib.

A Global Randomized Study of zanubrutinib vs tacrolimus in Primary Membranous Nephropathy (NCT05707377).

A Multicenter, Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo Controlled Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Zanubrutinib in Patients With Active Proliferative Lupus Nephritis (NCT04643470).
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In addition, Nature Medicine (December 9, 2023) published compelling combination data of an investigator-initiated multicenter Phase 2 trial (NCT04271956) investigating BRUKINSA plus our anti-PD-1 TEVIMBRA (tislelizumab) in CLL patients with Richter’s transformation (“RT”). Extended follow-up data from ALPINE trial was presented at Annual American Society for Hematology (“ASH”) 2023. In December 2023, we received a U.S. Label Update which includes PFS superiority in R/R CLL (HR 0.65, p=0.0024); sustained with extended follow-up. Based on positive readout from ROSEWOOD study, EC has granted approval for the treatment of R/R FL. Finally, we are also investigating zanubrutinib in several combination studies in MCL, MZL and CLL/SLL, including a Phase 3 trial in combination with sonrotoclax in front-line CLL/SLL. We continue to examine opportunities for zanubrutinib combos with both sonrotoclax and tislelizumab.
We continue to pursue regulatory approvals for BRUKINSA globally. Besides our recent label updates in CLL/SLL in the U.S. (December 2023) and FL in EU (November 2023) we expect continued regulatory decisions for some of our global submissions this year, including potential additional approvals in more than 10 markets.
TEVIMBRA (tislelizumab), an anti-PD-1 Antibody
Tislelizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody against the immune checkpoint receptor PD-1 that is currently being evaluated in pivotal clinical trials globally and for which we plan to commence additional pivotal trials as a monotherapy and in combination with standard of care to treat various solid and hematological cancers.
Overview of Clinical Development Program and Regulatory Status
BeiGene has launched more than 17 potentially registration-enabling clinical trials globally, including 13 Phase 3 randomized trials and 4 Phase 2 trials intended to support regulatory submissions globally.
Our trials in lung cancer include:
A global Phase 3 trial evaluating tislelizumab as a second- or third-line treatment compared to docetaxel in patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC (NCT03358875);
Two Phase 3 trials in China evaluating tislelizumab plus chemotherapy versus chemotherapy in squamous and non-squamous NSCLC (NCT03594747 and NCT03663205, respectively);
A Phase 3 trial in China in 1L SCLC evaluating tislelizumab plus chemotherapy versus chemotherapy (NCT04005716); and
A Phase 3 trial in China of tislelizumab in combination with platinum-based doublet chemotherapy as neoadjuvant treatment for patients with NSCLC (NCT04379635).
Our trials in liver cancer include:
A global Phase 3 trial comparing tislelizumab with sorafenib as first-line treatment for patients with HCC (NCT03412773); and
A global single-arm pivotal Phase 2 trial in second- or third-line unresectable HCC (NCT03419897).
Our trials in gastric cancer include:
A global Phase 3 trial of tislelizumab combined with chemotherapy versus placebo combined with chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with gastric cancer (NCT03777657).
Our trials in lymphoma include:
A Phase 3 trial in China comparing tislelizumab to salvage chemotherapy in patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin Lymphoma (cHL; NCT04486391); and
A Phase 2 trial in China in patients with relapsed or refractory cHL (NCT03209973).
Our trials in urothelial carcinoma include:
A Phase 3 trial in China in patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (NCT03967977); and
Phase 2 trial in China in patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial bladder cancer (NCT04004221).
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Our trials in ESCC include:
A global Phase 3 trial comparing tislelizumab with chemotherapy as second-line treatment for patients with advanced ESCC (NCT03430843);
A global Phase 3 trial of tislelizumab in combination with chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with ESCC (NCT03783442); and
A Phase 3 trial in China of tislelizumab versus placebo in combination with chemoradiotherapy in patients with localized ESCC (NCT03957590).
Finally, our trials in solid tumors and nasopharyngeal cancer include:
A Phase 2 trial in China in patients with MSI-H/dMMR solid tumors (NCT03736889); and
A Phase 3 trial in China and Thailand of tislelizumab combined with chemotherapy versus placebo combined with chemotherapy as first-line treatment in patients with nasopharyngeal cancer (NCT03924986).
As of December 2023, we had enrolled over 13,000 subjects in clinical trials of tislelizumab in more than 30 countries, including 3,500+ subjects outside of China. These studies include 11 multi-regional registrational trials that are designed for global regulatory approvals. Data from our trials thus far suggested that tislelizumab was generally well-tolerated and exhibited anti-tumor activity in a variety of tumor types.
PARTRUVIX (pamiparib), a PARP1 and PARP2 Inhibitor
Pamiparib is a selective small molecule inhibitor of PARP1 and PARP2 enzymes that is being evaluated as a potential monotherapy and in combinations for the treatment of various solid tumors.
Overview of Clinical Development Program and Regulatory Status
In China, pamiparib received conditional approval in May 2021 for treatment of patients with gBRCA mutation-associated recurrent advanced ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who have been treated with two or more lines of chemotherapy. Full approval for this indication is contingent upon results from ongoing corroborative trials confirming the clinical benefit of pamiparib in this population.
In addition, our clinical development program includes a Phase 3 trial as a maintenance therapy in patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent OC (NCT03519230).
Clinical-Stage
Sonrotoclax (BGB-11417), a Small Molecule Bcl-2 Inhibitor
BGB-11417 is an investigational small molecule Bcl-2 inhibitor that is in late-stage clinical trials. We have completed preclinical studies and have ongoing investigational new drug (“IND”) -enabling studies of BGB-11417, which demonstrate potent activity and high selectivity against the pro-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. The molecule appears to be more potent than venetoclax and shows the potential to common venetoclax resistance mutations. Further, it is more selective than venetoclax for Bcl-2 relative to Bcl-xL. Designed with a shorter half-life, we believe this will lead to a more favorable tolerability profile and better handling. Finally, we believe that it is well-positioned to be ideal backbone for combination therapies, especially with zanubrutinib and our BTK-CDAC in fixed duration treatment strategy.
The preliminary clinical data on pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (“PK/PD”), efficacy and safety from more than 700 patients enrolled by December 2023 in different indications and in different combinations are consistent with the preclinical best-in-class hypothesis of a more potent and selective BCL2 inhibitor compared to venetoclax. In TN-CLL sonrotoclax was safe and tolerable in combination with BRUKINSA; with deep and durable responses.
Clinical data of a Phase 1 trial investigating TN-CLL/SLL, MZL (NCT04277637) and 1/ 2 trials investigating MM with t(11,14) was presented at ASH 2023. With these encouraging results, our BCL2 inhibitor sonrotoclax (BGB-11417) program is steadily progressing at pivotal stage. Clinical trials with registration-potential have already been initiated in R/R MCL globally (NCT05471843), R/R WM globally (NCT05952037) and R/R CLL/SLL for China only (NCT05479994). Notably, we have just initiated the Phase 3 study of sonrotoclax + BRUKINSA vs venetoclax + obinutuzumab to support the development of sonrotoclax in the 1L CLL indication. This study has started enrollment.
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BGB-16673, a BTK-targeted CDAC
BGB-16673 is an investigational BTK‑targeting chimeric degradation activation compound (“CDAC”) active against both wild‑type and mutant BTK. BGB‑16673 has demonstrated preclinical antitumor activity in models with wild‑type BTK and models with BTK inhibitor–resistant mutations commonly observed in patients who have progressed on prior BTK inhibitor treatment. A Phase 1 open‑label, dose‑escalation, and dose‑expansion trial (NCT05006716) in adult patients with R/R B‑cell malignancies is currently enrolling. Preliminary results are presented at ASH 2023. We expect to initiate dose expansion in 2024.
BGB-10188, a PI3Kδ Inhibitor
BGB-10188 is an investigational PI3Kδ inhibitor being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial (NCT04282018) as monotherapy or in combination with BRUKINSA in hematology malignancies, or in combination with tislelizumab in solid tumors.
BGB-21447, a Bcl-2 Inhibitor
BGB-21447 is an investigational Bcl-2 inhibitor being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial (NCT05828589) as monotherapy in mature B-cell malignancies. In preclinical studies, BGB-21447 shows additional potency and selectivity, with a longer half-life than sonrotoclax. We believe the differentiated profiles of sonrotoclax and BGB-21447 may lead to unique development options for these programs.
Ociperlimab (BGB-A1217), a TIGIT Inhibitor
Ociperlimab (BGB-A1217) is an investigational humanized IgG1-variant monoclonal antibody directed against TIGIT. An immune checkpoint molecule, ociperlimab is currently being investigated in a global Phase 3 trial, AdvanTIG-302 (NCT04746924), in combination with tislelizumab in NSCLC. As of December 2023, more than 2,000 subjects have been enrolled across the ociperlimab development program, which includes eight global trials in patients with lung cancers, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and cervical cancer.
In December 2021 we announced an option, collaboration and license agreement with Novartis to develop, manufacture and commercialize ociperlimab in North America, Europe, and Japan. In July 2023, the agreement was mutually terminated and we regained the full global rights for ociperlimab.
Due to the changing treatment paradigm, we discontinued AdvanTIG 301 (NCT04866017), a Phase 3 trial of ociperlimab in combination with its anti-PD-1 antibody tislelizumab versus AstraZeneca’s Imfinzi (durvalumab) following concurrent chemoradiotherapy in patients with stage III unresectable NSCLC.
We will continue patient enrollment in AdvanTIG-302, while evaluating all available data to inform future development opportunities with ociperlimab.
Zanidatamab, a bispecific HER2-targeted antibody
Zanidatamab, a novel investigational Azymetric bispecific antibody targeting HER2, is currently in late-stage clinical development with Zymeworks Inc. BeiGene has development and commercial rights to zanidatamab in Asia (excluding Japan), Australia, and New Zealand. We are participating in three ongoing clinical studies with zanidatamab. The first is a Phase 1/2 study (NCT04215978) in HER2-positive breast and gastric cancer. The breast cancer arm combines zanidatamab with docetaxel, and the gastric cancer arm combines zanidatamab with our PD-1 inhibitor tislelizumab and chemotherapy. The second study HERIZON-BTC-01 (NCT04466891) is a Phase 2b study in patients with advanced or metastatic HER2-amplified biliary tract cancers (“BTC”) in which zanidatamab is being used as monotherapy. Positive topline results from this trial were announced in 2022 and presented at ASCO 2023. We are continuing the global Phase 3 clinical trial (NCT05152147) examining zanidatamab in combination with chemotherapy with and without tislelizumab in HER2-positive gastroesophageal cancer.
Surzebiclimab (BGB-A425), a TIM-3 Inhibitor
Surzebiclimab (BGB-A425) is an investigational humanized IgG1-variant monoclonal antibody against T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin-domain containing-3. We have an ongoing Phase 2 trial (NCT03744468) of surzebiclimab in combination with tislelizumab in NSCLC and HNSCC.
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BGB-A445, an OX40 Agonist Antibody
BGB-A445 is an investigational agonistic antibody directed to the OX40 antigen. BGB-A445 is a non-ligand competing antibody that does not disrupt OX40 to OX40 ligand engagement. Preclinical experiments showed that BGB-A445 has increasing effectiveness at higher doses versus an antibody that was ligand-competing, which showed falling effectiveness at higher doses. BGB-A445 has also showed in preclinical tests the potential to be combined with several agents. BGB-A445 is being evaluated in a Phase 1 trial (NCT04215978) in patients with advanced solid tumors, a Phase 2 basket trial in melanoma, renal cell cancer and bladder cancer (NCT05661955), a Phase 2 umbrella trial in 1L NSCLC (NCT05635708), and a Phase 2 umbrella trial in 2L+ NSCLC (NCT06029127).
BGB-15025, a Small Molecule HPK1 Inhibitor
BGB-15025 is an investigational small molecule inhibitor of HPK1, which is a key negative feedback regulator of TCR signaling. Inhibition of HPK1 leads to enhanced T-cell activation pre-clinically. In addition, preclinical studies showed that BGB-15025 exhibits combination activity with tislelizumab and has a wide therapeutic window. We initiated a Phase 1 trial (NCT04649385) of BGB-15025 alone and in combination with tislelizumab in patients with advanced solid tumors in 2021. This trial is being conducted in multiple countries globally and has entered dose expansion. BGB-15025 is also being tested in a 1L NSCLC umbrella study in combination with tislelizumab and other novel agents.
BGB-24714, a SMAC mimetic
BGB-24714 is an investigational Second Mitochondrial-derived Activator of Caspase (“SMAC”) mimetic currently enrolling in a Phase 1 clinical trial (NCT05381909) as monotherapy and in combination with paclitaxel, or in combination with chemoradiotherapy in advanced solid tumors.
BGB-26808, a HPK-1 Inhibitor
BGB-26808 is a second-generation HPK-1 inhibitor with a different scaffold from BGB-15025 being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial (NCT05981703) as monotherapy or in combination with tislelizumab in participants with advanced solid tumors.
Lifirafenib (BGB-283) and BGB-3245, Inhibitors of RAF
Lifirafenib is an investigational novel small molecule inhibitor with RAF monomer and dimer inhibition activities. Lifirafenib has shown antitumor activities in preclinical models and in cancer patients with tumors harboring BRAF V600E mutations, non-V600E BRAF mutations or KRAS/NRAS mutations. We have been developing lifirafenib for the treatment of cancers with aberrations in the mitogen-activated protein kinase (“MAPK”), pathway, including BRAF gene mutations and KRAS/NRAS gene mutations where first generation BRAF inhibitors are not effective. We believe that lifirafenib as monotherapy or in combination with other agents may have potential for treating various malignancies such as melanoma, NSCLC, and endometrial cancer.
BeiGene is working together with SpringWorks Therapeutics, Inc. (“SpringWorks”) in a global clinical collaboration and has initiated a Phase 1b clinical trial (NCT03905148) to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of lifirafenib in combination with SpringWorks’ investigational MEK inhibitor, mirdametinib (PD-0325901), in patients with advanced solid tumors.
In addition to the collaboration, BeiGene and SpringWorks formed a separate company, MapKure, LLC, to develop BGB-3245, an investigational, selective next-generation RAF kinase inhibitor discovered by BeiGene scientists. MapKure has an ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial of BGB-3245 (NCT04249843) in patients with advanced or refractory tumors harboring specific v-RAF murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B (“B-RAF”) genetic mutations.
BGB-30813, a DGKζ Inhibitor
BGB-30813 is an investigational DGKζ inhibitor being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial (NCT05904496) as monotherapy and in combination with tislelizumab in participants with advanced or metastatic solid tumors.
BGB-A3055, an anti-CCR8 Antibody
BGB-A3055 is an investigational anti-CCR8 antibody being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial (NCT05935098) as monotherapy or in combination with tislelizumab in participants with advanced or metastatic solid tumors.


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BGB-43395, a CDK-4 Inhibitor
BGB-43395 is an investigational CDK4 inhibitor being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial (NCT06120283) as monotherapy or in combination with either fulvestrant or letrozole in participants with hormone receptor positive (“HR+”) and human epidermal growth factor 2 negative (“HER2-”) breast cancer (“BC”) and other advanced solid tumors.
Our Preclinical Programs
We have a proprietary biology research platform that has allowed us to research and develop both small molecules and biologic molecules. In the last decade, this platform has generated more than 10 clinical stage assets, including three internally-developed molecules that have been approved by regulatory bodies in the U.S., China, EU, and other markets, with other filings pending globally and planned to be submitted. The platform is a full-process technology system spanning from early discovery to commercialization of oncology medicines based on multiple drug technology platforms that can be applied to oncology and other fields. We have core technology platforms for the development of small molecule and antibody medicines and the manufacturing of our own and potentially other medicines. Currently, we have over 50 preclinical programs and we believe the majority have best-in-class or first-in-class potential.
We anticipate advancing many of our preclinical drug candidates into the clinic in the next 12 months. We believe that we have the opportunity to combine tislelizumab with our preclinical candidates to target multiple points in the cancer immunity cycle. We also may seek to develop companion diagnostics that will help identify patients who are most likely to benefit from the use of our medicines and drug candidates.
Manufacturing and Supply
We manufacture our medicines and drug candidates internally and in some cases with the help of third-party CMOs. The manufacturing of our medicines and drug candidates is subject to extensive regulations that impose various procedural and documentation requirements governing recordkeeping, manufacturing processes and controls, personnel, quality control, and quality assurance, among others. Our manufacturing facilities and the facilities of the CMOs we use to manufacture our medicines and drug candidates operate under current good manufacturing practice regulations (“cGMP”) conditions. cGMP regulations are requirements for the production of pharmaceuticals that will be used in humans.
Our Manufacturing Facilities
We have manufacturing facilities for small molecule drugs and large molecule biologics in Suzhou and Guangzhou, China, respectively, to support the commercialization and potential future demand of our internally developed or in-licensed products. We are also in the process of building a new campus for clinical R&D and biologics manufacturing in New Jersey, U.S.
Our manufacturing facility in Suzhou is over 13,000 square meters and consists of a manufacturing base for small molecule drug products with an annual production capacity of about 100 million tablets and capsules and a biologics clinical development production facility with 2 x 500 liters capacity to produce biologics candidates for clinical supply. The facility meets or exceeds design criteria of the U.S., EU, and China regulatory requirements. The facility previously received a manufacturing license to produce commercial volumes of BRUKINSA and PARTRUVIX for the China market and successfully passed FDA inspection for BRUKINSA in 2023. In 2023, as a result of our growing commercial and clinical demands, we opened our new small molecule manufacturing facility nearby in Suzhou with the capability to produce up to 1 billion solid oral dosages annually. This approximately 50,000 square meter facility is expected to replace our current Suzhou site and support our growing pipeline of small molecule medicines and drug candidates.
Our state-of-the-art commercial-scale manufacturing facility of large molecule biologics in Guangzhou is approximately 158,000 square meters. Phases 1 and 2 of the facility were completed in September 2019 and December 2020, respectively, with 24,000 liters of single use disposable capacity. Additionally, total committed capacity has been increased to 64,000 liters, with an additional expansion of 10,000 liters mechanically completed in 2023 with qualification expected by the end of 2024. Phase 1 and 2 are currently approved for the end-to-end commercial production of tislelizumab for the China market. We have purchased an adjacent tract of land to the south of the current site and expect opening in the first half of 2024. The new campus will be equipped with the state-of-the-art ADC production facility and 2 x 500 liters biologics clinical capacity while reserving additional land for the next phase of expansion to support our growing pipeline of large molecule medicines and drug candidates. With the ADC expansion, our Guangzhou manufacturing facility will have total biologics capacity of 65,000 liters.
We have almost completed construction at the U.S. flagship manufacturing and clinical R&D facility at the 42-acre site at the Princeton West Innovation Park in Hopewell, New Jersey. The property, located strategically in the Interstate 95 corridor of New Jersey, with a deep and rich talent pool, has more than one million square feet of developable real estate for potential future expansion to cover our existing medicines and pipeline. This site will have 8,000 liters of large molecule biologics manufacturing capacity and is anticipated to be operational in summer 2024.
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Contract Manufacturing Organizations
We currently rely on, and expect to continue to rely on, a limited number of third-party CMOs and CROs for the production of some drug products and drug substances and the supply of raw materials to meet the commercial, clinical, and preclinical needs of our medicines and drug candidates. We have adopted procedures to ensure that the production qualifications, facilities, and processes of the third-party suppliers engaged by us comply with relevant regulatory requirements and our internal quality and operational guidelines. We select our third-party suppliers carefully by considering a number of factors, including their qualifications, relevant expertise, production capacity, geographic proximity, reputation, track record, product quality, reliability in meeting delivery schedules, and business terms.
With our U.S. manufacturing site expected to open this year and continued partnership with global manufacturers, we continue to diversify our global supply network and do not anticipate any disruption to supply on account of our established strategy to maintain sufficient safety stock of our products. We have commercial supply and related agreements with most of our manufacturing service providers. For example, we entered into a commercial supply agreement with Catalent Pharma Solutions, LLC (“Catalent”) to produce BRUKINSA at Catalent’s Kansas City, Missouri site and have added Catalent’s facility in Winchester, Kentucky for clinical and commercial use in the U.S. and other countries outside of China. We currently source the active pharmaceutical ingredient for BRUKINSA from a supplier in China and full qualification of a supplier outside of China is near completion and will be soon active. In addition, we entered into a commercial supply agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim Biopharmaceuticals (China) Ltd. (“Boehringer Ingelheim”) for tislelizumab, which is being manufactured at Boehringer Ingelheim’s facility in Shanghai, China. Additionally, we entered into an agreement with Novartis to regain worldwide rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize tislelizumab. We will continue to work with Novartis on development, regulatory and manufacturing priorities. Novartis will manufacture tislelizumab for many markets worldwide and explore its potential in combination with their oncology assets. For our commercial and clinical stage products in-licensed from Amgen, BMS and others, we rely on the licensors and their manufacturing facilities or their CMOs for the supply of those medicines and drug candidates.
Our agreements with the outsourced suppliers engaged by us generally set out terms, including product quality or service details, technical standards or methods, delivery terms, agreed price and payment, and product inspection and acceptance criteria. We are generally allowed to return any products that fail to meet specified quality standards. Our outsourced suppliers procure raw materials themselves. Typically, outsourced suppliers request settlement of payment within 30 days from the date of invoice. Either party may terminate the agreements by serving notice to the other party under certain circumstances.
We generally obtain raw materials for our manufacturing activities from various suppliers who we believe have sufficient capacity to meet our demands. Raw materials and starting materials used at our facilities in Beijing and Suzhou include active pharmaceutical ingredients custom-made by our third-party CROs and excipients, which are commercially available from well-known vendors that meet the requirements of the relevant regulatory agencies. The core raw materials used in manufacturing at our Guangzhou facility are genetically modified cell lines that we have co-developed and licensed from Boehringer Ingelheim and other third parties.
We typically order raw materials on a purchase order basis and do not enter into long-term, dedicated capacity or minimum supply arrangements. We pay for our purchases of raw materials on credit. Credit periods granted to us by our suppliers generally range from 30 to 60 days. Our suppliers are generally not responsible for any defects in our finished products.
Amgen Collaboration
Collaboration Agreement
On October 31, 2019, our wholly-owned subsidiary, BeiGene Switzerland GmbH (“BeiGene Switzerland”), entered into a Collaboration Agreement with Amgen, which became effective on January 2, 2020 (as amended, the “Amgen Collaboration Agreement”). Pursuant to the terms of the Amgen Collaboration Agreement, we are responsible for commercializing Amgen’s oncology products XGEVA, BLINCYTO and KYPROLIS in China (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) for a period of five or seven years following each product’s regulatory approval in China, as specified in the Amgen Collaboration Agreement, with the commercialization period for XGEVA commencing following the transition of operational responsibilities for the product. In addition, as specified in the agreement, we have the option to retain one of the three products to commercialize for as long as the product is sold in China. The parties have agreed to equally share profits and losses for the products in China during each product’s commercialization period. After expiration of the commercialization period for each product, the products not retained will be transitioned back to Amgen and we will be eligible to receive tiered mid-single to low-double digit royalties on net sales in China of each product for an additional five years.
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Additionally, pursuant to the terms of the Amgen Collaboration Agreement, we and Amgen have agreed to collaborate on the global clinical development and commercialization of a portfolio of Amgen clinical- and late-preclinical-stage oncology pipeline products. Starting from the commencement of the Amgen Collaboration Agreement, we and Amgen will co-fund global development costs, with BeiGene contributing up to $1.25 billion worth of development services and cash over the term of the collaboration. We will be eligible to receive tiered mid-single digit royalties on net sales of each product globally outside of China on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis, until the latest of the expiration of the last valid patent claim, the expiration of regulatory exclusivity, or the earlier of eight years after the first commercial sale of such product in the country of sale and 20 years from the date of first commercial sale of such product anywhere in the world.
For each pipeline product that is approved in China, we will have the right to commercialize the product for seven years, with the parties sharing profits and losses for the product in China equally. In addition, we will have the right to retain approximately one of every three approved products, up to a total of six, other than AMG 510, to commercialize for as long as each such product is sold in China. After the expiration of the seven-year commercialization period, each product will be transitioned back to Amgen and we will be eligible to received tiered mid-single to low-double digit royalties on net sales in China for an additional five years. The parties are subject to specified exclusivity requirements in China and the rest of the world.
In connection with our ongoing assessment of the Amgen Collaboration Agreement cost-share contributions, we determined that our further investment in the development of AMG 510 was no longer commercially viable for BeiGene. As a result, in February 2023, we entered into an amendment to the Amgen Collaboration Agreement to (i) stop sharing costs with Amgen for the further development of AMG 510 during the period starting January 1, 2023 and ending August 31, 2023; and (ii) cooperate in good faith to prepare a transition plan with the termination of AMG 510 from the Amgen Collaboration Agreement.
BeiGene, Ltd. has guaranteed certain obligations of BeiGene Switzerland under the Amgen Collaboration Agreement pursuant to the terms of a separate Guarantee Agreement.
The Amgen Collaboration Agreement contains customary representations, warranties and covenants by the parties. The agreement will continue in effect on a product-by-product basis unless terminated by either party pursuant to its terms. The agreement may be terminated by mutual written consent of the parties, or by either party upon the other party’s uncured material breach, insolvency, failure to comply with specified compliance provisions, or subject to a specified negotiation mechanism, certain adverse economic impacts or the failure to meet commercial objectives. In addition, Amgen may terminate the agreement with respect to a pipeline product in the event it suspends development of such pipeline product on specified terms, subject to the parties determining whether to continue development of the pipeline product in China.
Share Purchase Agreement
In connection with the Amgen Collaboration Agreement, pursuant to a share purchase agreement dated October 31, 2019, as amended, by and between BeiGene, Ltd. and Amgen (as amended, the “Share Purchase Agreement”), we issued to Amgen 206,635,013 ordinary shares in the form of 15,895,001 ADSs of the Company on January 2, 2020, representing approximately 20.5% of our then outstanding shares, for an aggregate purchase price of $2.78 billion, or $13.45 per ordinary share, or $174.85 per ADS.
Pursuant to the Share Purchase Agreement, Amgen agreed to (i) a lock-up on sales of its shares until the earliest of (a) the fourth anniversary of the closing, (b) the expiration or termination of the Collaboration Agreement and (c) a change of control of BeiGene, Ltd., (ii) a standstill until the date on which it holds less than 5% of our then outstanding shares, and (iii) a voting agreement to vote its shares on certain matters presented for shareholder approval until the later of (a) the fifth anniversary of the closing and (b) the expiration of the standstill period, all under specified circumstances and as set forth in the agreement. Following the later of (i) the expiration of the lock-up period and (ii) the expiration of the standstill period, Amgen has agreed not to sell shares representing more than 5% of our then outstanding shares in any rolling 12-month period. The lock-up has since expired and under the terms of the Share Purchase Agreement, Amgen now has specified registration rights. Additionally, we have agreed to use reasonable best efforts to provide Amgen with an opportunity to participate in subsequent new securities offerings upon the same terms and conditions as other purchasers in the offering in an amount needed to allow Amgen to hold up to 20.6% of our shares, subject to applicable law and HKEx rules and other specified conditions.
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On March 17, 2020, BeiGene, Ltd. and Amgen entered into an Amendment No. 2 (the “Second Amendment”) to the Share Purchase Agreement in order to account for periodic dilution from the issuance of shares by us, which agreement was restated in its entirety on September 24, 2020 (the “Restated Second Amendment”). Pursuant to the Restated Second Amendment, Amgen had an option (the “Direct Purchase Option”) to subscribe for additional ADSs in an amount necessary to enable it to increase (and subsequently maintain) its ownership at approximately 20.6% of our outstanding shares. The Direct Purchase Option was exercisable on a monthly basis, but only if Amgen’s interest in our outstanding shares at the monthly reference date was less than 20.4%. The Direct Purchase Option (i) was exercisable by Amgen solely as a result of dilution arising from issuance of new shares by us under our equity incentive plans from time to time, and (ii) was subject to annual approval by our independent shareholders each year during the term of the Restated Second Amendment. The exercise period of the Direct Purchase Option commenced on December 1, 2020 and terminated on December 1, 2023.
On January 30, 2023, BeiGene, Ltd. and Amgen entered into an Amendment No. 3 (the “Third Amendment”) to the Share Purchase Agreement, pursuant to which Amgen elected to relinquish its right to appoint a designated director to the Company’s board of directors on account of the Company’s global growth. The Company has retained Anthony C. Hooper, who was Amgen’s director designee on the Company’s board of directors until Amgen relinquished its right to appoint a designated director. Mr. Hooper was most recently re-elected by shareholders in 2022 to serve a three-year term ending 2025.
Novartis Collaboration
Collaboration and License Agreement for Tislelizumab
On January 11, 2021, BeiGene Switzerland entered into a Collaboration and License Agreement, which became effective on February 26, 2021 (the “Novartis Collaboration and License Agreement”) with Novartis, pursuant to which Novartis will have the right to develop, manufacture and commercialize tislelizumab in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, member countries of the EU, UK, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Russia, and Japan (the “Licensed Territory”).
Under the Novartis Collaboration and License Agreement, we received an upfront cash payment of $650 million from Novartis. Additionally, we were eligible to receive up to $1.3 billion upon the achievement of regulatory milestones, $250 million upon the achievement of sales milestones, and tiered royalties based on percentages of annual net sales of tislelizumab in the Licensed Territory ranging from the high-teens to high-twenties, with customary reductions in specified circumstances.
Under the Novartis Collaboration and License Agreement, we and Novartis agreed to jointly develop tislelizumab in the Licensed Territory, with Novartis responsible for regulatory submissions after a transition period and for commercialization upon regulatory approvals. In addition, both companies could conduct clinical trials to explore potential combinations of tislelizumab with other cancer treatments. We were responsible for funding the ongoing clinical trials of tislelizumab, and Novartis agreed to fund any new registrational, bridging, or post-marketing studies in the Licensed Territory. Subject to specified conditions, both parties agreed to jointly fund other new clinical trials in the Licensed Territory agreed by the parties, provided that each party would be responsible for funding clinical trials evaluating tislelizumab in combination with its own- or third-party cancer treatments.
In September 2023, we mutually agreed to terminate the Novartis Collaboration and License Agreement. Pursuant to the termination agreement, we regained full, global rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize tislelizumab with no royalty payments due to Novartis. Upon termination we have no further performance obligations under the collaboration, and all remaining deferred revenue balances were recognized in full. Novartis may continue its ongoing clinical trials and has the ability to conduct future combination trials with tislelizumab subject to our approval. We agreed to provide Novartis with ongoing clinical supply of tislelizumab to support its clinical trials, while Novartis agreed to provide us with transition services to enable key aspects of the tislelizumab development and commercialization plan to proceed without disruption, including manufacturing, regulatory, safety and clinical support.
Option, Collaboration and License Agreement for Ociperlimab
On December 19, 2021, we entered into an Option, Collaboration and License Agreement (the “Novartis Option, Collaboration and License Agreement”) with Novartis, pursuant to which we granted Novartis an exclusive time-based option to receive an exclusive license to develop, manufacture and commercialize our investigational TIGIT inhibitor ociperlimab in the Licensed Territory.
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Under the Novartis Option, Collaboration and License Agreement, we received an upfront cash payment of $300 million from Novartis and were eligible to receive an additional payment of $600 million or $700 million upon exercise by Novartis of an exclusive time-based option prior to mid-2023 or late-2023, respectively, subject to receipt of required antitrust approval. Additionally, following the option exercise, we were eligible to receive up to $745 million upon the achievement of regulatory approval milestones, $1.15 billion upon the achievement of sales milestones, and tiered royalties based on percentages of annual net sales of ociperlimab in the Licensed Territory ranging from the high-teens to mid-twenties, with customary reductions in specified circumstances.
Under the Novartis Option, Collaboration and License Agreement, during the option period, Novartis agreed to initiate, conduct and fund additional global clinical trials of ociperlimab in combination with tislelizumab in selected tumor types and we agreed to expand enrollment in two ongoing trials. Additionally, following the option exercise, the companies agreed to jointly develop ociperlimab in the Licensed Territory, with Novartis sharing development costs of global trials and responsible for regulatory submissions after a transition period and for commercialization upon regulatory approvals in the Licensed Territory. We were initially responsible for supplying ociperlimab to Novartis, with Novartis having the right to conduct manufacturing for its use in the Licensed Territory after successful transfer of the manufacturing process.
In July 2023, we mutually agreed to terminate the Novartis Option, Collaboration and License Agreement. Pursuant to the termination agreement, we regained full, global rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize ociperlimab. Upon termination we have no further performance obligations under the collaboration, and all remaining deferred revenue balances were recognized in full.
Celgene License and Supply Agreement
On July 5, 2017, we and Celgene Logistics Sàrl, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMS, entered into a License and Supply Agreement, pursuant to which we were granted the right to exclusively distribute and promote BMS’s approved cancer therapies, REVLIMID, VIDAZA and ABRAXANE in China, excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. In addition, if Celgene decided to commercialize a new oncology product through a third party in the licensed territory during the first five years of the term, we had a right of first negotiation to obtain the right to commercialize the product, subject to certain conditions. We subsequently assigned the agreement to our wholly-owned subsidiary, BeiGene Switzerland.
On March 25, 2020, the NMPA suspended the importation, sales and use of ABRAXANE in China previously supplied to us by BMS, and the drug was subsequently recalled by BMS. This suspension was based on inspection findings at BMS’s contract manufacturing facility in the U.S. Additionally, in October 2021, BMS provided 180-days’ notice to us, which we dispute, purporting to terminate our license to market ABRAXANE in China. We initiated an arbitration proceeding against BMS asserting that it breached the terms and conditions of the license and supply agreement. In August 2023, we entered into a settlement agreement which terminated the License and Supply Agreement on December 31, 2023, subject to our right to continue selling all inventory of REVLIMID and VIDAZA until sold out or December 31, 2024, whichever is earlier. For additional information, please see the sections of this Annual Report titled “Legal Proceedings” and Footnote 17 of “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements”.
Intellectual Property
The proprietary nature of, and protection for, our medicines, drug candidates, and their methods of use are an important part of our strategy to develop and commercialize novel medicines, as described in more detail below. We have filed patent applications and obtained patents in the U.S. and other countries and regions, such as China and Europe, relating to our medicines and certain of our drug candidates, and are pursuing additional patent protection for them and for our other drug candidates and technologies. We sometimes rely on trade secrets to protect aspects of our business that are not amenable to, or that we do not consider appropriate for, patent protection, including our manufacturing processes. We also rely on know-how, continuing technological innovation and in-licensing opportunities to develop, strengthen, and support our development programs.
As of February 14, 2024, we owned 63 issued U.S. patents, 46 issued China patents, a number of pending U.S. and China patent applications, and corresponding patents and patent applications internationally.
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The key patents for our medicines and late-stage clinical drug candidates as of February 14, 2024, are summarized below:
Molecule TerritoryGeneral Subject Matter
Expiration1
BRUKINSA®
(Zanubrutinib)
U.S.Compound and composition2034
U.S.Oral dosage form2034
U.S.Use for modulating Bruton’s tyrosine kinase activity2034
U.S.Crystalline forms2037
U.S.Use for the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma2037
U.S.Use for the treatment of B-cell proliferative disorder2037
U.S.Use for the treatment of B-cell proliferative disorder2043
ChinaCompound and composition2034
ChinaCrystalline forms2037
TEVIMBRA®
(Tislelizumab)
U.S.Antibodies2033
U.S.Use for the treatment of cancer2033
U.S.Antibodies and use for the treatment of cancer2033
U.S.Antibodies2033
U.S.Antibodies2033
ChinaAntibodies2033
ChinaAntibodies2033
ChinaAntibodies2033
ChinaAntibodies2033
PARTRUVIX®
(Pamiparib)
U.S.Compound and composition2031
U.S.Compound and composition2031
U.S.Use for the treatment of cancer 2031
U.S.Compositions2031
U.S.Crystalline forms2036
ChinaCompound and composition2031
ChinaUse for the treatment of cancer2031
ChinaCrystalline forms2036
OciperlimabU.S.Antibodies2038
SonrotoclaxU.S.Compound and composition2039
ChinaCompound and composition2039
(1) The expected expiration does not include any additional term for patent term extensions.
Under our collaboration with Amgen, we have the right to commercialize three medicines in China. The key patents for them in China as of February 14, 2024 are summarized below:
ProductTerritoryGeneral Subject MatterExpiration
BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab)
ChinaUse for the treatment of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia2029
KYPROLIS® (carfilzomib)
ChinaCompound and Composition2025
We have one in-licensed medicine in China from Shandong Luye Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd (“Luye”). The key patent for it in China as of February 14, 2024 is summarized below:
ProductTerritoryGeneral Subject MatterExpiration
BAITUOWEI® (goserelin microsphere)
ChinaFormulation2034
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Although various extensions may be available, the life of a patent and the protection it affords, is limited. We may face competition from generic medications for our medicines and any approved drug candidates even if we successfully obtain patent protection. The scope, validity or enforceability of our or our collaborators’ patents may be challenged in court or other authorities, and we or they may not be successful in enforcing or defending those intellectual property rights and, as a result, may not be able to develop or market the relevant product exclusively, which would have a material adverse effect on any potential sales of that product. Additionally, in China, the NMPA may approve a generic version of a brand-name medicine that still has patent protection. As such, any issued patents may not protect us from generic or biosimilar competition for these medicines. Under our license agreement with Amgen, they retain the responsibility, but are not obligated, to prosecute, defend and enforce the patents for the corresponding in-licensed products. Under our license agreement with Luye, Luye retains the responsibility, but is not obligated, to prosecute the in-licensed patents for the corresponding in-licensed product, and BeiGene retains the responsibility, but is not obligated, to defend and enforce the patents for the corresponding in-licensed product.
The term of individual patents may vary based on the countries in which they are obtained. In most countries in which we file, including the U.S. and China, the term of an issued patent is generally 20 years from the earliest claimed filing date of a non-provisional patent application in the applicable country. In the U.S., a patent’s term may be lengthened in some cases by a patent term adjustment, which extends the term of a patent to account for administrative delays by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), in excess of a patent applicant’s own delays during the prosecution process, or may be shortened if a patent is terminally disclaimed over a commonly owned patent having an earlier expiration date. In addition, in certain instances, a patent term can be extended to recapture a portion of the term effectively lost in obtaining FDA regulatory approval. However, the restoration period cannot be longer than five years and the total patent term including the restoration period must not exceed 14 years following FDA approval. In China, the Amended PRC Patent Law also provides both patent term adjustment and patent term extension.
In certain foreign jurisdictions similar extensions as compensation for regulatory delays are also available. The actual protection afforded by a patent varies on a claim by claim and country by country basis and depends upon many factors, including the type of patent, the scope of its coverage, the availability of any patent term extensions or adjustments, the availability of legal remedies in a particular country and the validity and enforceability of the patent.
We may rely, in some circumstances, on trade secrets and unpatented know-how to protect aspects of our technology. We seek to protect our proprietary technology and processes, in part, by entering into confidentiality agreements with employees, consultants, scientific advisors and contractors and invention assignment agreements with our employees. We also seek to preserve the integrity and confidentiality of our data and trade secrets by maintaining physical security of our premises and physical and electronic security of our information technology systems.
Additionally, we currently own a number of registered trademarks and pending trademark applications. We currently have registered trademarks for BeiGene, our corporate logo and product names and logos in the U.S., China, the EU and other jurisdictions, and we are seeking further trademark protection for BeiGene, our corporate logo, product names and logos, and other marks in jurisdictions where available and appropriate.
Competition
We operate in a highly competitive environment and our marketed products face intense competition in regulated markets around the world. Our main competitors include other global research-based biopharmaceutical companies as well as smaller regional and local companies. These companies participate in one or more activities including the development, production, and promotion of products that are intended to treat diseases or indications that are like products we currently market or are in the process of developing to market. For example:
BRUKINSA – Conventional methods of treating lymphomas vary according to the specific disease or histology, but generally include chemotherapy, antibodies directed at CD20, a molecular marker found on the surface of B-cells, and, less frequently, radiation. Recently, significant progress has been made in the development of new therapies for lymphomas, including BTK inhibitors. The BTK inhibitor IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib), marketed by AbbVie and Janssen, was first approved by the FDA in 2013 for the treatment of patients with MCL who have received at least one prior therapy. Since that time, ibrutinib has been approved in over 90 countries and regions and has expanded its indications. Another BTK inhibitor, AstraZeneca’s CALQUENCE® (acalabrutinib), was approved by the FDA in 2017 under accelerated approval for the treatment of patients with MCL who have received at least one prior therapy, and in November 2019 for use in adults with CLL/SLL as a single agent or in combination with obinutuzumab. In January 2023, the FDA approved Lilly’s JAYPIRCA (pirtobrutinib, a reversible BTK inhibitor) for the treatment of adult patients with R/R MCL after at least two lines of systemic therapy, including a BTK inhibitor. In China, BRUKINSA competes with IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib), which received approval in 2017, YINUOKAI® (orelabrutinib) from Innocare, which was approved in 2020, and CALQUENCE® (acalabrutinib), which was approved in 2023.
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TEVIMBRA – A number of PD-1 or PD-L1 antibody medicines have been approved by the FDA or EMA. These include Merck’s KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), BMS’s OPDIVO® (nivolumab), Roche’s TECENTRIQ® (atezolizumab), AstraZeneca’s IMFINZI® (durvalumab), Pfizer and Merck Sereno’s BAVENCIO® (avelumab), Regeneron and Sanofi’s LIBTAYO® (cemiplimab), GSK’s JEMPERLI® (dostarlimab), and Junshi’s toripalimab. In the global setting, several PD-1 or PD-L1 antibody agents are in late-stage clinical development in addition to tislelizumab. In China, as of December 25, 2023, there are nine other approved PD-1 antibodies: OPDIVO® (nivolumab) and KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), Junshi’s TUOYI® (toripalimab), Innovent’s TYVYT® (sintilimab), Hengrui’s AIRUIKA® (camrelizumab), Akeso’s ANNIKE® (penpulimab), Gloria’s YUTUO® (zimberelimab), Henlius’s HANSIZHUANG® (serplulimab) and Lepu’s PUYOUHENG® (pucotenlimab). There are five approved PD-L1 antibody agents: AstraZeneca’s IMFINZI® (durvalumab), Roche’s TECENTRIQ® (atezolizomab), CStone’s ZEJIEMEI® (sugemalimab), Alphamab’s ENWEIDA® (envafolimab), and Hengrui’s AIRUILI® (adebrelimab). Akeso’s PD-1xCTLA-4 bispecific antibody, KAITANNI® (cadonilimab) was approved in China. There are approximately 40 more PD-1 and PD-L1 agents in clinical development in China.
PARTRUVIX – We are competing with multiple PARP inhibitors in China. AstraZeneca received approval for olaparib in August 2018. Zai Labs obtained development and commercial rights for niraparib in China, and its NDA was approved by the NMPA in December 2019. Fluzoparib from Hengrui/Hansoh was approved in December 2020.
Ociperlimab – We are aware of several pharmaceutical companies developing TIGIT antibodies, including Agenus, Arcus, BMS, Compugen, Roche/Genentech, Innovent, iTeos Therapeutics, Merck KGaA, Mereo BioPharma, Seagen, Junshi, Bio-Thera and Akeso. To our knowledge, there are currently no approved anti-TIGIT antibodies and the most advanced agent is in Phase 3 development.
Sonrotoclax – We are aware of several pharmaceutical companies developing BCL2 inhibitors, including AbbVie, Roche, Ascentage Pharma, Fochon Pharma, Chia Tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical, AstraZeneca, Lupeng Pharmaceutical, TargetRx, Novartis, Servier, Zentalis Pharmaceuticals and InnoCare Pharma. To our knowledge, venetoclax was approved by the FDA in April 2016, the EMA in December 2016 and by the NMPA in December 2020.
Many of the larger companies we compete with are well-capitalized and dedicate a significant number of financial resources to support their research and development, while using business development to supplement their internal pipelines. As a result, we must continuously invest and gain experience in the development, acquisition, and marketing of innovative and branded medicines and drug candidates to compete effectively in both current and future markets. This requires us to devote substantial funds and resources to R&D to prevent or slow the erosion of the sales of our existing products and potential sales of products in development. Please see the section of this Annual Report titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for R&D expenses incurred in 2022 and 2023.
The main forms of competition include efficacy, safety, and cost. The long-term success of our products depends on our ability to effectively demonstrate the value that each one of them offers to physicians, patients, and third-party payers. This requires a much greater use of a direct sales force to realize significant revenues. We also have and will continue to enter into co-promotion, contract sales force or other such arrangements with third parties, for example, where our own direct sales force is not large enough or sufficiently well-aligned to achieve maximum market penetration. Furthermore, robust compliance system, science-based promotion model, and integrated management will also be competitive advantage in the industry in the long run, which we invest significant effort to establish.
Government Regulation
Government authorities in the U.S., China, Europe and other jurisdictions extensively regulate the research and clinical development, testing, manufacture, quality control, approval, labeling, packaging, storage, record-keeping, promotion, advertising, distribution, post-approval monitoring and reporting, marketing, and export and import of drugs like those we are developing and commercializing. Some jurisdictions also regulate drug pricing. Generally, for a new drug to be marketed, considerable data demonstrating its quality, safety and efficacy must be obtained, organized into a format specific to each regulatory authority, submitted for review and approved by the regulatory authority.
U.S. Regulation
U.S. Government Regulation and Product Approval
In the U.S., the FDA regulates drugs under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”), and its implementing regulations, and biologics under the FDCA, its implementing regulations, and the Public Health Service Act (“PHSA”), and its implementing regulations.

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U.S. Drug Development Process
The process required by the FDA before a drug or biologic may be marketed in the U.S. generally involves the following:
completion of preclinical laboratory tests and animal studies according to Good Laboratory Practices (“GLP”) guidance;
completion of extensive chemistry, manufacturing, and control (“CMC”) studies;
submission to the FDA of an IND application, which must become effective before human clinical trials may begin;
performance of adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials according to Good Clinical Practice (“GCP”), to establish the safety and efficacy of the proposed drug or safety, purity and potency of the proposed biologic, for the intended use;
preparation and submission to the FDA of an NDA for a small molecule drug or a BLA for a biologic;
a determination by the FDA within 60 days of its receipt of an NDA or BLA to file the application for review;
satisfactory completion of an FDA inspection of the manufacturing facility or facilities at which the product, or components thereof, are produced to assess compliance with cGMP;
review of the product candidate by an FDA advisory committee, where appropriate and if applicable;
payment of user fees for FDA review of the NDA or BLA (unless a fee waiver applies);
FDA audits of some clinical trial sites to ensure compliance with GCPs; and
FDA review and approval of the NDA or licensing of the BLA.
Preclinical Studies and Clinical Trials
Once a product candidate is identified for development, it enters the preclinical testing stage. Preclinical tests include laboratory evaluations of product chemistry, toxicity, formulation and stability, as well as in vitro and animal studies. The conduct of the preclinical tests must comply with federal regulations and requirements, including GLP. An IND sponsor must submit the results of the preclinical tests, together with manufacturing information, analytical data and any available clinical data or literature, to the FDA as part of the IND. The sponsor must also include a protocol detailing, among other things, the objectives of the initial first-in-human clinical trial, dosing procedures, subject selection and exclusion criteria, the parameters to be used in monitoring safety and the effectiveness criteria to be evaluated if the initial clinical trial lends itself to an efficacy evaluation. Some preclinical testing may continue even after the IND is submitted. The IND automatically becomes effective 30 days after receipt by the FDA, unless the FDA raises concerns or questions related to the proposed clinical trial and places the trial on a full clinical hold within that 30-day time period. In such a case, the IND sponsor and the FDA must resolve any outstanding concerns before the clinical trial can begin. The FDA also can impose partial clinical holds, for example, prohibiting the initiation of clinical trials of a certain duration or for a certain dose. The FDA may also impose full or partial clinical holds at any time before or during clinical trials due to safety concerns or noncompliance and may be imposed on all products within a certain class of products.
All clinical trials must be conducted under the supervision of one or more qualified investigators in accordance with GCP regulations. These regulations require that all research subjects provide informed consent in writing before their participation in any clinical trial. Further, an institutional review board (“IRB”) must review and approve the plan for any clinical trial before it commences at any institution, and the IRB must conduct continuing review and reapprove the study at least annually. An IRB considers, among other things, whether the risks to individuals participating in the clinical trial are minimized and are reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits. The IRB also approves the information regarding the clinical trial and the consent form that must be provided to each clinical trial subject or his or her legal representative and must monitor the clinical trial until completed. Some trials are overseen by an independent group of qualified experts organized by the trial sponsor, known as a data safety monitoring board or committee. This group provides authorization as to whether or not a trial may move forward at designated check points based on access that only the group maintains to available data from the trial and may recommend halting the clinical trial if it determines that there is an unacceptable safety risk for subjects or other grounds, such as no demonstration of efficacy.
Each new clinical protocol and any amendments to the protocol must be filed with the FDA as an IND amendment and submitted to the IRBs for approval.
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A sponsor who wishes to conduct a clinical trial outside of the U.S. may, but need not, obtain FDA authorization to conduct the clinical trial under an IND. If a foreign clinical trial is not conducted under an IND, the sponsor may submit data from the clinical trial to the FDA in support of an NDA or BLA. The FDA will accept a well-designed and well-conducted foreign clinical study not conducted under an IND if the study was conducted in accordance with GCP requirements, and the FDA is able to validate the data through an onsite inspection if deemed necessary.
Human clinical trials are typically conducted in three sequential phases that may overlap or be combined:
Phase 1. The product is initially introduced into a small number of healthy human subjects or patients and tested for safety, dosage tolerance, absorption, metabolism, distribution and excretion and, if possible, to gain early evidence on effectiveness. In the case of some products for severe or life-threatening diseases, especially when the product is suspected or known to be unavoidably toxic, the initial human testing may be conducted in patients with the target disease or condition.
Phase 2. Involves clinical trials in a limited patient population to identify possible adverse effects and safety risks, to preliminarily evaluate the efficacy of the product for specific targeted diseases and to determine dosage tolerance and optimal dosage and schedule.
Phase 3. Clinical trials are undertaken to further evaluate dosage, clinical efficacy and safety in an expanded patient population. These clinical trials are intended to evaluate the overall risk/benefit relationship of the product and provide an adequate basis for product labeling.
Post-approval trials, sometimes referred to as Phase 4 clinical trials, may be conducted after initial marketing approval. These trials are used to gain additional experience from the treatment of patients in the intended therapeutic indication and are commonly intended to generate additional safety data regarding use of the product in a clinical setting. In certain instances, the FDA may mandate the performance of Phase 4 clinical trials as a condition of approval of an NDA or BLA.
Progress reports detailing the results of the clinical trials must be submitted at least annually to the FDA and safety reports must be submitted to the FDA and the investigators for serious and unexpected suspected AEs, any clinically important increase in the rate of a serious suspected adverse reaction over that listed in the protocol or investigator’s brochure, or any findings from other studies or animal or in vitro testing that suggest a significant risk in humans exposed to the product. The sponsor must submit an IND safety report within 15 calendar days after the sponsor determines that the information qualifies for reporting. The sponsor also must notify the FDA of any unexpected fatal or life-threatening suspected adverse reaction within seven calendar days after the sponsor’s initial receipt of the information. The FDA or the sponsor may suspend or terminate, or a data safety monitoring board may recommend the suspension or termination of, a clinical trial at any time on various grounds, including a finding that the research subjects or patients are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk. Similarly, an IRB can suspend or terminate approval of a clinical trial at its institution if the clinical trial is not being conducted in accordance with the IRB’s requirements or if the product has been associated with unexpected serious harm to subjects.
Concurrent with clinical trials, companies usually complete additional animal studies and must also develop additional information about the chemistry and physical characteristics of the product and finalize a process for manufacturing the product in commercial quantities in accordance with cGMP requirements. The manufacturing process must be capable of consistently producing quality batches of the product and, among other things, the manufacturer must develop methods for testing the identity, strength, quality and purity of the final product. Additionally, appropriate packaging must be selected and tested, and stability studies must be conducted to demonstrate that the product does not undergo unacceptable deterioration over its shelf life.
U.S. Expanded Access
Expanded access, sometimes called “compassionate use,” is the use of investigational products outside of clinical trials to treat patients with serious or immediately life-threatening diseases or conditions when there are no comparable or satisfactory alternative treatment options. There is no requirement for a company to provide expanded access to its investigational products. However, if a company decides to make one of its investigational products available for expanded access, the FDA reviews each request for expanded access and determines if treatment may proceed. We make available on our website the BeiGene contact information for requesting access to our investigational drugs and expected timeline for us to acknowledge receiving such requests.



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U.S. Review and Approval Processes
The results of product development, preclinical studies and clinical trials, along with descriptions of the CMC, analytical tests conducted on the product, proposed labeling and other relevant information, are submitted to the FDA as part of an NDA for a new small molecule drug or a BLA for a biologic, requesting approval to market the product. The submission of an NDA or BLA is subject to the payment of a substantial user fee, although a waiver of such fee may be obtained under certain limited circumstances. The sponsor of an approved NDA or BLA is also subject to an annual prescription drug product program fee.
The FDA may request additional information rather than accept an NDA or BLA for filing. In this event, the NDA or BLA must be re-submitted with the additional information and the re-submitted application is subject to review before the FDA accepts it for filing. Once the submission is accepted for filing, the FDA reviews an NDA to determine, among other things, whether a product is safe and effective for its intended use, and a BLA to determine whether the biologic is safe, pure, and potent for its intended use. The FDA also evaluates whether the product’s manufacturing is cGMP-compliant to assure the product’s identity, strength, quality and purity. Before approving an NDA or BLA, the FDA typically will inspect the facility or facilities where the product is or will be manufactured. The FDA will not approve an application unless it determines that the manufacturing processes and facilities comply with cGMP requirements and adequate to assure consistent production of the product within required specifications. Additionally, before approving an NDA or BLA, the FDA may inspect one or more clinical trial sites to assure compliance with GCP and other requirements and the integrity of the clinical data submitted to the FDA.
The approval process can be lengthy and difficult, and the FDA may refuse to approve an NDA or BLA if the applicable regulatory criteria are not satisfied or may require additional data and information. Even if such data and information are submitted, the FDA may ultimately decide that the NDA or BLA does not satisfy the criteria for approval. Data obtained from clinical trials are not always conclusive, and the FDA may interpret data differently than we interpret the same data. The FDA will issue a complete response letter if the agency decides not to approve the NDA or BLA in its present form. The complete response letter usually describes the specific deficiencies identified in the NDA or BLA that must be satisfactorily addressed before it can be approved. The deficiencies identified may be minor, for example, requiring labeling changes, or major, for example, requiring additional clinical trials. Additionally, the complete response letter may include recommended actions that the applicant might take to place the application in a condition for approval. If a complete response letter is issued, the applicant may either resubmit the NDA or BLA, addressing all of the deficiencies identified in the letter, withdraw the application or request an opportunity for a hearing.
If a product receives regulatory approval, the approval may be significantly limited to specific diseases and dosages or the indications for use may otherwise be limited, which could restrict the commercial value of the product. Further, the FDA may require that certain contraindications, warnings or precautions be included in the product labeling, require post-approval studies, including Phase 4 clinical trials, to further assess a product’s safety and effectiveness, or may require testing and surveillance programs to monitor the safety of approved products. The FDA may also approve an NDA or BLA with a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy program to mitigate risks, which could include medication guides, physician communication plans, or elements to assure safe use, such as restricted distribution methods, patient registries and other risk minimization tools.
Regulation of Combination Products in the U.S.
Certain products may be comprised of components that would normally be regulated under different types of regulatory authorities in certain jurisdictions, and in the U.S. by different centers at the FDA. These products are known as combination products. Under the FDCA, the FDA is charged with assigning a center with primary jurisdiction, or a lead center, for review of a combination product. That determination is based on the “primary mode of action” of the combination product. We are developing combination products using our own drug candidates and third-party drugs.
Regulation of Companion Diagnostics in the U.S.
If safe and effective use of a therapeutic depends on an in vitro diagnostic, then the FDA generally will require approval or clearance of that diagnostic, known as a companion diagnostic, at the same time that the FDA approves the therapeutic product. For novel drugs, a companion diagnostic device and its corresponding therapeutic should be approved or cleared contemporaneously by the FDA for the use indicated in the therapeutic product’s labeling. Once cleared or approved, the companion diagnostic must adhere to post-marketing requirements including the requirements of FDA’s quality system regulation, medical device reporting, recalls and corrections along with product marketing requirements and limitations. Companion diagnostic manufacturers are subject to unannounced FDA inspections at any time during which the FDA will conduct an audit of the product(s) and the company’s facilities for compliance with its authorities.

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Expedited Programs
Fast Track Designation
The FDA has a fast track program that is intended to expedite or facilitate the process for reviewing new drugs, including biologics that meet certain criteria. Specifically, new drugs are eligible for fast track designation if they are intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition for which there is no effective treatment and demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs for the disease or condition. Fast track designation applies to the combination of the product and the specific indication for which it is being studied. The sponsor of a new drug or biologic product candidate may request the FDA to designate the product candidate as a fast track product concurrently with, or at any time after, submission of an IND, and the FDA must determine if the product candidate qualifies for fast track designation within 60 days of receipt of the sponsor’s request.
In addition to other benefits, such as the ability to engage in more frequent interactions with the FDA, the FDA may initiate review of sections of a fast track product’s NDA or BLA before the application is complete. This rolling review is available if the applicant provides, and the FDA approves, a schedule for the submission of each portion of the NDA or BLA and the applicant pays the applicable user fee. However, the FDA’s time period goal for reviewing an application does not begin until the last section of the NDA or BLA is submitted. Additionally, the fast track designation may be withdrawn by the FDA if the FDA believes that the designation is no longer supported by data emerging in the clinical trial process.
BRUKINSA was granted fast track designation by the FDA for the treatment of WM, MZL and R/R FL. Tislelizumab was granted fast track designation by the FDA for the treatment of 1L HCC.
Accelerated Approval
Under FDA’s accelerated approval regulations, the FDA may approve a drug, including a biologic, intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition that generally provides meaningful therapeutic benefit to patients over available treatments and demonstrates an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit, or on a clinical endpoint that can be measured earlier than irreversible morbidity or mortality, that is reasonably likely to predict an effect on irreversible morbidity or mortality or other clinical benefit, taking into account the severity, rarity, or prevalence of the condition and the availability or lack of alternative treatments. In clinical trials, a surrogate endpoint is a marker, such as a laboratory measurement or clinical signs of a disease or condition that is thought to predict clinical benefit but is not itself a measure of clinical benefit. Surrogate endpoints can often be measured more easily or more rapidly than clinical endpoints. A product candidate approved on this basis is subject to rigorous post-marketing compliance requirements, including the completion of post-approval clinical trials to confirm the effect on irreversible morbidity or mortality or other clinical benefit. Under the Food and Drug Omnibus Reform Act of 2022, the FDA can require, as appropriate, that post-approval confirmatory trials be underway prior to approval or within a specific time period after accelerated approval is granted. Failure to conduct required post-approval studies with due diligence, or to confirm a clinical benefit during post-marketing studies, will allow the FDA to withdraw the drug from the market. In general, all promotional materials for drug candidates approved under accelerated regulations are subject to prior review by the FDA unless otherwise informed by the agency.
BRUKINSA was granted accelerated approval by FDA for the treatment of adult patients with MCL who have received at least one prior therapy and for the treatment of adult patients with R/R MZL who have received at least one anti-CD20-based regimen.
Breakthrough Designation
Breakthrough therapy designation is intended to expedite the development and review of a drug or biologic if it is intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug or biologic, alone or in combination with one or more other drugs or biologics, may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints. A sponsor may request that a product candidate be designated as a breakthrough therapy concurrently with, or at any time after, the submission of an IND, and the FDA must determine if the candidate qualifies for breakthrough therapy designation within 60 days of receipt of the sponsor’s request. If so designated, the FDA shall expedite the development and review of the product candidate’s marketing application. The designation may be rescinded if the product candidate does not continue to meet the criteria for breakthrough therapy designation.
BRUKINSA was granted breakthrough therapy designation by the FDA for the treatment of adult patients with MCL who have received at least one prior therapy.
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Priority Review
The FDA may grant an NDA or BLA a priority review designation, which sets the target date for FDA action on the application at six months after the FDA accepts the application for filing. Priority review is granted where there is evidence that the proposed product would be a significant improvement in the safety or effectiveness of the treatment, diagnosis, or prevention of a serious condition. If criteria are not met for priority review, the application is subject to the standard FDA review period of ten months after FDA accepts the application for filing. Priority review designation does not change the scientific/medical standard for approval or the quality of evidence necessary to support approval.
The NDA for BRUKINSA was granted priority review by the FDA for the treatment of adult patients with MCL who have received at least one prior therapy.
Pediatric Information
Under the Pediatric Research Equity Act of 2003, all marketing applications for new active ingredients, indications, dosage forms, dosing regimens or routes of administration must contain an assessment of the safety and effectiveness of the product for the claimed indication in pediatric patients unless this requirement is waived, deferred or inapplicable.
Under the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act, a product may be eligible for pediatric exclusivity, which adds six months to existing exclusivity periods and patent terms. This exclusivity may be granted based on the voluntary completion of a pediatric study in accordance with an FDA-issued written request for such a study.
Post-Approval Requirements
Any products for which we receive FDA approval are subject to continuing regulation by the FDA, including, among other things, record-keeping requirements, reporting of adverse experiences with the product, providing the FDA with updated safety and efficacy information, product sampling and distribution requirements, complying with certain electronic records and signature requirements and complying with FDA promotion and advertising requirements. The FDA strictly regulates labeling, advertising, promotion and other types of information on products that are placed on the market. Products may be promoted only for the approved indications and in accordance with the provisions of the approved label. Further, manufacturers must continue to comply with cGMP requirements, which are extensive and require considerable time, resources and ongoing investment to ensure compliance. In addition, changes to the manufacturing process generally require prior FDA approval before being implemented and other types of changes to the approved product, such as adding new indications and additional labeling claims, are also subject to further FDA review and approval.
Manufacturers and other entities involved in the manufacturing and distribution of approved products are required to register their establishments with the FDA and certain state agencies and are subject to periodic unannounced inspections by the FDA and certain state agencies for compliance with cGMP and other laws. The cGMP requirements apply to all stages of the manufacturing process, including the production, processing, sterilization, packaging, labeling, storage and shipment of the product. Manufacturers must establish validated systems to ensure that products meet specifications and regulatory requirements and test each product batch or lot prior to its release. Additionally, manufacturers and other parties involved in the drug supply chain for prescription drug products must also comply with product tracking and tracing requirements and notify the FDA of counterfeit, diverted, stolen and intentionally adulterated products or products that are otherwise unfit for distribution in the U.S.
The FDA may withdraw a product approval, revoke a biologics license or implement restrictions on such product if compliance with regulatory requirements is not maintained or if problems occur after the product reaches the market. Further, the failure to maintain compliance with regulatory requirements may result in administrative or judicial actions, such as fines, untitled or warning letters, holds on clinical trials, product seizures, product detention or refusal to permit the import or export of products, refusal to approve pending applications or supplements, restrictions on marketing or manufacturing, injunctions or civil or criminal penalties. We may undertake or be required to undertake a product recall.
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Patent Term Restoration and Regulatory Exclusivity
Depending upon the timing, duration and specifics of FDA approval of the use of our drug candidates, some of our U.S. patents may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, commonly referred to as the Hatch-Waxman Act. The Hatch-Waxman Act permits a patent restoration term of up to five years as compensation for patent term lost during product development and the FDA regulatory review process. However, patent term restoration cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the product’s approval date. The patent term restoration period is generally one-half the time between the effective date of an IND and the submission date of an NDA or BLA plus the time between the submission date of an NDA or BLA and the approval of that application, except that this review period is reduced by any time during which the applicant failed to exercise due diligence. Only one patent applicable to an approved product is eligible for the extension and the application for the extension must be submitted prior to the expiration of the patent. The USPTO, in consultation with the FDA, reviews and approves the application for any patent term extension or restoration. In the future, if available, we intend to apply for restorations of patent term for some of our patents beyond their current expiration dates, depending on the expected length of the clinical trials and other factors involved in the filing of the relevant NDA or BLA; however, there can be no assurance that any such extension will be granted to us.
Data exclusivity provisions under the FDCA can also delay the submission or the approval of certain applications. The FDCA provides a five-year period of non-patent data exclusivity within the U.S. to the first applicant to gain approval of an NDA for a new chemical entity. A drug is a new chemical entity if the FDA has not previously approved any other new drug containing the same active moiety, which is the molecule or ion responsible for the action of the drug substance. During the exclusivity period, the FDA may not accept for review an abbreviated NDA, or ANDA, or a 505(b)(2) NDA submitted by another company for another version of such drug where the applicant does not own or have a legal right of reference to all the data required for approval. However, such an application may be submitted after four years if it contains a certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement. The FDCA also provides three years of data exclusivity for an NDA, 505(b)(2) NDA or supplement to an existing NDA if new clinical investigations, other than bioavailability studies, that were conducted or sponsored by the applicant are deemed by the FDA to be essential to the approval of the application, for example, for new indications, dosages or strengths of an existing drug. This three-year exclusivity covers only the conditions of use associated with the new clinical investigations and does not prohibit the FDA from approving ANDAs for drugs containing the original active agent. Five-year and three-year exclusivity will not delay the submission or approval of a full NDA. However, an applicant submitting a full NDA would be required to conduct or obtain a right of reference to all of the preclinical studies and adequate and well-controlled clinical trials necessary to demonstrate safety and effectiveness.
Regulatory exclusivity in the U.S. can also include pediatric exclusivity and orphan drug exclusivity. Pediatric exclusivity, if granted, provides an additional six months of exclusivity for all formulations, dosage forms, and indications of the active moiety and, for drugs, patent terms. This exclusivity, which runs from the end of other regulatory exclusivity and, for drugs, patent terms, may be granted based on the voluntary completion of a pediatric trial in accordance with an FDA-issued “Written Request” for such a trial, provided that at the time pediatric exclusivity is granted there is not less than nine months of term remaining. Orphan drug exclusivity is described below under “Orphan Drugs.”
Biosimilars and Exclusivity
The PHSA includes an abbreviated approval pathway for biological products shown to be similar to, or interchangeable with, an FDA-licensed reference biological product. Biosimilarity, which requires that there be no clinically meaningful differences between the biological product and the reference product in terms of safety, purity and potency, can be shown through analytical studies, animal studies, and a clinical trial or trials. Interchangeability requires that a product is biosimilar to the reference product and the product must demonstrate that it can be expected to produce the same clinical results as the reference product and, for products administered multiple times, the biologic and the reference biologic may be switched after one has been previously administered without increasing safety risks or risks of diminished efficacy relative to exclusive use of the reference biologic.
A reference biologic is granted 12 years of exclusivity from the time of first licensure of the reference product. The first biologic product submitted under the abbreviated approval pathway that is determined to be interchangeable with the reference product is eligible for a period of exclusivity against other biologics submitted under the abbreviated approval pathway during which time the FDA may not determine that another product is interchangeable with the same reference product for any condition of use. The FDA may approve multiple “first” interchangeable products so long as they are all approved on the same first day of marketing. This exclusivity period, which may be shared amongst multiple first interchangeable products, lasts for the lesser of (i) one year after the first commercial marketing, (ii) 18 months after approval if there is no legal challenge, (iii) 18 months after the resolution in the applicant’s favor of a lawsuit challenging the biologic’s patents if an application has been submitted, or (iv) 42 months after the application has been approved if a lawsuit is ongoing within the 42-month period.
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Orphan Drugs
Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may grant orphan drug designation to drugs, including biologics, intended to treat a rare disease or condition, generally one that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the U.S. or that affects more than 200,000 individuals in the U.S. and for which there is no reasonable expectation that costs of research and development of the product for the indication can be recovered by sales of the product in the U.S. Orphan drug designation must be requested before submitting an NDA or BLA.
After the FDA grants orphan drug designation, the generic identity of the drug or biologic and its potential orphan use are disclosed publicly by the FDA. Orphan drug designation does not convey any advantage in, or shorten the duration of, the regulatory review and approval process. The first NDA or BLA applicant to receive FDA approval for a particular active ingredient to treat a particular disease or condition with FDA orphan drug designation is entitled to a seven-year exclusive marketing period in the U.S. for that product, for that indication. Among the other benefits of orphan drug designation are tax credits for certain research and a waiver of the NDA or BLA application user fee.
During the exclusivity period, the FDA may not approve any other applications to market the same drug for the same disease or condition, except in limited circumstances, such as if the second applicant demonstrates the clinical superiority of its product to the product with orphan drug exclusivity through a demonstration of superior safety, superior efficacy, or a major contribution to patient care. “Same drug” means a drug that contains the same active moiety if it is a drug composed of small molecules, or the same principal molecular structural features if it is composed of macromolecules and is intended for the same use as a previously approved drug, except that if the subsequent drug can be shown to be clinically superior to the first drug, it will not be considered to be the same drug. Orphan drug exclusivity does not prevent the FDA from approving a different drug for the same disease or condition, or the same drug for a different disease or condition.
BRUKINSA was granted orphan drug designation status by the FDA for the treatment of WM, CLL, FL, MCL and MZL (3 subtypes). Tislelizumab was granted orphan drug designation status by the FDA for the treatment of ESCC, HCC and GC. Sonrotoclax was granted orphan drug designation status by the FDA for the treatment of AML, MM, WM and MCL.
Disclosure of Clinical Trial Information
Sponsors of clinical trials of FDA-regulated products, including drugs and biologics, are required to register and disclose certain clinical trial information, which is publicly available at www.clinicaltrials.gov. Information related to the product, patient population, phase of investigation, study sites and investigators, and other aspects of the clinical trial is then made public as part of the registration. Sponsors are also obligated to disclose the results of their clinical trials after completion. Disclosure of the results of these trials can be delayed until the new product or new indication being studied has been approved. Competitors may use this publicly available information to gain knowledge regarding the progress of development programs.
Pharmaceutical Coverage, Pricing, and Reimbursement
In the U.S. and in other countries, sales of any products for which we receive regulatory approval for commercial sale will depend in part on the availability of coverage and reimbursement from third-party payors, including government authorities, managed care providers, private health insurers and other organizations. Patients generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the associated healthcare costs and no uniform policy of coverage and reimbursement for drug products exists among third-party payors. Therefore, coverage and reimbursement for drug products can differ significantly from payor to payor.
Additionally, the process for determining whether a payor will provide coverage for a product may be separate from the process for setting the reimbursement rate that the payor will pay for the product. Third-party payors may limit coverage to specific products on an approved list which might not include all of the FDA-approved products for a particular indication. Moreover, a payor’s decision to provide coverage for a product does not imply that an adequate reimbursement rate will be approved. Adequate third-party reimbursement may not be available to enable us to maintain price levels sufficient to realize an appropriate return on our investment in product development.
Third-party payors are increasingly challenging the price and examining the medical necessity and cost-effectiveness of medical products and services, in addition to their safety and efficacy. In order to obtain coverage and reimbursement for any product that might be approved for sale, we may need to conduct expensive pharmacoeconomic studies in order to demonstrate the medical necessity and cost-effectiveness of any products, in addition to the costs required to obtain regulatory approvals. If third-party payors do not consider a product to be cost-effective or medically-necessary compared to other available therapies, they may not cover the product after approval as a benefit under their plans or, if they do, the level of payment may not be sufficient to allow a company to sell its products at a profit.
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In some foreign countries, the proposed pricing for a drug must be approved before it may be lawfully marketed. The requirements governing drug pricing vary widely from country to country. For example, the EU provides options for its member states to restrict the range of medicinal products for which their national health insurance systems provide reimbursement and to control the prices of medicinal products for human use. To obtain reimbursement or pricing approval, some of these countries may require the completion of clinical trials that compare the cost effectiveness of a particular product candidate to currently available therapies. A member state may approve a specific price for the medicinal product or it may instead adopt a system of direct or indirect controls on the profitability of the company placing the medicinal product on the market. There can be no assurance that any country that has price controls or reimbursement limitations for pharmaceutical products will allow favorable reimbursement and pricing arrangements for any of our product candidates. Historically, products launched in the EU do not follow price structures of the U.S. and generally prices tend to be significantly lower.
Healthcare Reform
The U.S. government and state legislatures have shown significant interest in implementing cost containment programs to limit the growth of government-paid health care costs, including price controls, restrictions on reimbursement and requirements for substitution of generic products for branded prescription drugs. Such adoption of government controls and tightening of restrictive policies could limit payments for pharmaceuticals. For example, the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) contains provisions that may reduce the profitability of drug products, including increased rebates for drugs reimbursed by Medicaid programs, extension of Medicaid rebates to Medicaid managed care plans, mandatory discounts for certain Medicare Part D beneficiaries and annual fees based on pharmaceutical companies’ share of sales to federal health care programs. Some of the provisions of the ACA have yet to be fully implemented, while certain provisions have been subject to judicial, Congressional, and Executive challenges. As a result, it is unclear how such efforts to challenge, repeal or replace the ACA, will impact our business.
Other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted in the U.S. since the ACA was enacted. For example, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 amended the ACA by increasing the point-of-sale discount that is owed by pharmaceutical manufacturers who participate in Medicare Part D from 50% to 70% and closing the coverage gap in most Medicare drug plans. In addition, the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 led to aggregate reductions of Medicare payments to providers of up to 2% per fiscal year that will remain in effect through 2031 unless additional Congressional action is taken. Further, the American Taxpayer Relief Act reduced Medicare payments to several types of providers, including hospitals, imaging centers and cancer treatment centers, and increased the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from three to five years. Due to the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, estimated budget deficit increases resulting from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, and subsequent legislation, Medicare payments to providers will be further reduced starting in 2025 absent further legislation.
In 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (“IRA”) was enacted containing provisions that reduce the out-of-pocket spending cap for Medicare Part D beneficiaries from $7,050 to $2,000 starting in 2025, thereby effectively eliminating the coverage gap; impose new manufacturer financial liability on certain drugs under Medicare Part D; allow the U.S. government to negotiate Medicare Part B and Part D price caps for certain high-cost drugs and biologics without generic or biosimilar competition; require companies to pay rebates to Medicare for certain drug prices that increase faster than inflation; and delay until January 1, 2032 the implementation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) rebate rule that would have limited the fees that pharmacy benefit managers can charge. Further, under the IRA, orphan drugs are exempted from the Medicare drug price negotiation program, but only if they have one orphan designation and for which the only approved indication is for that disease or condition. The implementation of the IRA is currently subject to ongoing litigation challenging the constitutionality of the IRA’s Medicare drug price negotiation program. The effects of the IRA on our business and the healthcare industry in general is not yet known.
In addition, President Biden has issued multiple executive orders seeking to reduce prescription drug costs. In February 2023, HHS issued a proposal in response to an executive order from President Biden that includes a proposed prescription drug pricing model that will test whether targeted Medicare payment adjustments will sufficiently incentivize manufacturers to complete confirmatory trials for drugs approved through the FDA’s accelerated approval pathway. Although a number of these proposed measures may require additional legislation to become effective, both the Biden administration and Congress have indicated that they will continue to seek new legislative measures to control drug costs. Legislative and regulatory proposals have also been made to expand post-approval requirements and restrict sales and promotional activities for pharmaceutical products.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a final rule that gives states greater flexibility in setting benchmarks for insurers in the individual and small group marketplaces, which may have the effect of relaxing the essential health benefits required under the ACA for plans sold through such marketplaces. CMS also published a final rule to allow Medicare Advantage Plans the option of using step therapy for Part B drugs.
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There has also been heightened governmental scrutiny over the manner in which manufacturers set prices for their marketed products, which has resulted in several Congressional inquiries and proposed bills designed to bring more transparency to product pricing, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for pharmaceutical products.
The HHS implemented a regulation removing safe harbor protection for price reductions from pharmaceutical manufacturers to plan sponsors under Part D, either directly or through PBMs, unless the price reduction is required by law. The rule also creates a new safe harbor for price reductions reflected at the point-of-sale, as well as a safe harbor for certain fixed fee arrangements between PBMs and manufacturers. Pursuant to court order, the removal and addition of the aforementioned safe harbors were delayed and recent legislation imposed a moratorium on implementation until January 1, 2032. Implementation of this change and new safe harbors for point-of-sale reductions in price for prescription pharmaceutical products and PBM service fees are currently under review by the Biden administration and may be amended or repealed.
In addition, there have been several changes to the 340B drug pricing program, which imposes ceilings on prices that drug manufacturers can charge for medications sold to certain health care facilities. In 2023, the U.S. District Court of South Carolina issued an opinion in Genesis Healthcare Inc. v. Becerra et al. that may lead to an expansion of the scope of patients eligible to access prescriptions at 340B pricing. The outcome of this judicial proceeding is currently uncertain.
At the state level, legislatures have increasingly passed legislation and implemented regulations designed to control pharmaceutical product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures, and, in some cases, designed to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing. While much of the focus of state pricing policies is limited to Medicaid, we cannot assess the impact that these and other measures such as state transparency policies will have on our business.
Other U.S. Healthcare Laws and Compliance Requirements
We are subject to various federal and state laws targeting fraud and abuse in the healthcare industry. These laws may impact, among other things, our sales, marketing and education programs. In addition, we may be subject to patient privacy regulation by both the federal government and the states in which we conduct our business prior to and after receiving regulatory approval of our product candidates. Some of the laws that may affect our ability to operate are detailed below:
The federal healthcare Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”), which prohibits, among other things, knowingly and willfully soliciting, receiving, providing, offering or paying any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe, or rebate), directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to induce or reward, or in return for, either the referral of an individual, or the purchase, lease, order or recommendation or arrangement of any good, facility, item or service for which payment may be made, in whole or in part, under a federal healthcare program, such as the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This statute has been interpreted to apply to arrangements between pharmaceutical manufacturers on the one hand and prescribers, purchasers and formulary managers on the other. Although there are several statutory exceptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting certain common activities from prosecution, they are drawn narrowly, and practices that involve remuneration intended to induce prescribing, purchasing or recommending may be subject to scrutiny if they do not qualify for an exception or safe harbor. A person or entity can be found guilty of violating the AKS without actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it. In addition, the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the AKS constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”) or federal civil money penalties statute. Violations of the AKS carry potentially significant civil fines and criminal penalties, including imprisonment, fines, administrative federal civil monetary penalties, and exclusion from participation in federal healthcare programs. This law applies to our marketing practices, educational programs, pricing policies and relationships with healthcare providers. We continue to evaluate what effect, if any, these rules will have on our business.
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The federal civil and criminal false claims and civil monetary penalty laws, such as the FCA, which impose criminal and civil penalties and authorize civil whistleblower or qui tam actions, against individuals or entities for, among other things: knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, to the federal government, claims for payment that are false, fictitious or fraudulent; knowingly making or causing a false statement or record material to a false or fraudulent claim or obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the federal government; or knowingly concealing or knowingly and improperly avoiding or decreasing an obligation to pay money to the federal government. In addition, the government may assert that a claim including items and services resulting from a violation of the federal AKS constitutes a false of fraudulent claim for purposes of the FCA. The government may deem manufacturers to have “caused” the submission of false or fraudulent claims by, for example, providing inaccurate billing or coding information to customers or promoting a product off-label. Companies that submit claims directly to payors may also be liable under the FCA for the direct submission of such claims. The FCA also permits a private individual acting as a “whistleblower” to bring actions on behalf of the federal government alleging violations of the FCA and to share in any monetary recovery. When an entity is determined to have violated the FCA, the government may impose civil fines and penalties for each false claim, plus treble damages, and exclude the entity from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs. Our marketing and activities relating to the reporting of wholesaler or estimated retail prices for our products, the reporting of prices used to calculate Medicaid rebate information and other information affecting federal, state and third-party reimbursement for our products, and the sale and marketing of our products and any future product candidates are subject to scrutiny under this law.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), which prohibits, among other things, knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program or obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, any of the money or property owned by, or under the custody or control of, any healthcare benefit program, regardless of the payor (e.g., public or private) and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up by any trick or device a material fact or making any materially false statements in connection with the delivery of, or payment for, healthcare benefits, items or services relating to healthcare matters. Similar to the federal AKS, a person or entity can be found guilty of violating HIPAA without actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it.
As further amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (“HITECH”), HIPPA and their respective implementing regulations impose requirements on certain covered healthcare providers, health plans and healthcare clearinghouses as well as their respective business associates who perform services for them that involve the creation, maintenance, receipt, use, or disclosure of, individually identifiable health information, relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information. HITECH also created new tiers of civil monetary penalties, made civil and criminal penalties directly applicable to business associates, and gave state attorneys authority to file civil actions for damages or injunctions in federal courts to enforce HIPAA laws and seek attorneys’ fees and costs. In addition, there may be other federal, state and non-U.S. laws which govern the privacy and security of health and other personal information and which differ from each other in significant ways and may not have the same effect, thus complicating compliance efforts.
The federal transparency requirements under the ACA, including the provision commonly referred to as the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which require manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, with specific exceptions, to report annually to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services information related to payments or other transfers of value made to physicians, certain other licensed health care practitioners and teaching hospitals. Manufacturers are also required to disclose ownership and investment interest held by physicians and their immediate family members.
Federal price reporting laws, which require manufacturers to calculate and report complex pricing metrics in an accurate and timely manner to government programs.
Federal consumer protection and unfair competition laws, which broadly regulate marketplace activities and activities that potentially harm consumers.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits companies and their intermediaries from making, or offering or promising to make, improper payments to non-U.S. officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or otherwise seeking favorable treatment.
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Similarly, foreign and state privacy laws may be broader and require greater protections than HIPAA. These data privacy and security laws may differ from each other and often are not pre-empted by HIPAA, which may complicate compliance efforts. For example, the State of California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”), which gives California residents expanded rights to access and delete their personal information, opt out of certain personal information sharing, and receive detailed information about how their personal information is used. CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for data breaches. Further, the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”) creates additional obligations with respect to processing and storing personal information. We will continue to monitor developments related to the CPRA and anticipate additional costs and expenses associated with CPRA compliance. Other U.S. states have also passed or are considering omnibus privacy legislation and industry organizations regularly adopt and advocate for new standards in these areas. While the legislation and proposed regulations including the CCPA and CPRA contain an exception for certain activities that involve protected health information subject to HIPAA, we cannot yet determine the impact the CCPA, CPRA or other such future laws, regulations and standards may have on our business.
Additionally, we are subject to state equivalents of each of the healthcare laws described above, among others, some of which may be broader in scope and may apply to healthcare services reimbursed by any third-party payor, not just governmental payors, but also private insurers. These laws are enforced by various state agencies and through private actions. Some states have passed laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the April 2003 Office of Inspector General Compliance Program Guidance for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and/or other voluntary industry codes of conduct that restrict the payments made to healthcare providers and other potential referral sources. Several states and local laws also impose other marketing restrictions or require pharmaceutical companies to make marketing or price disclosures to the state, require drug manufacturers to report information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and other healthcare providers, and require the registration of pharmaceutical sales representatives. State and foreign laws, including the European Union General Data Protection Regulation, also govern the privacy and security of health information in some circumstances, many of which differ from other laws, thus complicating compliance efforts. There are ambiguities as to what is required to comply with these state requirements and if we fail to comply with such requirements we could be subject to penalties.
In the U.S., to help patients afford our approved product, we may utilize programs to assist them, including patient assistance programs and co-pay coupon programs for eligible patients. Government enforcement agencies have shown increased interest in pharmaceutical companies’ product and patient assistance programs, including reimbursement support services, and investigations into these programs have resulted in significant civil and criminal settlements. In addition, at least one insurer has directed its network pharmacies to no longer accept co-pay coupons for certain specialty drugs the insurer identified. Our co-pay coupon programs could become the target of similar insurer actions. In addition, the CMS issued guidance to the issuers of qualified health plans sold through the ACA’s marketplaces encouraging such plans to reject patient cost-sharing support from third parties and indicating that the CMS intends to monitor the provision of such support and may take regulatory action to limit it in the future. The CMS also requires individual market qualified health plans to accept third-party premium and cost-sharing payments from certain government-related entities. Furthermore, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) of the HHS has warned manufacturers that they may be subject to sanctions under the federal AKS and/or civil monetary penalty laws if they do not take appropriate steps to exclude Part D beneficiaries from using co-pay coupons. It is possible that changes in insurer policies regarding co-pay coupons and/or the introduction and enactment of new legislation or regulatory action could restrict or otherwise negatively affect these patient support programs, which could result in fewer patients using affected products, and therefore could have a material adverse effect on our sales, business, and financial condition.
Third-party patient assistance programs that receive financial support from companies have become the subject of enhanced government and regulatory scrutiny. The OIG has established guidelines that suggest that it is lawful for pharmaceutical manufacturers to make donations to charitable organizations who provide co-pay assistance to Medicare patients, provided that such organizations, among other things, are bona fide charities, are entirely independent of and not controlled by the manufacturer, provide aid to applicants on a first-come basis according to consistent financial criteria and do not link aid to use of a donor’s product. However, donations to patient assistance programs have received some negative publicity and been the subject of multiple government enforcement actions, related to allegations regarding their use to promote branded pharmaceutical products over other less costly alternatives. Specifically, in recent years, there have been multiple settlements resulting out of government claims challenging the legality of their patient assistance programs under a variety of federal and state laws.
The scope and enforcement of these laws is uncertain and subject to rapid change in the current environment of healthcare reform. Federal and state enforcement has led to a number of investigations, prosecutions, convictions and settlements in the healthcare industry. Ensuring that our internal operations and future business arrangements with third parties comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations will involve substantial costs. It is possible that governmental authorities will conclude that our business practices do not comply with current or future statutes, regulations, agency guidance or case law involving applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations.
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EU and UK Data Protection Laws
In the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) governs the processing of personal data. The GDPR imposes a broad range of strict requirements on companies subject to the GDPR, such as including requirements relating to having legal basis for processing personal data relating to identifiable individuals and transferring such information outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”), including to the U.S., providing details to those individuals regarding the processing of their personal data, implementing safeguards to keep personal data secure, having data processing agreements with third parties who process personal data in countries not deemed adequate by the EU and UK, responding to individuals’ requests to exercise their rights in respect of their personal data, obtaining consent of the individuals to whom the personal data relates if there is no legal basis for processing, reporting security and privacy breaches involving personal data to the competent national data protection authority and affected individuals, appointing data protection officers, conducting data protection impact assessments, and record-keeping. The GDPR substantially increases the penalties to which we could be subject in the event of any non-compliance, including fines of up to €20,000,000 or 4% of total annual global revenue, whichever is greater. In addition, the UK’s European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 incorporated the GDPR (subject to certain UK specific amendments) into UK law, referred to as the UK GDPR. The UK GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act 2018 set out the UK’s data protection regime, which is independent from but aligned to the EU’s data protection regime. Non-compliance with the UK GDPR may result in monetary penalties of up to £17.5 million or 4% of worldwide revenue, whichever is higher. Like the EU GDPR, the UK GDPR restricts personal data transfers outside the UK to countries not regarded by the UK as providing adequate protection. The UK government has confirmed that personal data transfers from the UK to the EEA remain free flowing. We will be required to implement certain safeguards detailed in these regulations when conducting restricted data transfers under the EU and UK GDPR and doing so will require significant effort and cost.
PRC Regulation
In the PRC, we operate in an increasingly complex legal and regulatory environment. We are subject to a variety of PRC laws, rules and regulations affecting many aspects of our business. This section summarizes the principal PRC laws, rules and regulations that we believe are relevant to our business and operations.
PRC Drug Regulation
Introduction
China heavily regulates the development, approval, manufacturing and distribution of drugs, including biologics. The legal framework for the administration of pharmaceutical products in China was established by the Drug Administration Law of the PRC (the “DAL”). The DAL provides a framework for regulating pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmaceutical trading companies, medical institutions, and the research, development, manufacturing, distribution, packaging, pricing, and advertisement activities related to pharmaceutical products. The Implementing Measures of the Drug Administration Law provides detailed implementation regulations for the DAL.
The DAL
The DAL embodies a regulatory trend to strengthen the life-cycle management of drugs, to balance the development of innovative drugs and generic drugs, and to enhance drug review and enforcement. It established the Marketing Authorization Holder (the “MAH”) system, and subject to approval by the NMPA, MAHs will be allowed to transfer their marketing authorizations. However, to date, it remains uncertain whether the transferability of MAH will offer more flexibility in structuring cross-border transactions. In addition, the implementation of the MAH system was accompanied by a range of new requirements for the MAHs. For example, a MAH must establish a quality assurance system and be responsible for the whole process and all aspects of preclinical research, clinical trials, manufacturing and distribution, post-marketing research, adverse drug reaction monitoring and reporting. A foreign MAH is required to engage a local agent to fulfill the MAH’s obligations and the foreign MAH is subject to joint and several liability in the event of any wrongdoing.
The DAL requires drug manufacturers and drug distributors to comply with current GMP and GSP requirements. Pursuant to the DAL, NMPA and its local counterparts are directed to strengthen their surveillance of drug manufacturers and distributors, including through regular site inspections and unannounced checks, to ensure their compliance. The NMPA has also been strengthening its regulation of clinical trial institutions by collaborating with the National Health Commission (the “NHC”), the chief healthcare regulator in China. The Measures for the Administration of Drug Clinical Trial Institutions jointly issued by the NMPA and the NHC provides detailed requirements on how drug clinical trial institutions should comply with GCP, including, among others, that all drug clinical trial institutions are required to be registered on an online system and disclose their key information essential for compliance with GCP.
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The DAL also requires MAHs, manufacturers, distributors, and medical institutions to establish and implement drug track and trace systems. The Measures for the Quality Supervision of Drug Commercialization and Use established the requirements and standards for the drug track and trace system. A drug pharmacovigilance system will also be established to monitor, identify, evaluate and control adverse drug reactions and other possible drug-related problems. The Good Pharmacovigilance Practices provides detailed requirements on MAH’s pharmacovigilance obligations.
The DAL creates an expanded access pathway for investigational drugs under which a company sponsor of a clinical trial in China can apply to establish an expanded access treatment program for patients with life-threatening disease who otherwise do not satisfy the inclusion criteria of a clinical trial. To quality for expanded access: (1) the drug must be used for life-threatening diseases that lack effective treatment; (2) the drug must have demonstrated its potential efficacy based on medical observations; (3) such use is in line with ethical principles; (4) such expanded use has been reviewed and approved (although the approval pathway not clear), and has obtained patients’ informed consent; and (5) the drug must be used within the clinical trial institution and used on patients with similar conditions.
The DAL provides heavy penalties for violations. Depending on various types of violations, the DAL imposes different penalties, including warnings, confiscation of illegal gains, fines of up to RMB5 million (about $725,000) or up to 30 times of illegal gains, revocation of required business and operating licenses, certificates or approval documents for drugs, suspension of business, temporary (10 years) or permanent debarment of companies, institutions and responsible persons, and criminal liabilities in the case of serious violations.
The interpretation and implementation of the DAL have been evolving overtime. We plan to closely monitor the implementation of the DAL and its impact on our operations in China.
Regulatory Authorities and Government Reorganization
In China, the NMPA is the primary regulator for pharmaceutical products and businesses. It is a sub-agency of the State Administration for Market Regulation (the “SAMR”), which is responsible for, in addition to drug regulation, consumer protection, advertising, anticorruption, antitrust, fair competition and intellectual property.
The NMPA regulates almost all of the key stages of the life cycle of pharmaceutical products, including nonclinical studies, clinical trials, marketing approvals, manufacturing, advertising and promotion, distribution, and pharmacovigilance (i.e., post-marketing safety reporting obligations). The CDE, which remains under the NMPA, conducts the technical evaluation of each drug and biologic application for safety and efficacy.
The NHC is China’s chief healthcare regulator. It is primarily responsible for overseeing the operation of medical institutions (including clinical trial sites) and regulating the licensure of hospitals and other medical personnel.
The NHSA is the primary regulator overseeing national medical insurance and related drug reimbursement schemes, including, among others, the National Drug Reimbursement Price Negotiations, which have significant impact on innovative drugs’ prices in China. The NHSA and its local counterparts at or below the provincial level of local government also oversee and organize public medical institutions’ centralized bidding and procurement programs for pharmaceutical products. This is the primary way that public hospitals and their internal pharmacies procure drugs.
Preclinical and Clinical Development
The NMPA requires preclinical data to support registration applications for new drugs. Preclinical work, including safety assessment studies, must meet the GLP’s standards. The DAL requires the NMPA to accredit GLP labs, and that nonclinical studies of chemical drug substances and preparations and biologics that are not yet marketed in China be conducted in GLP-certified labs. There are no approvals required from the NMPA to conduct preclinical studies.
A Certificate for Use of Laboratory Animals is required for performing experimentation on animals under the Regulations for the Administration of Affairs Concerning Experimental Animals, the Administrative Measures on Good Practice of Experimental Animals, and the Administrative Measures on the Certificate for Experimental Animals (Trial). Applicants for this certificate must satisfy a number of conditions, including (1) the environment and facilities for lab animals’ living and propagating must satisfy national requirements; (2) lab animals must be qualified and sourced from institutions with Certificates for Production of Lab Animals; and (3) the animals’ feeding and experimentation must be conducted by professionals, specialized and skilled workers, or other trained personnel.
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Registration Categories
Prior to engaging with the NMPA on research and development and approval, an applicant will need to determine the registration category for its drug candidate (which will ultimately need to be confirmed with the NMPA), which will determine the requirements for its clinical trial and marketing application. There are five categories for small molecule drugs: Category 1 (innovative drugs) refers to drugs that have a new chemical entity that has not been marketed anywhere in the world, Category 2 (improved new drugs) refers to drugs with a new indication, dosage form, route of administration, combination, or certain formulation changes not approved in the world, Categories 3 and 4 are for generics that reference an innovator drug (or certain well-known generic drugs) marketed either abroad or in China, respectively, and Category 5 refers to innovative or generic drugs that have already been marketed abroad but are not yet approved in China (i.e., imported drugs).
Therapeutic biologics follow a similar categorization, with Category 1 being new to the world. Biosimilars are under Category 3. Each of zanubrutinib, tislelizumab, pamiparib and lifirafenib is classified as Category 1 based on the defined registration Category by the NMPA. Zanubrutinib, pamiparib and tislelizumab have been approved by the NMPA as Category 1 drugs.
Amgen’s BLINCYTO, XGEVA, and KYPROLIS, as well as EUSA’s QARZIBA and SYLVANT have all been approved by the NMPA as Category 1 drugs.
Expedited Programs
Priority Evaluation and Approval Programs to Encourage Innovation
The NMPA has adopted several expedited review and approval mechanisms that are intended to encourage innovation. Applications for these expedited programs can be submitted after the clinical trial application is admitted for review by the CDE. The NMPA’s Drug Registration Rules (“DRR”) provide certain categories of drugs that may be eligible for priority status, among which, the following may be particularly relevant for us: (1) drugs that are clinically and urgently needed but insufficient in supply; (2) innovative drugs and improved new drugs for prevention and treatment of major contagious diseases and rare diseases; (3) new pediatric drugs, (4) drugs designated as breakthrough therapies, and (5) drugs that satisfy the conditional approval criteria. If admitted to one of these expedited programs, an applicant will be entitled to more frequent and timely communication with reviewers at the CDE, expedited review and approval, and more agency resources throughout the approval process.
Conditional Approval
NMPA also permits conditional approval of certain medicines based on early phase data. The agency has done this for medicines that meet unmet medical needs for life-threatening illnesses and also for medicines that treat orphan indications. Under the DRR, drugs that meet one of the three criteria might be eligible for conditional approval: (1) drugs that treat life threatening illnesses for which there are no effective treatment or preventive methods, but their clinical trials already have the data to prove efficacy and their clinical value is predictable, (2) drugs that are urgently needed for public health reasons, and their clinical trials already have the data to prove efficacy and their clinical value is predictable; or (3) vaccines that are urgently needed for major public health emergencies or otherwise deemed by the NHC to be urgently needed, and it is concluded upon evaluation that their benefits outweigh their risks. Following approval, the MAH is required to take risk mitigation measures and complete a post-market study as required by the NMPA within a prescribed timeline.
BRUKINSA received conditional approval for the treatment of MCL in adult patients who have received at least one prior therapy, CLL or SLL in adult patients who have received at least one prior therapy (converted to regular approval), and for adult patients with WM who have received at least one prior therapy (converted to regular approval). Tislelizumab received conditional approval as a treatment for patients with cHL who have received at least two prior therapies and as a treatment for patients with locally advanced or metastatic UC, a form of bladder cancer, with PD-L1 high expression whose disease progressed during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy, and for the treatment of patients with HCC who have been previously treated with at least one systemic therapy (converted to regular approval). PARTRUVIX received conditional approval for the treatment of patients with gBRCA mutation-associated recurrent advanced ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who have been treated with two or more lines of chemotherapy. XGEVA received conditional approval for the treatment of adults and skeletally mature adolescents with GCTB that is unresectable or where surgical resection is likely to result in severe morbidity (converted to regular approval) and for the prevention of SREs in patients with bone metastases from solid tumors and in patients with MM. BLINCYTO received conditional approvals for the treatment of both adult and pediatric patients with R/R CD19-positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (adult indication converted to regular approval). KYPROLIS received conditional approval for the treatment of adult patients with R/R multiple myeloma. QARZIBA received conditional approval for high-risk neuroblastoma.
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Breakthrough Therapy Designation
Breakthrough therapy designation (“BTD”) is a process designed to expedite the development and review of clinical stage, innovative or improved new drugs that meet the following criteria: (1) they are intended to treat life threatening conditions or conditions that have serious negative impact on the quality of life, and (2) there are no effective treatment or preventive methods available, or there is preliminary clinical evidence indicating that they may demonstrate substantial improvement over available therapies. Applicants of drugs designated as breakthrough therapies will be entitled to direct communications with CDE at key states during the clinical trials and may seek CDE’s opinion on study progress.
BRUKINSA as a treatment for adult patients with CLL/SLL was granted BTD in China. ZW25 (zanidatamab) as a treatment for R/R HER2-expressing biliary tract cancer was granted BTD.
Policies on Expediting Approval of Imported Oncology Drugs
The PRC government continues to establish measures and incentives to promote the development and swifter approval of marketing for oncology and other innovative drugs. Beginning in May 2018, the PRC eliminated tariffs on a significant number of imported innovative drugs, including oncology drugs, making the importation process more efficient. The PRC government has also stated that it will explore ways to expand access to reimbursement under the state health plans for innovative drugs (particularly for urgently needed oncology drugs).
Clinical Trials and Marketing Approval
Upon completion of preclinical studies and preliminary CMC studies, a sponsor typically needs to conduct clinical trials in China for registering a new drug. The materials required for this application and the data requirements are determined by the registration category. The NMPA has taken a number of steps to increase efficiency for approving clinical trial applications, and it has also significantly increased monitoring and enforcement of GCP to ensure data integrity.
Clinical Trial Approval
All clinical trials conducted in China for the purpose of seeking marketing approvals must be approved by the NMPA and conducted at hospitals satisfying GCP requirements. In addition to a standalone China trial to support development, imported drug applicants may include Chinese clinical sites as part of an international multicenter trial (“IMCT”). Domestically manufactured drugs are not subject to foreign approval requirements and the NMPA permits those drugs to conduct development via an IMCT as well.
The DAL has now also adopted an implied approval system for clinical trials of new drugs. Trials can proceed if after 60 business days, the applicant has not received any objections from the CDE, as opposed to the lengthier previous clinical trial pre-approval process in which the applicant had to wait for affirmative approval. The DAL also expands the number of trial sites by abolishing the GCP accreditation system and requiring trial sites to follow a more simplified notification procedure.
Clinical Trial Register
Clinical trials conducted in China must be registered and published through the Drug Clinical Trial Information Platform (http://www.chinadrugtrials.org.cn). Applicants are required to pre-register the trial information within one month after obtaining the clinical trial approval to obtain the trial’s unique registration number and to complete registration of certain follow-up information before the first subject’s enrollment in the trial. If the foregoing pre-registration and registration is not obtained within three years, the clinical trial approval automatically expires.
Human Genetic Resources Regulation
The Regulation on the Administration of Human Genetic Resources (“HGR Regulation”) applies to all human genetic resources (“HGR”)-related activities for R&D purposes, including sampling, biobanking, use of HGR materials and associated data in China, and the provision or sharing of such materials or data with non-PRC parties. As BeiGene, Ltd. is a Cayman Islands company, we and our activities in China are subject to the HGR Regulation. Such non-PRC parties seeking access to China’s HGRs for scientific research, including clinical trials intended to support marketing approval of drugs and medical devices in China, must do so only through collaborations with Chinese parties, such as Chinese hospitals. The HGR Regulation prohibits non-PRC parties from independently sampling or biobanking any China HGR in China and requires approval for the sampling of certain HGR and biobanking of all HGR by Chinese parties. Any cross-border transfer of the HGR materials, either under an international collaboration or as a direct export, must be on an as-needed basis and requires approval. In addition, providing HGR data to non-PRC parties requires a record filing.
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The HGR Regulation provides a record-filing procedure for international collaborations on clinical trials intended to support marketing approval of drugs in China that do not transfer HGR materials abroad, while the advance approval requirement still applies if such trials involve export of HGR materials or the collection, testing, analysis or disposal of HGR samples during the trials are not solely conducted at the clinical trial sites. Companies conducting global clinical trials may benefit little from this record filing procedure because those trials would often require cross-border transfer of HGR materials and the advance approval requirement would still apply.
The HGR Regulation requires parties to jointly apply for and own the patent rights arising from the results generated from international collaborations that utilize China HGR. Subject to approval, the parties may contractually agree on how to dispose of their patent rights and non-patent proprietary rights arising from the collaboration. As the joint ownership requirement is rather broad, it is unclear how this requirement will be implemented in practice.
The HGR Regulation also imposes severe penalties for various violations, including warnings, disgorgement of illegal gains, confiscation of illegal HGR, fines up to RMB10 million ($1,450,000) or 5-10 times of illegal gains in the event such illegal gains exceed RMB1 million ($145,000), and temporary (1-5 years) or permanent debarment of companies, institutions and responsible persons from future HGR projects regulated by the HGR Regulation.
The Implementing Rules for the HGR Regulation (the “HGR Implementing Rules”) provide several critical clarifications. HGR data is narrowed down to cover only the data derived from HGR materials and gene-irrelevant clinical data, image data, protein data, and metabolic data are expressly excluded. The use of the term non-PRC parties is also further clarified by elaborating that (1) “actual control” by non-PRC entities/individuals is interpreted to include not only being controlled through equity interests but also investment or contractual arrangements, which may cover variable interest entities (“VIEs”), and (2) companies incorporated in Hong Kong Special Administration Region (“SAR”) and Macau SAR but essentially controlled by Chinese domestic entities are not viewed as non-PRC parties. The industry guidance provides more clarifications from practice perspective. Notably, among others, (1) the non-PRC entity operating the electronic data capture system for an in-China trial is no longer regarded as a non-PRC party, (2) for gene-related scientific studies, if non-PRC entities do not substantively participate in such studies, nor obtain any study data, then such studies are no longer subject to the HGR regulation; and (3) human urine, feces, blood plasma, and blood serum are expressly excluded from the scope of HGR materials.
Trial Exemptions and Acceptance of Foreign Data
The NMPA may be flexible on the requirements of trials and data generated in China, depending on the drug and the existing data. The NMPA has granted waivers for all or part of trials and stated that it will accept data generated abroad (even if not part of a global study), including early phase data, that meets its requirements. The NMPA issued the Technical Guidance Principles on Accepting Foreign Drug Clinical Trial Data (the “Guidance Principles”), as one of the implementing rules for the Opinions on Deepening the Reform of the Evaluation and Approval Systems and Encouraging Innovation on Drugs and Medical Devices (the “Innovation Opinion”). According to the Guidance Principles, data from foreign clinical trials must meet authenticity, completeness and accuracy requirements and such data must be obtained in compliance with the relevant requirements under the GCP of the International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use. Sponsors must be attentive to potentially meaningful ethnic differences in the subject population.
The NMPA permits drugs approved outside of China to be approved in China on a conditional basis without the need for pre-approval clinical trials in China. Specifically, in 2018, the NMPA established a program permitting drugs that have been approved within the last ten years in the U.S., EU or Japan to be approved in China without local clinical trials if they (1) prevent or treat orphan diseases, (2) prevent or treat serious life-threatening illnesses for which there is either no effective therapy in China, or for which the foreign-approved drug would have clear clinical advantages. Applicants for such conditional approvals will be required to establish a risk mitigation plan and may be required to complete trials in China after the drug is approved. The CDE has developed a list of drugs that meet these criteria.
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Clinical Trial Process and Good Clinical Practices
As in other parts of the world, clinical trials in China typically have three phases. Phase 1 refers to the initial clinical pharmacology and human safety evaluation studies. Phase 2 refers to the preliminary evaluation of a drug candidate’s therapeutic efficacy and safety for target indication(s) in patients. Phase 3 (often the pivotal study) refers to clinical trials to further verify the drug candidate’s therapeutic efficacy and safety on patients with target indication(s) and ultimately provide sufficient evidence for the review of a drug registration application. The NMPA requires that the different phases of clinical trials in China receive ethics committee approval (with exemptions for certain specific circumstances, such as studies utilizing public information or anonymized data) and comply with GCP. The NMPA conducts inspections on clinical trials conducted in China to assess GCP compliance and may refuse to approve the drug if it finds substantial issues in the trials. In addition, upon granting the drug registration certificate, NMPA may, at its sole discretion, require a Phase 4 trial to be conducted by MAH within a specified period of time so as to further monitor and obtain safety and efficacy data of the drug.
Generic small molecule drugs are required to conduct a bioequivalence trial, in vitro studies or in some cases a clinical trial to demonstrate therapeutic equivalence to an innovator drug marketed either in China or abroad or an internationally accepted generic drug. The NMPA has released catalogues of reference products, and it released first installment of a Marketed Drug List (China’s “Orange Book”) with information about drugs that may serve as reference products.
Pursuant to GCP, sponsors of clinical trials are responsible for proper packaging and labeling of drugs used for clinical trials, and in double-blinded clinical trials, the investigational drugs shall be consistent with the control drug or placebo in appearance, odor, packaging, labeling, and certain other features. Pharmaceutical packaging must comply with national and professional standards. If there is no national or professional standard available, companies may formulate and implement their own standards after obtaining the approval of the provincial administration for medical products or bureau of standards. Changes in such approved packaging standards need to be re-approved. Drugs of which the packaging standards are not approved shall not be released or marketed in China, except for those specifically supplied to the military.
New Drug Application (NDA) and Approval
Upon completion of clinical trials, a sponsor may submit clinical trial data to support marketing approval for the drug. For domestically manufactured drugs, NDA sponsors must submit data derived from the submitted drugs in support of their approval. Under the DAL, upon approval of the registration application, the NMPA will issue a drug registration certificate to the applicant which is in fact the marketing approval of the drug, and the applicant is no longer required to be equipped with relevant manufacturing capability.
Manufacturing and Distribution
All facilities that manufacture drugs in China must receive a Drug Manufacturing License (“DML”) with an appropriate “scope of manufacturing” from the local drug regulatory authority. This license must be renewed every five years, and the manufacturing facility is also required to comply with GMP. MAHs holding a Type B DML are allowed to contract manufacturing and must undertake the quality management obligations. NMPA has been increasing its regulatory oversight and control over contract manufacturing activities in China by way of imposing more specific and higher regulatory compliance requirements in terms of personnel, quality management system, and oversight of CMOs on MAHs. For instance, NMPA released a Guidance on Onsite Inspection of Contract Manufacturing Activities by Drug MAHs in October 2023, in which over 60 inspection items are set for issuing and maintaining Type B DML.
Similarly, to conduct sales, importation, shipping and storage, a company must obtain a Drug Distribution License (“DDL”) from the local drug regulatory authority, subject to renewal every five years. As with GMPs, companies are required to comply with GSP. One exception is that the DAL and relevant implementation rules allow the MAH to conduct wholesales of its drugs directly without holding a separate DDL for wholesale, however, a retail DDL would still be required if the MHA intends to conduct direct retail to patients.
China has developed a “Two-Invoice System” to control distribution of prescription drugs. This system generally requires that no more than two invoices may be issued throughout the distribution chain, with one from the manufacturer to a distributor and another from the distributor to the end-user hospital. This excludes the sale of products invoiced from the manufacturer to its wholly-owned or controlled distributors, or for imported drugs, to their exclusive distributor, or from a distributor to its wholly-owned or controlled subsidiary (or between the wholly-owned or controlled subsidiaries). However, the system still significantly limits the options for companies to use multiple distributors to reach a larger geographic area in China. Compliance with the Two-Invoice System is a prerequisite for pharmaceutical companies to participate in procurement processes with public hospitals, which currently provide most of China’s healthcare. Manufacturers and distributors that fail to implement this system may lose their qualifications to participate in the bidding process or be blacklisted from engaging in drug sales to public hospitals in a locality.
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Post-Marketing Surveillance
Under the DAL, the MAH of a drug is ultimately responsible for pharmacovigilance, including quality assurance, adverse reaction reporting and monitoring, and product recalls. Distributors and user entities (e.g., hospitals) are also required to report, in their respective roles, adverse reactions of the products they sell or use, and assist the MAH with any product recalls. An MAH for a drug that is currently under the new drug monitoring period has to report all adverse drug reactions (as opposed to just serious adverse reactions) for that period.
Advertising and Promotion of Pharmaceutical Products
China has a strict regime for the advertising of approved medicines. No unapproved medicines may be advertised. The definition of an advertisement is very broad and does not expressly exclude scientific exchange. It can be any media that directly or indirectly introduces the product to end users. There is no clear line between advertising and any other type of promotion. An enterprise seeking to advertise a prescription drug may do so only in medical journals jointly approved by NMPA and the NHC, and each advertisement requires approval from a local drug regulatory authority. The content of an approved advertisement may not be altered without filing a new application for approval.
Prescription drug advertisements are subject to strict content restrictions, which prohibit recommendations by doctors and hospitals and guarantees of effectiveness. Advertising that includes content that is outside of the drug’s approval documentation (off-label content) is prohibited. False advertising can result in civil suits from end users and administrative liability, including fines. In addition to advertisements, non-promotional websites that convey information about a drug must go through a separate approval process by a local drug regulatory authority.
Regulatory Intellectual Property Protections
The amendments to the PRC Patent Law (the “Amended PRC Patent Law”) provides a cause of action to allow a patent holder to initiate a declarative action during the regulatory review process of a drug to determine whether the drug falls within the patent scope, which may be comparable to the patent linkage system in the U.S. The system requires that the NMPA continue to review the potentially infringing follow-on application during any lawsuit by the innovator. However, the NMPA may not approve the follow-on application pending resolution of the patent litigation in favor of the follow-on application or for a specified period of time, whichever is shorter. The Amended PRC Patent Law also provides patent term extension, similar to the U.S., for the patent term lost during the regulatory review process of a new drug upon the patent holder’s request. The extended term shall not exceed five years, and the total patent term after market entry of the new drug shall not exceed 14 years. However, the provisions for patent term extension are unclear and/or remain subject to the approval of implementing regulations that are still in draft form, leading to uncertainty about the scope of implementation.
Additionally, the Innovation Opinion provided a foundation to improve and implement a system for regulatory data protection to protect innovative drugs. This protection is available for undisclosed clinical trial data of drugs falling into the following categories: innovative drugs, innovative therapeutic biologics, drugs that treat orphan diseases, pediatric drugs, and drugs for which there has been a successful patent challenge.
The NMPA has published draft regulations for public comment that would set regulatory data protection for innovative small molecule drugs at six years and for innovative therapeutic biologics at 12 years; pediatric and orphan drugs would receive six years to run concurrently from their approval dates. Full terms of protection would require reliance on local trials or sites of multi-center trials in China and simultaneous submissions of marketing applications in China and other countries. Submissions in China that are up to six years later than those abroad would result in the term being reduced to 1-5 years. Submissions over six years later in China may not receive protection.
The proposed regulations also call for a reduction in exclusivity if the marketing application is filed in China based solely on overseas clinical data with no Chinese subjects (75% reduction) or based on supplemental “China clinical trial data” (50% reduction). Information about the exclusivity term will be included in a Marketed Drug List (similar to the Orange Book in the U.S.) at the time of approval. Some mechanics of these proposed rules are not yet clear, and it is not certain when the proposed rules will be finalized.
Reimbursement and Pricing
China regulates drug prices mainly by establishing a consolidated procurement mechanism, restructuring medical insurance reimbursement standards and strengthening regulation of medical and pricing practices, as discussed below.
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National Reimbursement Drug List
China’s national medical insurance program currently consists of two fundamental sub-programs: (1) the basic medical insurance program for urban employees, under which urban employers are required to enroll their employees in the program and the insurance premium is jointly contributed by the employers and employees; and (2) the basic medical insurance program for urban and rural residents, which allows urban and rural residents who do not have employers to voluntarily participate in the basic medical insurance program and the insurance premium is jointly contributed by the participants and the government. Participants of the national medical insurance program and their employers, if any, are required to contribute to the payment of insurance premiums on a monthly basis. Program participants are eligible for full or partial reimbursement of the cost of medicines included in the NRDL. A pharmaceutical product listed in the NRDL must be clinically needed, safe, effective, reasonably priced, easy to use, and available in sufficient quantity.
Factors that affect the inclusion of a pharmaceutical product in the NRDL include whether the product is used in large volumes and commonly prescribed for clinical use in the PRC and whether it is considered to be important in meeting the basic healthcare needs of the general public. Historically, special consideration has been given to, among others, innovative drugs with high clinical value and drugs for serious diseases. In addition, the government has also been negotiating with manufacturers of exclusive drugs with high clinical demands and proven effectiveness for price cuts in exchange for inclusion into the NRDL. The version of the NRDL released in 2023 (effective from January 1, 2024) covers approximately 3,088 drugs in total, including 121 new drugs listed for which the prices were determined through negotiations between the drug companies and government. China has been pursuing a policy of expediting the addition of innovative oncology drugs to this list. REVLIMID has been included in the NRDL since 2017. VIDAZA has been included in the NRDL since 2018. BRUKINSA (zanubrutinib), tislelizumab, and XGEVA (120-mg denosumab) have been included in the NRDL since 2020. PARP inhibitor PARTRUVIX (pamiparib) has been included in the NRDL since 2021. KYPROLIS has been included in the NRDL since 2022. SYLVANT and BAITUOWEI were included in the NRDL in December 2023, which took effect on January 1, 2024.
Centralized Procurement and Tenders
Under current regulations, public medical institutions owned by the government or owned by state-owned or controlled enterprises are required to purchase pharmaceutical products through centralized online procurement processes. There are exceptions for drugs on the National List of Essential Drugs, which must comply with their own procurement rules, and for certain drugs subject to the central government’s special control, such as toxic, radioactive and narcotic drugs, and traditional Chinese medicines.
The centralized procurement process takes the form of public tenders that are typically conducted once every year by provincial or municipal-level government agencies. The bids are assessed by a committee randomly selected from a database of experts. The committee members assess the bids based on a number of factors, including bid price, product quality, clinical effectiveness, product safety, level of technology, the manufacturer’s qualifications and reputation, after-sale services and innovation.
Since 2018, the government implemented a “zero markup” policy on all drugs among all public healthcare institutions nationwide. In addition, some local governments have begun to allow medical institutions to collectively negotiate with manufacturers for a second price to further lower the already agreed bid price. The Two-Invoice System, described above, is also designed to reduce price mark-ups brought about by multi-tier distribution chains.
Since 2019, the government adopted a volume-based, centralized drug procurement program to optimize the pricing of drugs. Drugs are selected from generic brands for volume-based, centralized drug procurement. The selected drugs must pass the bio-equivalence evaluation on quality and efficacy. All approved enterprises that produce drugs on the procurement list in China may participate. Clinical effects, adverse reactions, and batch stability of the drugs will be considered, and their consistency will be the main criteria for evaluation, while production capacity and stability of the supplier will also be considered.
Other PRC National and Provincial Laws and Regulations
Pharmaceutical companies operating in China are subject to changing regulations under many other laws and regulations administered by governmental authorities at the national, provincial and municipal levels, some of which are or may become applicable to our business. For example, regulations controlling the confidentiality of patient medical information and the circumstances under which patient medical information may be released for inclusion in our information systems or released by us to third parties. The privacy of human subjects in clinical trials is also protected by privacy laws such as the Personal Information Protection Law. These laws and regulations governing both the disclosure and the use of confidential patient medical information may become more restrictive in the future, including restrictions on transfer of healthcare data. The Cybersecurity Law designates healthcare as a priority area that is part of critical information infrastructure, and China’s cyberspace administration has been working to finalize the regulatory regime on cross-border transfer of personal information.
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PRC Regulation of Foreign Investment
The Foreign Investment Law of the PRC (the “Foreign Investment Law”) and its implementing rules (the “Implementing Rules”) establish a basic framework for access to, and the promotion and administration of foreign investments in China. The Foreign Investment Law establishes a pre-entry national treatment and negative list system for the administration of foreign investments. “Pre-entry national treatment” means that the treatment afforded to foreign investors at the market access stage shall be no less favorable than that afforded to domestic investors. “Negative list” refers to the special administrative measures for foreign investors’ access to specific fields or industries. Foreign investments outside of the negative list will be granted national treatment. Foreign investors shall not invest in the prohibited fields as specified in the negative list, and foreign investors who invest in the restricted fields shall comply with certain special requirements including the shareholding percentage and citizenship of senior executives. The current industry entry clearance requirements governing foreign investment activities in the PRC are set out in two categories, namely the Special Entry Management Measures for the Access of Foreign Investment (Negative List) (2022 version), and the Encouraged Industry Catalogue for Foreign Investment (2022 version) (the “2022 Encouraged Industry Catalogue”). Industries not listed in these two categories are generally deemed “permitted” for foreign investments unless specifically restricted by other applicable PRC laws or regulations. Pursuant to the 2022 Encouraged Industry Catalogue, the research, development and manufacture of innovative oncology drugs, cell therapies, and certain other types of pharmaceutical products belongs to the encouraged industries for foreign investment.
PRC Antitrust Regulation
China’s anti-trust regulatory regime is founded on the Anti-Monopoly Law (the “AML”) (last amended in 2022) and supplemented by several implementation rules. The AML in general restricts monopolistic practices including concentration of undertakings, horizontal and vertical monopolistic agreements, and certain activities of market dominance abuse.
The AML provides heavy penalties for violations, including warnings, confiscation of illegal gains, a fine ranging up to 50% of the preceding year’s turnover, revocation of required business and operating licenses, suspension of business, and even criminal liabilities.
The SAMR is the chief regulator of anti-trust law in China, and the pharmaceutical sector has been one of its focused enforcement area for years. For example, in 2021, a local drug company was found to have engaged in resale price maintenance (“RPM”) practices and fined up to RMB 764 million, and in 2023, another local drug company was also fined RMB 12.64 million for RPM.
Regulations Relating to Product Liability
Under current law, a defective product which causes property damage or physical injury to any person may subject the manufacturer or vendor of such product to civil liability for such damage or injury. Additionally, China’s Product Quality Law provides that manufacturers are liable for the quality of products produced by them, and sellers are required take measures to ensure the quality of the products sold by them. A manufacturer is liable for compensating for any bodily injury or property damage resulting from product defects unless the manufacturer is able to prove that: (1) the product was not distributed; (2) the defects causing injury or damage did not exist at the time that the product was distributed; or (3) science and technology at the time that the product was distributed was at a level incapable of detecting the defects. A seller is liable for compensating for any bodily injury or property damage of others caused by the defects in the product if such defects are attributable to the seller. A seller is required to pay compensation if it fails to indicate either the manufacturer or the supplier of the defective product. A person who is injured or whose property is damaged by the defects in the product may claim compensation from the manufacturer or the seller.
Regulations Relating to Technology Export Control
Import and export of technologies for civilian use are regulated under the PRC Administrative Regulations on Technology Import and Export (the “TIER”). Technology export is broadly defined under Chinese law to encompass any cross-border transfer of technologies from a Chinese entity to overseas – whether by way of patent assignments, patent licenses, software licenses, transfers of technical know-how, or the provision of technical services, or by any other means. TIER divides technology export into the categories of (1) “prohibited” technologies, which cannot be exported outside China (2) “restricted” technologies, which requires approvals from the relevant Chinese authority, and (3) “unrestricted” technologies, which requires filing of proper transaction documents with the authority. The “prohibited” and “restricted” technologies are defined by the Catalogue of Technologies Prohibited or Restricted from Export (the “Catalogue”). The latest Catalogue, which was issued on December 21, 2023, included “cell cloning and gene editing technologies used in humans” into the prohibited list. It still remains unclear how the Chinese government would eventually enforce such prohibition on technology control. We plan to closely monitor China’s legislative and regulatory evolvement in this area and its potential impact on our operations in China.
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Regulations Relating to Commercial Bribery
Pharmaceutical companies involved in a criminal investigation or administrative proceeding related to bribery are listed in the Adverse Records of Commercial Briberies by the provincial health commissions. If a pharmaceutical company or its agent is listed, public medical institutions located in the local provincial level region are prohibited from making any purchase from the company for two years. Where a pharmaceutical company or its agent is listed in the adverse records on two or more occasions within five years, all public medical institutions in China are not permitted to purchase any products from that company for two years.
Regulations Relating to Foreign Exchange
The Foreign Exchange Administration Regulations govern foreign currency exchange in China. Under these regulations, payments of current account items, such as profit distributions and trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions, may be made in foreign currencies without prior approval from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (“SAFE”) by complying with certain procedural requirements. In contrast, approval from or registration with appropriate government authorities or designated banks is required when RMB is to be converted into a foreign currency and remitted out of China to pay capital expenses such as the repayment of foreign currency-denominated loans.
Under current regulations, the capital of a foreign-invested enterprise and capital in RMB obtained by the foreign-invested enterprise from foreign exchange settlement must not be used for the following purposes: directly or indirectly for payment beyond the business scope of the enterprises or the payment prohibited by relevant laws and regulations; directly or indirectly for investment in securities, unless otherwise provided by relevant laws and regulations; extending loans to non-related parties, unless permitted by the scope of business; or paying expenses related to the purchase of real estate that is not for self-use, except for real estate enterprises. Regulations have relaxed the restrictions on foreign exchange inflow to further enhance trade and investment facilitation and enhance genuineness and compliance verification of cross-border transactions and cross-border capital flows. Furthermore, in 2019, SAFE issued the Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Further Promoting the Facilitation of Cross-border Trade and Investment (“Circular 28”) which allows non-investment foreign-invested enterprises to use their capital funds to make equity investments in China, provided that such investments do not violate the effective Special Entry Management Measures for the Access of Foreign Investment (Negative List) and the target investment projects are genuine and in compliance with laws. The interpretation and implementation of Circular 28 in practice are subject to substantial uncertainty.
Regulations Relating to Dividend Distributions
Foreign-invested companies may pay dividends only out of their accumulated profit, if any, as determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. Both PRC domestic companies and foreign invested PRC companies are required to allocate at least 10% of their respective accumulated after-tax profits each year, if any, to fund certain capital reserve funds until the aggregate amount of these reserve funds have reached 50% of the registered capital of the companies. A PRC company is not permitted to distribute any profits until any losses from prior fiscal years have been offset. Profits retained from prior fiscal years may be distributed together with distributable profits from the current fiscal year.
Labor Laws and Social Insurance
Under Chinese law, employers must execute written labor contracts with their full-time employees and must comply with local minimum wage standards. Employers must establish a comprehensive management system to protect the rights of their employees, including a system governing occupational health and safety, and to truthfully inform prospective employees of the job description, working conditions, location, occupational hazards and status of safe production as well as remuneration and other conditions. Violations of these requirements may result in the imposition of fines and other administrative and criminal liability in the case of serious violations. In addition, employers must provide employees with welfare schemes covering pension insurance, unemployment insurance, maternity insurance, work-related injury insurance, medical insurance and housing funds. These payments are made to local administrative authorities, and any employer who fails to contribute may be fined and ordered to pay the deficit amount within a stipulated time limit.
Regulations Relating to Overseas Listing
In 2023, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (the “CSRC”) released the Trial Administrative Measures of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic (the “Overseas Listing Trial Measures”), and related guidelines requiring Chinese domestic companies’ overseas offerings and listings of equity securities be filed with the CSRC.
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The Overseas Listing Trial Measures clarify the scope of overseas offerings and listings by Chinese domestic companies which are subject to the filing and reporting requirements thereunder, and provide that Chinese domestic companies that have already directly or indirectly offered and listed securities in overseas markets shall fulfil their filing obligations and report relevant information to the CSRC within three working days after conducting a follow-on offering of equity securities on the same overseas market, and follow the relevant reporting requirements within three working days upon the occurrence of any specified circumstances provided thereunder. According to the Overseas Listing Trial Measures, if we were deemed as an indirect overseas listed Chinese domestic company but fail to complete the filing procedures with the CSRC for any of our follow-on offerings or follow any other reporting requirements required thereunder, we may be subject to penalties, sanctions and fines imposed by the CSRC and relevant departments of the State Council.
Rest of World Regulation
For other countries outside of the U.S. and the PRC, the requirements governing the conduct of clinical trials, drug licensing, pricing and reimbursement, and other matters impacting our business vary from country to country. In all cases, clinical trials must be conducted in accordance with GCP requirements, applicable regulatory requirements, and the ethical principles having their origin in the Declaration of Helsinki.
Status under Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act
In December 2021, the SEC adopted rules (the “Final Rules”) to implement the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (the “HFCAA”). The HFCAA includes requirements for the SEC to identify issuers who file annual reports with audit reports issued by independent registered public accounting firms located in foreign jurisdictions that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) is unable to inspect or investigate completely because of a position taken by a non-U.S. authority in the accounting firm’s jurisdiction (“Commission-Identified Issuers”). The HFCAA also requires that, to the extent that the PCAOB has been unable to inspect an issuer’s independent registered public accounting firm for three consecutive years since 2021, the SEC shall prohibit the issuer’s securities registered in the U.S. from being traded on any national securities exchange or over-the-counter markets in the U.S. In December 2022, the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act amended the HFCAA to shorten the three-year period to two years.
Under the Final Rules, the SEC adopted submission and disclosure requirements by amending Form 10-K and other annual reporting forms and established procedures to identify issuers and prohibit the trading of the securities of certain registrants as required by the HFCAA. Specifically, the Final Rules require each Commission-Identified Issuer to submit documentation to the SEC annually on or before its annual report due date that establishes that it is not owned or controlled by a government entity in its public accounting firm’s foreign jurisdiction and require additional specified disclosures by “foreign issuers” as defined in Rule 3b-4 promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). The SEC identifies an issuer as a Commission-Identified Issuer after the issuer files its annual report and on a rolling basis, and will impose an initial trading prohibition on an issuer as soon as practicable after it has been conclusively identified as a Commission-Identified Issuer for two consecutive years. To end an initial or subsequent trading prohibition, a Commission-Identified Issuer must certify that it has retained a registered public accounting firm that the PCAOB has determined it is able to inspect or investigate. To make that certification, the Commission-Identified Issuer must file financial statements that include an audit report signed by such a registered public accounting firm.
On March 30, 2022, as expected following its adoption of the Final Rules, the SEC added BeiGene, Ltd. to its conclusive list of issuers identified under the HFCAA, after being provisionally named as a Commission-Identified Issuer on March 8, 2022, following the filing of its annual report on Form 10-K with the SEC on February 28, 2022. Ernst & Young Hua Ming LLP, located in the PRC, served as our independent registered public accounting firm from 2014 to 2021, including for our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021. However, as our global business has expanded, we have built substantial organizational capabilities outside of the PRC and have evaluated, designed and implemented business processes and control changes. Therefore, on March 23, 2022, following a review process carried out by our audit committee, Ernst & Young Hua Ming LLP resigned as our independent registered public accounting firm for the audits of our financial statements and internal control over financial reporting to be filed with the SEC. On the same day, our audit committee approved the engagement of Ernst & Young LLP (U.S.) as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the audits of our financial statements and internal control over financial reporting for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022. Ernst & Young LLP (U.S.) has continued to serve as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023. No changes were made to the accounting firms who audit our financial statements filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which will remain Ernst & Young Hua Ming LLP, located in Beijing, PRC, and Ernst & Young, located in Hong Kong, PRC, respectively.
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In August 2022, the PCAOB signed a Statement of Protocol with the CSRC and the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China, taking the first step toward opening access for the PCAOB to inspect and investigate registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong. PCAOB staff members conducted on-site inspections and investigations from September to November 2022, and in December 2022, the PCAOB announced that it has secured complete access to inspect and investigate registered public accounting firms headquartered in mainland China and Hong Kong and confirmed that until such time as the PCAOB issues any new determination, there are no Commission-Identified Issuers at risk of having their securities subject to a trading prohibition under the HFCAA.
Given that Ernst & Young LLP (U.S.) has served as the principal accountant to audit our consolidated financial statements to be filed with the SEC since 2022, we believe we are compliant with the HFCAA, which should preclude a further finding by the SEC that we are a Commission-Identified Issuer and therefore the delisting of our American Depositary Shares from NASDAQ. For a detailed description of risks related to our doing business in China and status under the HFCAA, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Doing Business in the PRC.”
Doing Business in the PRC
As a result of our operations in the PRC, the PRC government may exert influence over our operations at any time, which could result in a material change in our operations and/or the value of our ADSs, ordinary shares, or RMB Shares. For example, the PRC government has recently published policies that significantly affected certain industries such as the education and internet industries, and we cannot rule out the possibility that it will in the future release regulations or policies regarding any industry that could adversely affect the business, financial condition and results of operations of our company.
Furthermore, the PRC government has also indicated an intent to exert more oversight and control over securities offerings and other capital markets activities that are conducted outside of China and over foreign investment in China-based companies. Any such action, once taken by the PRC government, could significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or in extreme cases, become worthless. The PRC government initiated a series of regulatory actions and statements to regulate business operations in China, including enforcement actions against illegal activities in the securities market, enhancing supervision over China-based companies listed outside of China using the variable interest entity structure, adopting new measures to extend the scope of cybersecurity reviews, and expanding the efforts in anti-monopoly enforcement. For example, in July 2021, the relevant PRC government authorities made public the Opinions on Intensifying Crack-Down on Illegal Securities Activities (the “Securities Opinions”) which emphasized the need to strengthen the administration over illegal securities activities and the supervision on overseas listings by China-based companies and proposed to take measures, such as promoting the construction of relevant regulatory systems to deal with the risks and incidents faced by China-based overseas-listed companies. In November 2021, the Cyberspace Administration of China (the “CAC”) released the draft Administrative Regulations on Cyber Data Security for public comments, which requires, among others, that a prior cybersecurity review should be required for listing abroad of data processors which process over one million users’ personal information, and the listing of data processors in Hong Kong which affects or may affect national security. In March 2023, the Overseas Listing Trial Measures, and five relevant guidelines issued by the CSRC took effect, requiring the Chinese domestic companies’ overseas offerings and listings of equity securities be filed with the CSRC.
The Chinese government may further promulgate relevant laws, rules and regulations that may impose additional and significant obligations and liabilities on overseas listed PRC companies regarding data security, cross-border data flow, anti-monopoly and unfair competition, and compliance with China’s securities laws. It is uncertain whether or how these new laws, rules and regulations and the interpretation and implementation thereof may affect us, but among other things, our ability to obtain external financing through the issuance of equity securities in the U.S., Hong Kong or other markets could be negatively affected, and as a result, the trading prices of our ADSs, ordinary shares and RMB Shares could significantly decline or become worthless. For a detailed description of risks related to our doing business in China, please see the section of this Annual Report titled “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Doing Business in the PRC.”
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Flow of Funds with our PRC Operations
We are a holding company incorporated in the Cayman Islands with operations primarily conducted through direct and indirect subsidiaries in the U.S., China, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Australia. The intercompany flow of funds within the organization is effected through capital contributions, intercompany loans, intercompany transfers of products and intellectual property, and cost reimbursements. Since our formation in 2010, BeiGene, Ltd. has raised over $10.0 billion in various public and private stock offerings as of December 31, 2023. Of this amount, $1.9 billion and RMB 17.1 billion have been transferred as capital contributions to its operating subsidiaries. As of December 31, 2023, BeiGene Ltd. had intercompany loans outstanding of $1.6 billion and RMB 340 million to its operating subsidiaries. BeiGene, Ltd., by itself or through its affiliates, is also the holder or licensee and developer of biopharmaceutical patents. Certain of these patents have been transferred to operating subsidiaries for further development and commercialization. As of December 31, 2023, BeiGene, Ltd. held $3.2 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments which are available for future investment in its programs and in our operating subsidiaries. To date, BeiGene, Ltd. has not received any dividends or distributions from its operating subsidiaries. Please see the section of this Annual Report titled “Liquidity and Capital Resources” for further discussion.
Further, our board of directors has adopted a dividend policy which provides that we currently intend to retain all available funds and earnings, if any, to fund the development and expansion of our business, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Subject to applicable law and our amended and restated articles of association, any future determination to pay dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and may be based on a number of factors, including our future operations and earnings, capital requirements and surplus, general financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant. This dividend policy reflects our board of directors’ current views on our financial and cash flow position. We intend to continue to review our dividend policy from time to time, and there can be no assurance that dividends will be paid in any particular amount, if at all, for any given period.
We have never declared or paid any dividends on our ordinary shares or any other securities. If we pay dividends in the future, in order for us to distribute dividends to our shareholders and holders of ADSs, we may rely to some extent on dividends distributed by our PRC subsidiaries. PRC regulations may restrict the ability of our PRC subsidiaries to pay dividends to us, and such distributions will be subject to PRC withholding tax. In addition, PRC regulations currently permit payment of dividends of a PRC company only out of accumulated distributable after-tax profits, as determined in accordance with our articles of association and the accounting standards and regulations in the PRC.
We may rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our PRC subsidiaries for our cash and financing requirements, including the funds necessary to pay dividends and other cash distributions to our shareholders or to service any debt we may incur. If any of our PRC subsidiaries incur debt on their own behalf in the future, the instruments governing the debt may restrict their ability to pay dividends or make other distributions to us. Under PRC laws and regulations, our PRC subsidiaries may pay dividends only out of their respective accumulated profits as determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. In addition, a wholly foreign-owned enterprise is required to set aside at least 10% of its accumulated after-tax profits each year, if any, to fund a certain statutory reserve fund, until the aggregate amount of such fund reaches 50% of its registered capital. Such reserve funds cannot be distributed to us as dividends. At its discretion, a wholly foreign-owned enterprise may allocate a portion of its after-tax profits based on PRC accounting standards to an enterprise expansion fund, or a staff welfare and bonus fund. In addition, registered share capital and capital reserve accounts are also restricted from withdrawal in the PRC, up to the amount of net assets held in each operating subsidiary. As of December 31, 2023, these restricted assets totaled $4.1 billion.
Our PRC subsidiaries generate primarily all of their revenue in RMB, which is not freely convertible into other currencies. As a result, any restriction on currency exchange may limit the ability of our PRC subsidiaries to use their RMB revenues to pay dividends to us. However, conversion of RMB to other currencies are permitted for the purpose of dividends according to the PRC’s regulations on foreign exchange administration. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any limitation on the ability of our PRC subsidiaries to pay dividends or make other kinds of payments to us could materially and adversely limit our ability to grow, make investments or acquisitions that could be beneficial to our business, pay dividends, or otherwise fund and conduct our business.
The PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law and its implementation rules provide that China-sourced income of foreign enterprises, such as dividends paid by a PRC subsidiary to its equity holders that are non-PRC resident enterprises, will normally be subject to PRC withholding tax at a rate of 10%, unless any such foreign investor’s jurisdiction of incorporation has a tax treaty with China that provides for a reduced withholding rate arrangement and such non-PRC resident enterprises constitute the beneficiary of such income.
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Pursuant to an arrangement between Mainland China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and relevant tax regulations of the PRC, subject to certain conditions, a reduced withholding tax rate of 5% will be available for dividends from PRC entities provided that the recipient can demonstrate it is a Hong Kong tax resident and it is the beneficial owner of the dividends. The government adopted regulations in 2018 which stipulate that in determining whether a non-resident enterprise has the status as a beneficial owner, comprehensive analysis shall be conducted based on the factors listed therein and the actual circumstances of the specific case shall be taken into consideration. Specifically, it expressly excludes an agent or a designated payee from being considered as a “beneficial owner.” We own the PRC subsidiaries through BeiGene (Hong Kong) Co., Limited (“BeiGene HK”). BeiGene HK currently does not hold a Hong Kong tax resident certificate from the Inland Revenue Department of Hong Kong, and there is no assurance that the reduced withholding tax rate will be available.
Permissions Required from the PRC Authorities for Our Operations
We conduct our business in the PRC through our PRC subsidiaries. Our operations in the PRC are governed by PRC laws and regulations. As of the date of this annual report, our PRC subsidiaries have obtained all requisite licenses and permits from the PRC government authorities that are material for their business operations in the PRC, including, among others, business licenses issued by local counterparts of the SAMR, drug manufacturing licenses, drug trade license, clinical trial applications, drug registration certificates, licenses for use of experimental animals, pollutant discharge licenses and permits for urban sewage discharge into drainage pipe network. No material permissions have been denied to us by relevant government authorities in China. As of the date of this annual report, we do not operate our businesses in China or elsewhere through variable interest entities, or VIEs, and therefore are not subject to risks associated with contractual arrangements with VIEs. As of the date of this annual report, we have not received any inquiry, notice, warning, or sanctions regarding our business operations and corporate structure from the CSRC, CAC or any other PRC governmental agency that would have a material impact on our business, results of operations or financial condition. However, given the uncertainties of interpretation and implementation of relevant laws and regulations and the enforcement practice by government authorities, we cannot assure you that we have obtained all permits or licenses required for conducting our business in the PRC. If (i) we have inadvertently concluded that such permissions, approvals, licenses or permits have been acquired or are not required, or (ii) applicable laws, regulations, or interpretations change and we are required to obtain such permissions, approvals, licenses or permits in the future, then we may have to expend time and costs to procure them. If we are unable to do so on commercially reasonable terms or in a timely manner, it could cause significant disruption to our business operations and damage our reputation, which would in turn have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In connection with our previous issuance of securities to foreign investors in stock markets outside the PRC, under current PRC laws, regulations and regulatory rules, as of the date of this annual report, we and our PRC subsidiaries, (i) are not required to obtain permissions from the CSRC, (ii) are not required to go through cybersecurity review by the Cyberspace Administration of China, or the CAC, and (iii) have not received or were denied such requisite permissions by any PRC authority. On February 17, 2023, the CSRC released the Overseas Listing Trial Measures and five relevant guidelines, which took effect March 31, 2023. The Overseas Listing Trial Measures require the Chinese domestic companies’ overseas offerings and listings of equity shares, depositary receipts, convertible bonds, preferred shares or other equity securities be filed with the CSRC. See “Item 1. Business—Government Regulation—PRC Regulation—Regulations Relating to Overseas Listing”. If we were deemed as an indirect overseas listed Chinese domestic company subject to the filing requirements under the Overseas Listing Trial Measures, our offering of equity securities on NASDAQ or Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the future would be required to be filed with the CSRC within three working days after the offering is completed.
As of the date of this Annual Report, we have not received any inquiry, notice, warning or sanction regarding obtaining approval, completing filing or other procedures in connection with offering our equity securities in overseas stock markets from the CSRC or any other PRC governmental or regulatory authorities that have jurisdiction over our operations.
Cash Management Policies and Procedures
The frequency and amount of intercompany transfers of funds is determined based on the working capital needs of our subsidiaries and intercompany transactions, and is subject to internal approval processes and funding arrangements. Our management reviews and monitors our cash and working capital needs and external debt repayment and borrowing needs, of our subsidiaries on a regular basis. In addition, capital contributions and intercompany loan arrangements are subject to local jurisdiction and banking regulations.
BeiGene, Ltd. and its subsidiaries hold cash in demand deposits, time deposits and money market funds for the operating needs of each entity, including from intercompany transactions. As needed, cash to fund both short-term operating needs (such as investments in inventory or sales marketing capabilities) and long-term investment needs (such as for property, plant and equipment) can be transferred from BeiGene Ltd. or between subsidiaries to supply additional liquidity using capital contributions, intercompany advances or loans, as follows:
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Cash may be transferred between BeiGene HK and its operating subsidiaries in mainland China through intercompany loans and capital contributions. Cash generated from BeiGene HK is used to fund operations of its subsidiaries, and no funds were transferred from BeiGene HK’s subsidiaries in mainland China to fund operations of other BeiGene subsidiaries outside of mainland China for the year ended on December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2023. For the year ended December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2023, the amount of cash transferred between BeiGene HK and its subsidiaries in mainland China was $351 million and $295 million, respectively.
Cash may be transferred between BeiGene UK, Ltd. (“BeiGene UK”) and/or BeiGene Switzerland and their respective operating subsidiaries through intercompany fund advances and capital contributions. There are currently no restrictions on transferring funds between BeiGene UK or BeiGene Switzerland and their respective operating subsidiaries. Cash generated from BeiGene UK and BeiGene Switzerland may be used to fund operations of their respective subsidiaries, and no funds were transferred from BeiGene UK’s subsidiaries or from BeiGene Switzerland’s subsidiaries to fund operations of other BeiGene subsidiaries (such as BeiGene HK and its subsidiaries in mainland China) for the year ended December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2023. For the year ended December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2023, the amount of cash transferred between BeiGene UK to its respective subsidiaries was $4 million and $270 million, respectively. For the years ended December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2023, the amount of cash transferred between BeiGene Switzerland to its respective subsidiaries was $65 million and nil, respectively.
Human Capital Resources
We are committed to attracting and retaining exceptional, passionate people to work with a clear purpose: creating impactful, affordable and accessible medicines to help more patients around the world live better. To this end, we provide opportunities for employees to grow and develop in their careers, supported by competitive compensation, benefits, health and wellness programs, and by programs that build connections among our employees worldwide.
We believe that the success of our business is fundamentally connected to the well-being of our employees. Hence, we take a holistic view of well-being – one that considers financial, physical, and social-emotional health – we are working to cultivate a community and culture where our colleagues can find balance both professionally and personally. Accordingly, we offer our employees and their families innovative, flexible and convenient health and wellness programs, that are tailored to the region of the world where they work.
Our competitive compensation and benefits programs help meet the needs of our employees. In addition to base salaries, these programs include potential annual discretionary bonuses, equity awards, a 401(k) plan in the U.S. and pension plans in other jurisdictions, healthcare and insurance benefits, health savings and flexible spending accounts, paid time off, family leave, and flexible work schedules, among others. In addition to our broad-based equity award programs, we have used equity-based grants with vesting conditions to facilitate retention of key personnel. In addition to compensation and benefits, we provide our employees opportunities for growth through challenging job assignments, performance management and training opportunities. We seek to remain competitive in our compensation and benefits by routinely benchmarking against industry peers.
Our worldwide teams are united by a common mission. We are committed to encouraging a culture of open communication where employees can ask questions, raise concerns, and contribute creative solutions. Our management team routinely makes themselves available to all employees, including in regular town hall events that encourage open dialogue. Fostering a culture of accountability and compliance is also important, and all of our employees complete trainings on applicable corporate policies including our Global Code of Conduct; Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation Policy; Conflicts of Interest Policy; Insider Trading Policy; and Anti-Corruption Policy.
At BeiGene, empowering our people begins with our culture and values: Bold Ingenuity, Collaborative Spirit, Driving Excellence, and most importantly, Patients First. As a global entity with many remote workers, we have been able to build a diverse team of talented professionals, regardless of their location. As a global organization, we are comprised of employees at various life stages, of multiple backgrounds, and from diverse cultures, where everyone can share their ideas and perspectives. We celebrate our differences and value diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We believe that diversity of backgrounds and ideas inspire creativity and help us create the innovative medicines patients need. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. BeiGene does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status or any other basis covered by applicable law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need. Further, we have policies in place that prohibit harassment of all kinds. We maintain an inclusive culture where all voices are welcomed, heard, and respected.
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As of February 14, 2024, we had approximately 10,600 full-time employees worldwide, across five continents, with approximately 1,600 employees in the U.S. and the balance outside of the U.S. We have also engaged and may continue to engage independent contractors to assist us with our operations. None of our employees are represented by a labor union or covered by a collective bargaining agreement, except as required by local laws such as in some European countries. We have never experienced any employment-related work stoppages, we also track voluntary and involuntary turnover rates and we consider our relations with our employees to be good.
Responsible Business & Sustainability Strategy
In 2022, we announced our global strategy, Change Is the Cure, which guides our efforts across five focus areas: advancing global health, empowering our people, innovating sustainably, supporting communities, and operating responsibly. Within each focus area, we have identified key strategic priorities against which we have set concrete targets. We report our progress against our targets in late April of each year.
While we are at the start of our journey, we are proud of the progress we have made to date. We joined the United Nations Global Compact in 2022 and have aligned our efforts with UN Sustainable Development Goals.
We know that access to oncology treatments lags in many parts of the world, particularly in low-income countries. To help close this health equity gap, BeiGene became a founding member of the Union for International Cancer Control’s Access to Oncology Medicines Coalition which focuses on improving access to innovative medicines in lower-income countries and supporting them in developing the capacity to provide proper treatment for patients. In 2023, we also announced a collaboration with the Max Foundation, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating health equity by delivering medication, technology, and supportive services to patients worldwide, BeiGene, and the BeiGene Foundation, a nonprofit charitable foundation, to provide access to BRUKINSA for the treatment of adult patients with CLL in 29 low- and middle-income countries over the next three years. This collaboration advances each organization’s focus on patient access by combining the Max Foundation’s expertise and infrastructure with a donated product from BeiGene, and a grant from the BeiGene Foundation.
We believe that our people are critical to our success and, as a global company, we know that sharing diverse ideas and perspectives spurs greater innovation and enhances our ability to deliver results. Our culture celebrates and encourages the voices of all our employees and promotes a respectful, collaborative environment. Our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging strategy, Belong@BeiGene, is centered on bringing diverse voices to the forefront of our work and embedding inclusion in all aspects of BeiGene’s operations. Our strategy encompasses three areas: Workforce (our people), Workplace (our culture) and Marketplace (our communities). In 2020, we formed the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Awareness (“IDEA”) Council to provide a forum for U.S. employees to explore issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Introduced first in the U.S., the IDEA Council is now global, with members in geographies including Canada, Europe, China, and Australia. In 2022, we completed a three-year diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging strategy, and in 2023, an Executive Director, Diversity and Global Health Equity was brought on board to lead our effort in this area.
In addition to directly supporting patients through the delivery of cutting-edge therapies, we strive to support the communities in which we live and work. In 2023, the BeiGene Foundation was established as an independent 501(c)(3) organization to provide grants to charitable organizations aligned with the Foundation’s mission. Related to volunteerism, we expanded our employee volunteer paid time-off policy to colleagues worldwide and in July 2023, Be the Change, a global employee volunteer platform, was officially launched. This platform enables colleagues to learn about local and national community partnerships, create or register for volunteer opportunities, and record volunteer hours.
More details about our Responsible Business & Sustainability strategy, goals and progress to date will be available in our 2023 Responsible Business & Sustainability Report, which will be published in late April 2024. Our previous progress reports can be found on our corporate website at www.beigene.com.
Financial Information
The financial information required under this Item 1 is incorporated herein by reference to the section of this Annual Report titled “Part II-Item 8-Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.” For financial information regarding our business, please see the section of this Annual Report titled “Part II-Item 7-Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this Annual Report and our consolidated audited financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report.
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Corporate Information
We are an exempted company incorporated on October 28, 2010 in the Cayman Islands with limited liability. Any company that is registered in the Cayman Islands but conducts business mainly outside of the Cayman Islands may apply to be registered as an exempted company. Our current registered office in the Cayman Islands is located at the offices of Mourant Governance Services (Cayman) Limited, 94 Solaris Avenue, Camana Bay, Grand Cayman KY1-1108, Cayman Islands. Our website address is www.beigene.com. We do not incorporate the information on or accessible through our website into this Annual Report, and you should not consider any information on, or that can be accessed through, our website as part of this Annual Report.
We own various registered trademarks, trademark applications and unregistered trademarks and service marks, including the name “BeiGene” and our corporate logo. All other trade names, trademarks and service marks of other companies appearing in this Annual Report are the property of their respective holders. Solely for convenience, some of the trademarks and trade names in this document are referred to without the ® and ™ symbols, but such references should not be construed as any indicator that their respective owners will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, their rights thereto. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trademarks and trade names to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, any other companies.
Available Information
We make available on or through our website certain reports and amendments to those reports that we file with or furnish to the SEC, in accordance with the Exchange Act. These include our annual reports on Form 10-K, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and our current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act. We also make available, free of charge on our website, the reports filed with the SEC by our executive officers, directors and 10% shareholders pursuant to Section 16 under the Exchange Act. Additionally, we make available on our website our securities filings with the HKEx and the Shanghai Stock Exchange. We make this information available on or through our website free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file the information with, or furnish it to, the SEC, the HKEx, and the SSE. We use our website as a means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation FD.
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Item 1A. Risk Factors
The following section includes material factors that we believe may adversely affect our business and operations. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below and all information contained in this Annual Report, including our financial statements and the related notes and “Part II-Item 7-Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” before deciding to invest in our ADSs, ordinary shares, or RMB Shares. The occurrence of any of the events or developments described below could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, and growth prospects. In such an event, the market price of our ADSs, ordinary shares, and RMB Shares could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial also may impair our business operations. Please refer to the explanation of the qualifications and limitation on forward-looking statements set forth on page 1 hereof.
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Summary of Risk Factors
Below is a summary of the material factors that make an investment in our ADSs listed on NASDAQ, our ordinary shares listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, and our ordinary shares issued to permitted investors in China and listed and traded on the Science and Technology Innovation Board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange in Renminbi (“RMB Shares”) speculative or risky. This summary does not address all of the risks that we face. Additional discussion of the risks summarized in this risk factor summary, and other risks that we face, are set forth herein and should be carefully considered, together with other information in this Annual Report and our other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), before making an investment decision regarding our ADSs, ordinary shares or RMB shares.
Our medicines may fail to achieve and maintain the degree of market acceptance by physicians, patients, third-party payors, and others in the medical community necessary for commercial success.
We have limited experience in launching and marketing our internally developed and in-licensed medicines. If we are unable to further develop marketing and sales capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties to market and sell our medicines, we may not be able to generate substantial product sales revenue.
We face substantial competition, which may result in others discovering, developing, or commercializing competing medicines before or more successfully than we do.
The market opportunities for our medicines may be limited to those patients who are ineligible for or have failed prior treatments and may be small.
If we or any third parties with which we may collaborate to market and sell our medicines are unable to achieve and maintain coverage and adequate levels of reimbursement or are subject to unfavorable pricing regulations, our commercial success and business operations could be adversely affected.
Clinical development involves a lengthy and expensive process with an uncertain outcome, and results of earlier studies and trials may not be predictive of future trial results.
If clinical trials of our drug candidates fail to demonstrate safety and efficacy to the satisfaction of regulatory authorities or do not otherwise produce positive results, we may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development and commercialization of our drug candidates.
If we encounter difficulties enrolling patients in our clinical trials, our clinical development activities could be delayed or otherwise adversely affected.
All material aspects of the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of pharmaceutical products are heavily regulated, and we may face difficulties in complying with or be unable to comply with such regulations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
The approval processes of regulatory authorities in the United States, China, Europe and other comparable regulatory authorities are lengthy, time consuming, costly, and inherently unpredictable. If we experience delays or are ultimately unable to obtain regulatory approval for our drug candidates, our business will be substantially harmed.
Our medicines and any future approved drug candidates will be subject to ongoing regulatory obligations and continued regulatory review, which may result in significant additional expense and we may be subject to penalties if we fail to comply with regulatory requirements or experience unanticipated problems with our medicines and drug candidates.
We have incurred significant net losses since our inception and expect to incur net losses in the future and may not become profitable.
We may need to obtain additional financing to fund our operations, and if we are unable to obtain such financing, we may be unable to complete the development of our drug candidates or achieve profitability.
If we are unable to obtain and maintain patent protection for our medicines and drug candidates through intellectual property rights, or if the scope of such intellectual property rights is not sufficiently broad, third parties may compete against us.
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We rely on third parties to manufacture some of our commercial and clinical drug supplies. Our business could be harmed if those third parties fail to provide us with sufficient quantities of product or fail to do so at acceptable quality levels or prices.
We have entered into licensing and collaboration arrangements and may enter into additional collaborations, licensing arrangements, or strategic alliances in the future, and we may not realize the benefits of such arrangements.
If we fail to maintain an effective distribution channel for our medicines, our business and sales could be adversely affected.
If third-party manufacturers fail to comply with manufacturing regulations, our financial results could be adversely affected.
If we are not able to successfully develop and/or commercialize Amgen’s oncology products, the expected benefits of the collaboration will not materialize.
We have significantly increased and expect to continue to increase our research, development, manufacturing, and commercial capabilities, and we may experience difficulties in managing our growth.
Our future success depends on our ability to retain key executives and to attract, retain and motivate qualified personnel.
Our business is subject to complex and evolving industry-specific laws and regulations regarding the collection and transfer of personal data. These laws and regulations can be stringent and many are subject to change and uncertain interpretation, which could result in claims, changes to our data and other business practices, significant penalties, increased cost of operations, or otherwise adversely impact our business.
We manufacture some of our medicines and intend to manufacture some of our drug candidates, if approved. Failure to comply with regulatory requirements could result in sanctions being imposed against us and delays in completing and receiving regulatory approvals for our manufacturing facilities, or damage to, destruction of or interruption of production at such facilities, could delay our development plans or commercialization efforts.
Changes in the political and economic policies of the PRC government or in relations between China and the United States or other governments and the oversight and discretion the PRC government has over the conduct of the business operations of our PRC subsidiaries may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations and may result in our inability to sustain our growth and expansion strategies.
The audit reports included in our previous annual reports on Form 10-K filed with the SEC have historically been prepared by auditors who are not inspected fully by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and as such, investors have previously been deprived of the benefits of such inspections.
The trading prices of our ordinary shares, ADSs, and/or RMB Shares can be volatile, which could result in substantial losses to you.
Risks Related to Clinical Development and Commercialization of Our Medicines and Drug Candidates
Our medicines may fail to achieve and maintain the degree of market acceptance by physicians, patients, third-party payors, and others in the medical community necessary for commercial success.
Our medicines may fail to achieve and maintain sufficient market acceptance by physicians, patients, third-party payors, and others in the medical community. For example, current cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy are well established in the medical community, and doctors may continue to rely on these treatments to the exclusion of our medicines. If our medicines do not achieve and maintain an adequate level of market acceptance, the sales of our medicines may be limited and we may not become profitable. The degree of market acceptance of our medicines will depend on a number of factors, including: the clinical indications for which our medicines are approved; physicians, hospitals, cancer treatment centers, and patients considering our medicines safe and effective; government agencies, professional societies, practice management groups, insurance carriers, physicians’ groups, private health and science foundations recommending our medicines; the perceived advantages and relative cost of alternative treatments; the prevalence and severity of any side effects; product labeling, including limitations or warnings, or product insert requirements of regulatory authorities; the timing of market introduction of our medicines as well as competitive medicines; the availability of adequate coverage, reimbursement and pricing by third-party payors and government authorities; and the effectiveness of our sales and marketing efforts.
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Even if our medicines achieve market acceptance, we may not be able to maintain that market acceptance over time if new products or technologies are introduced that are more favorably received, are more cost effective or render our medicines obsolete.
We have limited experience in launching and marketing our internally developed and in-licensed medicines. If we are unable to further develop marketing and sales capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties to market and sell our medicines, we may not be able to generate substantial product sales revenue.
We became a commercial-stage company in 2017, when we entered into a license and supply agreement with Celgene Logistics Sàrl, now a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (“BMS”), to commercialize three of BMS’s approved cancer therapies, in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC” or “China”). In October 2019, we entered into a collaboration with Amgen for its commercial-stage oncology products and a portfolio of clinical- and late-preclinical-stage oncology pipeline products. We received the first approvals for our internally developed drug candidates in late 2019 in the United States (“U.S.”), in 2020 in China, and in 2021 in Europe. Given this, we have limited experience in commercializing our internally developed and in-licensed medicines, including building and managing a commercial team, conducting a comprehensive market analysis, obtaining state licenses and reimbursement, and managing distributors and a sales force for our medicines. As a result, our ability to successfully commercialize our medicines may involve more inherent risk, take longer, and cost more than it would if we were a company with substantial experience in launching medicines.
If we are unable to, or decide not to, further develop internal sales, marketing, and commercial distribution capabilities for any or all of our medicines, we will likely pursue collaborative arrangements regarding the sales and marketing of our medicines. However, there can be no assurance that we will be able to establish or maintain such collaborative arrangements, or whether they will have effective sales forces. We would have little or no control over the marketing and sales efforts of such third parties, and our revenue from product sales may be lower than if we had commercialized our medicines ourselves.
There can be no assurance that we will be able to further develop and successfully maintain internal sales and commercial distribution capabilities or establish or maintain relationships with third-party collaborators to successfully commercialize any medicine, and as a result, we may not be able to generate substantial product sales revenue.
We face substantial competition, which may result in others discovering, developing, or commercializing competing medicines before or more successfully than we do.
The development and commercialization of new medicines is highly competitive. We face competition from major pharmaceutical companies, specialty pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies worldwide. There are a number of large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that currently market and sell medicines or are pursuing the development of medicines for the treatment of cancer for which we are commercializing our medicines or developing our drug candidates. For example, BRUKINSA, tislelizumab, and pamiparib face substantial competition, and some of our products face or are expected to face competition from generic therapies. Potential competitors also include academic institutions, government agencies and other public and private research organizations that conduct research, seek patent protection and establish collaborative arrangements for research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization.
Our commercial opportunity could be reduced or eliminated if our competitors develop and commercialize medicines that are safer, more effective, have fewer or less severe side effects, are more convenient or are less expensive than our medicines. Our competitors also may obtain approval from regulatory authorities for their medicines more rapidly than we may obtain approval for ours, which could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position before we are able to enter the market and/or slow our regulatory approval.
Many of the companies against which we are competing or against which we may compete in the future have significantly greater financial resources and expertise in research and development, manufacturing, preclinical testing, conducting clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approvals and marketing approved medicines than we do. Mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries may result in even more resources being concentrated among a smaller number of our competitors. Smaller and other early-stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large and established companies. These third parties compete with us in recruiting and retaining qualified scientific, management and marketing personnel, establishing clinical trial sites and patient registration for clinical trials, as well as in acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our programs.
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The market opportunities for our medicines may be limited to those patients who are ineligible for or have failed prior treatments and may be small.
In markets with approved therapies, we have and expect to initially seek approval of our drug candidates as a later stage therapy for patients who have failed other approved treatments. Subsequently, for those medicines that prove to be sufficiently beneficial, if any, we would expect to seek approval as a second-line therapy and potentially as a first-line therapy, but there is no guarantee that our medicines and drug candidates, even if approved, would be approved for second-line or first-line therapy.
Our projections of both the number of people who have the diseases we are targeting, as well as the subset of people with these diseases in a position to receive later stage therapy and who have the potential to benefit from treatment with our medicines and drug candidates, may prove to be inaccurate and new studies may change the estimated incidence or prevalence of these cancers. Additionally, the potentially addressable patient population for our medicines and drug candidates may be limited or may not be amenable to treatment with our medicines and drug candidates. Even if we obtain significant market share for our medicines and drug candidates, because the potential target populations are small, we may never achieve profitability without obtaining regulatory approval for additional indications, including use as a first- or second-line therapy.
If we or any third parties with which we may collaborate to market and sell our medicines are unable to achieve and maintain coverage and adequate levels of reimbursement or are subject to unfavorable pricing regulations, our commercial success and business operations could be adversely affected.
Our ability or the ability of any third parties with which we collaborate to commercialize our medicines successfully will depend in part on the extent to which reimbursement for these medicines is available from government health administration authorities, private health insurers and other organizations. In the U.S. and other countries, patients generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the costs associated with their treatment. Adequate coverage and reimbursement from governmental healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and commercial payors is critical to new product acceptance. Sales of our medicines will depend substantially, on the extent to which the costs of our medicines will be paid by health maintenance, managed care, pharmacy benefit and similar healthcare management organizations, or reimbursed by government health administration authorities, private health coverage insurers and other third-party payors. Without third-party payor reimbursement, patients may not be able to obtain or afford prescribed medications. Third-party payors also are seeking to encourage the use of generic or biosimilar products or entering into sole source contracts with healthcare providers, which could effectively limit the coverage and level of reimbursement for our medicines and have an adverse impact on the market access or acceptance of our medicines. In addition, reimbursement guidelines and incentives provided to prescribing physicians by third party payors may have a significant impact on the prescribing physicians’ willingness and ability to prescribe our products. For additional information, please see the section of this Annual Report titled “Part I—Item 1—Business—Government Regulation—Pharmaceutical Coverage, Pricing, and Reimbursement.”
A primary trend in the global healthcare industry is cost containment. Government authorities and third-party payors have attempted to control costs by limiting coverage and the amount of reimbursement for particular medications.
In the U.S., no uniform policy of coverage and reimbursement for drugs exists among third-party payors. As a result, obtaining coverage and reimbursement approval of a drug from a government or other third-party payor is a time-consuming and costly process that could require us to provide to each payor supporting scientific, clinical and cost- effectiveness data for the use of our medicines on a payor-by-payor basis, with no assurance that coverage and adequate reimbursement will be obtained. The principal decisions about reimbursement for new medicines are typically made by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (the “CMS”). They decide whether and to what extent a new medicine will be covered and reimbursed under Medicare and private payors tend to follow CMS to a substantial degree. Factors payors consider in determining reimbursement are based on whether the product is: a covered benefit under its health plan; safe, effective and medically necessary; appropriate for the specific patient; cost-effective; and neither experimental nor investigational.
Coverage may be more limited than the purposes for which the medicine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) or comparable regulatory authorities in other countries. Even if we obtain coverage for a given medicine, the resulting reimbursement rates might not be adequate for us to achieve or sustain profitability or may require co-payments that patients find unacceptably high. Additionally, third-party payors may not cover, or provide adequate reimbursement for, long-term follow-up evaluations required following the use of our medicines. Patients are unlikely to use our medicines unless coverage is provided and reimbursement is adequate to cover a significant portion of the cost of the medicine. Because some of our medicines and drug candidates have a higher cost of goods than conventional therapies and may require long-term follow-up evaluations, the risk that coverage and reimbursement rates may be inadequate for us to achieve profitability may be greater.
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Net prices for drugs may also be reduced by mandatory discounts or rebates required by government healthcare programs or private payors and by any future relaxation of laws that presently restrict imports of drugs from countries where they may be sold at lower prices than in the U.S.
In China, drug prices are typically lower than in the U.S. and Europe, and until recently, the market has been dominated by generic drugs. Government authorities regularly review the inclusion or removal of medicines from China’s National Reimbursement Drug List (the “NRDL”), or provincial or local medical insurance catalogues for the National Medical Insurance Program, and the tier under which a medicine will be classified, both of which affect the amounts reimbursable to program participants for their purchases of those medicines. Products included in the NRDL have typically been generic and essential drugs. Innovative drugs similar to our medicines and drug candidates have historically been more limited on their inclusion in the NRDL due to the affordability of the Chinese government’s Basic Medical Insurance, although this has been changing in recent years. For example, BRUKINSA, tislelizumab, PARTRUVIX, XGEVA and KYPROLIS have been included in the NRDL. While the demand for these medicines has generally increased after inclusion in the NRDL, there can be no assurance that demand will continue to increase and such increases will be sufficient to offset the reduction in the prices and our margins, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We prepare for the NRDL negotiations in China for our eligible medicines/indications annually. If any of these medicines/indications are not included in the NRDL or included at a significantly lower price, the revenues for such medicines could be limited, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The government in China also launched a national program for volume-based, centralized drug procurement with minimum quantity commitments to negotiate lower prices from drug manufacturers and reduce the price of drugs. The Chinese government awards contracts to the lowest bidders who can satisfy the quality and quantity requirements. The successful bidders are guaranteed a sale volume for at least a year. A volume guarantee gives an opportunity to gain or increase market share. The volume guarantee is intended to make manufacturers more willing to cut their prices to win a bid. It may also enable manufacturers to lower their distribution and commercial costs. Many types of drugs are covered under the program, including drugs made by international pharmaceutical companies and generics made by domestic Chinese manufacturers. For example, in 2020, ABRAXANE and its generic forms were included in the program. We won the bid and became one of the three companies who were awarded a government contract, with a price for sales of ABRAXANE under the government contract that would have been significantly lower than the price that we had been charging. Also in 2020, VIDAZA and its generic forms were included for bidding in the program. We did not win the bid for VIDAZA, which resulted in the drug being restricted from use in public hospitals, which account for a large portion of the market, and a decline in sales revenue. Moreover, the program may change how generic drugs are priced and procured in China and is likely to accelerate the replacement of originator drugs with generics. We cannot be sure whether there will be any changes to the program in the future. The implementation of the program may negatively impact our existing commercial operations in China as well as our strategies on how to commercialize our drugs in China, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Countries in Europe provide options to restrict the range of medicinal products for which their national health insurance systems provide reimbursement and to control the prices of medicinal products for human use. To obtain reimbursement or pricing approval, some of these countries may require the completion of clinical trials that compare the cost effectiveness of a particular product candidate to currently available therapies. Countries may approve a specific price for the medicinal product or it may instead adopt a system of direct or indirect controls on the profitability of the company placing the medicinal product on the market. Furthermore, some countries require approval of the sale price of a medicine before it can be marketed. In many countries, the pricing review period begins after marketing or licensing approval is granted. In some non-U.S. markets, prescription pharmaceutical pricing remains subject to continuing governmental control even after initial approval is granted. As a result, we might obtain regulatory approval for a medicine in a particular country, but then be subject to price regulations that delay our commercial launch of the medicine and negatively impact our revenues and results of operations.
Increasingly, third-party payors are requiring that companies provide them with predetermined discounts from list prices and are challenging the prices charged for medical products. We cannot be sure that reimbursement will be available for any medicine that we commercialize and, if reimbursement is available, what the level of reimbursement will be. Reimbursement may impact the demand for, or the price of, any medicine which we commercialize. Obtaining or maintaining reimbursement for our medicines may be particularly difficult because of the higher prices often associated with medicines administered under the supervision of a physician. If reimbursement is not available or is available only to limited levels, we may not be able to successfully commercialize any medicine and drug candidate that we in-license or successfully develop.
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There may be significant delays in obtaining reimbursement for approved medicines, and coverage may be more limited than the purposes for which the medicine is approved by regulatory authorities. Moreover, eligibility for reimbursement does not imply that any medicine will be paid for in all cases or at a rate that covers our costs, including research, development, manufacture, sale and distribution. Interim payments for new medicines, if applicable, may also not be sufficient to cover our costs and may not be made permanent. Payment rates may vary according to the use of the medicine and the clinical setting in which it is used, may be based on payments allowed for lower cost medicines that are already reimbursed, and may be incorporated into existing payments for other services. Net prices for medicines may be reduced by mandatory discounts or rebates required by government healthcare programs or private payors and by any future weakening of laws that presently restrict imports of medicines from countries where they may be sold at lower prices than in the U.S. Our inability to promptly obtain coverage and profitable payment rates from both government-funded and private payors for our medicines and any new medicines that we develop could have a material adverse effect on our business, our operating results, and our overall financial condition.
We intend to seek approval to market our medicines and drug candidates in the U.S., China, Europe and in other jurisdictions. In some countries, such as those in Europe, the pricing of drugs and biologics is subject to governmental control, which can take considerable time even after obtaining regulatory approval. Market acceptance and sales of our medicines will depend significantly on the availability of adequate coverage and reimbursement from third-party payors for our medicines and may be affected by existing and future health care reform measures.
We have operations in the U.S., China, Europe, and other markets and plan to expand in these and new markets on our own or with collaborators, which exposes us to risks of conducting business in international markets.
We are currently developing and commercializing or plan to commercialize our medicines in international markets, including China, Europe and other markets outside of the U.S., either on our own or with third party collaborators or distributors. Our international business relationships subject us to additional risks that may materially adversely affect our ability to attain or sustain profitable operations, including:
difficulty of effective enforcement of contractual provisions in local jurisdictions;
potential third-party patent rights or potentially reduced protection for intellectual property rights;
unexpected changes in tariffs, trade barriers and regulatory requirements, including the loss of normal trade status between China and the U.S. or actions taken by U.S. or China governmental authorities on companies with significant operations in the U.S. and China, such as us;
economic weakness;
compliance with tax, employment, immigration and labor laws for employees traveling abroad;
the effects of applicable non-U.S. tax structures and potentially adverse tax consequences;
currency fluctuations, which could result in increased operating expenses and reduced revenue;
workforce uncertainty and labor unrest;
failure of our employees and contracted third parties to comply with Office of Foreign Asset Control rules and regulations and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anti-bribery and corruption laws;
business interruptions resulting from geo-political actions, including trade disputes, war and terrorism, public health crises or natural disasters, including earthquakes, volcanoes, typhoons, floods, hurricanes and fires; and
international military conflicts and related sanctions.
These and other risks, including the risks described in “Risks Related to Our Doing Business in the PRC”, may materially adversely affect our ability to attain or sustain revenue in international markets.
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The illegal distribution and sale by third parties of counterfeit versions of our medicines or stolen products could have a negative impact on our reputation and business.
Third parties might illegally distribute and sell counterfeit or unfit versions of our medicines, which do not meet our or our collaborators’ rigorous manufacturing and testing standards. A patient who receives a counterfeit or unfit medicine may be at risk for a number of dangerous health consequences. Our reputation and business could suffer harm as a result of counterfeit or unfit medicines sold under our or our collaborators’ brand name(s). In addition, thefts of inventory at warehouses, plants or while in transit, which are not properly stored and which are sold through unauthorized channels, could adversely impact patient safety, our reputation and our business.
Clinical development involves a lengthy and expensive process with an uncertain outcome, and results of earlier studies and trials may not be predictive of future trial results.
Clinical development is expensive and can take many years to complete, and its outcome is inherently uncertain. Failure can occur at any time during the clinical trial process. The results of preclinical studies and early clinical trials of our drug candidates may not be predictive of the results of later-stage clinical trials, and initial or interim results of a trial may not be predictive of the final results. Drug candidates in later stages of clinical trials may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy traits despite having progressed through preclinical studies and initial clinical trials. In some instances, there can be significant variability in safety and/or efficacy results between different trials of the same drug candidate due to numerous factors, including changes in trial procedures set forth in protocols, differences in the size and type of the patient populations, patient adherence to the dosing regimen and the rate of dropout among clinical trial participants. In the case of any trials we conduct, results may differ from earlier trials due to the larger number of clinical trial sites and additional countries involved in such trials. A number of companies in our industry have suffered significant setbacks in advanced clinical trials due to lack of efficacy or adverse safety profiles, notwithstanding promising results in earlier trials. Our future clinical trial results may not be favorable.
If clinical trials of our drug candidates fail to demonstrate safety and efficacy to the satisfaction of regulatory authorities or do not otherwise produce positive results, we may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development and commercialization of our drug candidates.
Before obtaining regulatory approval for the sale of our drug candidates, we must conduct extensive clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our drug candidates in humans. We may experience numerous unexpected events during clinical trials that could delay or prevent our ability to receive regulatory approval or commercialize our drug candidates, including but not limited to: regulators, institutional review boards (“IRBs”), or ethics committees may not authorize us to conduct a clinical trial or may require us or our investigators to suspend or terminate clinical research or not rely on the results of our clinical research for various reasons, including noncompliance with regulatory requirements; our inability to reach agreements on acceptable terms with contract research organizations (“CROs”) and trial sites, the terms of which can be subject to extensive negotiation and may vary significantly; manufacturing issues, including problems with supply quality, compliance with good manufacturing practice (“GMP”), or obtaining sufficient quantities of a drug candidate for use in a clinical trial; clinical trials of our drug candidates may produce negative or inconclusive results, and we may decide, or regulators may require us, to conduct additional clinical trials or abandon drug development programs; the number of patients required for clinical trials may be larger than we anticipate, enrollment may be insufficient or slower than we anticipate or patients may drop out at a higher rate than we anticipate; our third-party contractors, including clinical investigators, may fail to comply with regulatory requirements or meet their contractual obligations to us in a timely manner, or at all; we might have to suspend or terminate clinical trials for various reasons, including a finding of a lack of clinical response or other unexpected characteristics or a finding that participants are being exposed to unacceptable health risks; the cost of clinical trials of our drug candidates may be greater than we anticipate; and the supply or quality of our medicines and drug candidates or other materials necessary to conduct clinical trials may be insufficient or inadequate.
If we are required to conduct additional clinical trials or other testing of our drug candidates beyond those that we currently contemplate, if we are unable to successfully complete clinical trials of our drug candidates or other testing, if the results of these trials or tests are not positive or are only modestly positive or if they raise safety concerns, we may be delayed in obtaining regulatory approval for our drug candidates, or not obtain regulatory approval at all; obtain approval for indications that are not as broad as intended; have the drug removed from the market after obtaining regulatory approval; be subject to additional post-marketing testing requirements; be subject to warning labels or restrictions on how the drug is distributed or used; or be unable to obtain reimbursement or obtain reimbursement at a commercially viable level for use of the drug.
Significant clinical trial delays may also increase our development costs and could shorten any periods during which we have the exclusive right to commercialize our drug candidates or allow our competitors to bring drugs to market before we do. This could impair our ability to commercialize our drug candidates and may harm our business and results of operations.
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If we encounter difficulties enrolling patients in our clinical trials, our clinical development activities could be delayed or otherwise adversely affected.
The timely completion of clinical trials in accordance with their protocols depends, among other things, on our ability to enroll a sufficient number of patients who remain in the trial until its conclusion. We have and may continue to experience difficulties in patient enrollment in our clinical trials for a variety of reasons, including the size and nature of the patient population and the patient eligibility criteria defined in the protocol, competition from competing companies, and natural disasters or public health crises.
Our clinical trials will likely compete with other clinical trials for drug candidates that are in the same therapeutic areas as our drug candidates, and this competition will reduce the number and types of patients available to us, because some patients who might have opted to enroll in our trials may instead enroll in a trial being conducted by a competitor. Because the number of qualified clinical investigators and clinical trial sites is limited, we expect to conduct some of our clinical trials at the same sites that some of our competitors use, which will reduce the number of patients who are available for our clinical trials at such sites. Even if we are able to enroll a sufficient number of patients in our clinical trials, delays in patient enrollment may result in increased costs or may affect the timing or outcome of the planned clinical trials, which could delay or prevent completion of these trials and adversely affect our ability to advance the development of our drug candidates.
Risks Related to Regulatory Approval and Extensive Government Regulation
All material aspects of the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of pharmaceutical products are heavily regulated, and we may face difficulties in complying with or be unable to comply with such regulations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We are currently focusing our pharmaceutical-industry activities in the major markets of the U.S., China, Europe, and other select countries and regions. These areas all strictly regulate the pharmaceutical industry, and in doing so they employ broadly similar regulatory strategies, including regulation of product development and approval, manufacturing, and marketing, sales and distribution of products. However, there are differences in the regulatory regimes that make for a more complex and costly regulatory compliance burden. Additionally, the China National Medical Products Administration’s (“NMPA”) reform of the medicine and approval system may face implementation challenges. The timing and full impact of such reforms is uncertain and could prevent us from commercializing our medicines and drug candidates in a timely manner.
The process of obtaining regulatory approvals and compliance with laws and regulations require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources. Failure to comply with requirements at any time during the product development process, approval process, or after approval, may subject us to administrative or judicial sanctions. These sanctions could include a regulator’s refusal to approve pending applications, withdrawal of an approval, license revocation, a clinical hold, voluntary or mandatory product recalls, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution, injunctions, fines, refusals of government contracts, restitution, disgorgement, or civil or criminal penalties. The failure to comply with these regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business. For example, in 2020, the NMPA suspended the importation, sales and use of ABRAXANE in China previously supplied to us by BMS, and the drug was subsequently recalled by BMS. This suspension was based on inspection findings at BMS’s contract manufacturing facility in the U.S. In any event, the receipt of regulatory approval does not assure the success of our commercialization efforts for our medicines.
We may be subject to anti-kickback, false claims laws, physician payment transparency laws, fraud and abuse laws or similar healthcare and security laws and regulations, which could expose us to criminal sanctions, civil penalties, contractual damages, reputational harm and diminished sales.
Healthcare providers, physicians and others play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of our approved products. Our operations are subject to various federal and state fraud and abuse laws, including, without limitation, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”), and physician payment sunshine laws and regulations. These laws may impact, among other things, our proposed sales, marketing and education programs. In addition, we are subject to patient privacy regulation by both the federal government and the states in which we conduct our business. For additional information, please see the section of this Annual Report, titled “Part I—Item 1—Business—Government Regulation—Other U.S. Healthcare Laws and Compliance Requirements.”
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In addition, the approval and commercialization for our medicines and drug candidates outside the U.S. subjects us to non-U.S. equivalents of the healthcare laws mentioned above, among other non-U.S. laws. Some of these non-U.S. laws may be broader in scope and subject to the discretion of non-U.S. law enforcement authorities, including Chinese authorities who recently increased anti-bribery efforts to reduce improper payments and other benefits received by physicians, staff and hospital administrators in relation to sales, marketing and purchase of pharmaceuticals. There are ambiguities as to what is required to comply with these state requirements, and if we fail to comply with an applicable state law requirement, we could be subject to penalties.
In the past, we have made grants to independent charitable foundations that help financially needy patients with their premium, co-pay, and co-insurance obligations and we expect to make such grants in the future. If we choose to do so, and if we or our vendors or donation recipients are deemed to fail to comply with relevant laws or regulations in the operation of these programs, we could be subject to damages, fines, penalties, or other criminal, civil, or administrative sanctions or enforcement actions. We cannot ensure that our compliance controls and procedures will be sufficient to protect against acts of our employees, business partners, or vendors that may violate the laws or regulations of the jurisdictions in which we operate. Furthermore, there has been increased scrutiny of company-sponsored patient assistance programs, including co-pay assistance programs, and donations to third-party charities that provide such assistance. There has also been enhanced scrutiny by governments of reimbursement support offerings, clinical education programs and promotional speaker programs. Regardless of whether we have complied with the law, a government investigation could impact our business practices, harm our reputation, divert the attention of management, increase our expenses, and reduce the availability of foundation support for our patients who need assistance.
Violations of fraud and abuse laws may be punishable by criminal and/or civil sanctions, including penalties, fines and/or exclusion or suspension from federal and state healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and debarment from contracting with the U.S. government. In addition, private individuals have the ability to bring actions on behalf of the U.S. government under the federal FCA as well as under the false claims laws of several states. Neither the U.S. government nor the U.S. courts have provided definitive guidance on the applicability of fraud and abuse laws to our business. Law enforcement authorities are increasingly focused on enforcing these laws, and it is possible that some of our practices may be challenged under these laws. Efforts to ensure that our business arrangements with third parties will comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations will involve substantial costs. It is possible that governmental authorities will conclude that our business practices may not comply with current or future statutes, regulations or case law involving applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not successful in defending ourselves or asserting our rights, those actions could have a significant impact on our business, including the imposition of civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, disgorgement, monetary fines, possible exclusion from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs, contractual damages, individual imprisonment, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings, and curtailment or restructuring of our operations, as well as additional reporting obligations and oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or other agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws. Furthermore, if any of the physicians or other providers or entities with whom we do business are found to be not in compliance with applicable laws, they may be subject to criminal, civil or administrative sanctions, including exclusions from government funded healthcare programs, which may adversely affect our business.
If we fail to comply with our reporting and payment obligations under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program or other governmental pricing programs, we could be subject to additional reimbursement requirements, penalties, sanctions and fines, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
We participate in the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, the 340B program, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Supply Schedule (“FSS”) pricing program, and the Tricare Retail Pharmacy program, which require us to disclose average manufacturer pricing, and, in the future may require us to report the average sales price for certain of our drugs to the Medicare program. Pricing and rebate calculations vary across products and programs, are complex, and are often subject to interpretation by us, governmental or regulatory agencies and the courts. Furthermore, regulatory and legislative changes, and judicial rulings relating to these programs and policies (including coverage expansion), have increased and will continue to increase our costs and the complexity of compliance, have been and will continue to be time-consuming to implement, and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, particularly if CMS or another agency challenges the approach we take in our implementation. For example, in the case of our Medicaid pricing data, if we become aware that our reporting for a prior quarter was incorrect or has changed as a result of recalculation of the pricing data, we are generally obligated to resubmit the corrected data for up to three years after those data originally were due. Such restatements increase our costs and could result in an overage or underage in our rebate liability for past quarters. Price recalculations also may affect the ceiling price at which we are required to offer our products under the 340B program and give rise to an obligation to refund entities participating in the 340B program for overcharges during past quarters impacted by a price recalculation.
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Civil monetary penalties can be applied if we are found to have knowingly submitted any false price or product information to the government, if we are found to have made a misrepresentation in the reporting of our average sales price, if we fail to submit the required price data on a timely basis, or if we are found to have charged 340B covered entities more than the statutorily mandated ceiling price. Additionally, our agreement to participate in the 340B program or our Medicaid drug rebate agreement could be terminated, in which case federal payments may not be available under Medicaid or Medicare Part D for our covered outpatient drugs. Additionally, if we overcharge the government in connection with our arrangements with FSS or Tricare Retail Pharmacy, we are required to refund the difference to the government. Failure to make necessary disclosures and/or to identify contract overcharges can result in allegations against us under the FCA and other laws and regulations. Unexpected refunds to the government, and responding to a government investigation or enforcement action, would be expensive and time-consuming, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
Further, legislation may be introduced that, if passed, would, among other things, further expand the 340B program to additional covered entities or would require participating manufacturers to agree to provide 340B discounted pricing on drugs used in an inpatient setting, and any additional future changes to the definition of average manufacturer price or the Medicaid rebate amount could affect our 340B ceiling price calculations and negatively impact our results of operations. Additionally, certain pharmaceutical manufacturers are involved in ongoing litigation regarding contract pharmacy arrangements under the 340B program. The outcome of those judicial proceedings and the potential impact on the way in which manufacturers extend discounts to covered entities through contract pharmacies remain uncertain.
The approval processes of regulatory authorities in the United States, China, Europe and other comparable regulatory authorities are lengthy, time consuming, costly, and inherently unpredictable. If we experience delays or are ultimately unable to obtain regulatory approval for our drug candidates, our business will be substantially harmed.
Before obtaining regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of any drug candidate for a target indication, we must demonstrate in preclinical studies and well-controlled clinical trials, and, with respect to approval in the U.S., to the satisfaction of the FDA, that the drug candidate is safe and effective, or the biologic drug candidate is safe, pure, and potent, for use for that target indication and that the manufacturing facilities, processes and controls are adequate. In addition to preclinical and clinical data, the new drug application (“NDA”) or biologics license application (“BLA”) must include comprehensive information regarding the chemistry, manufacturing and controls (“CMC”) for the drug candidate. If we submit an NDA or BLA to the FDA, we cannot be certain that a submission will be accepted for filing and review by the FDA.
Regulatory authorities outside of the U.S., such as the NMPA and European Medicines Agency (“EMA”), also have requirements for approval of medicines for commercial sale with which we must comply prior to marketing in those areas. Regulatory requirements, approval processes and review periods can vary from country to country and could delay or prevent the introduction of our drug candidates. Clinical trials conducted in one country may not be accepted by regulatory authorities in other countries, and obtaining regulatory approval in one country does not mean that regulatory approval will be obtained in any other country. Seeking regulatory approvals outside of the U.S. could require additional nonclinical studies or clinical trials, which could be costly and time consuming. For all of these reasons, we may not obtain regulatory approvals on a timely basis, if at all.
The processes required to obtain approval by the FDA, the NMPA, the EMA, and other comparable regulatory authorities are complex, costly, unpredictable and typically take many years following the commencement of preclinical studies and clinical trials and depend on numerous factors, including the substantial discretion of the regulatory authorities. Regulatory approval is never guaranteed. Furthermore, we have limited experience in obtaining regulatory approvals for our drug candidates, including preparing the required materials for regulatory submission and navigating the regulatory approval process. As a result, our ability to successfully obtain regulatory approval for our drug candidates may involve more inherent risk, take longer, and cost more than it would if we were a company with substantial experience in obtaining regulatory approvals.
Our drug candidates could be delayed or fail to receive regulatory approval for many reasons, including:
failure to begin or complete clinical trials due to disagreements with regulatory authorities;
failure to demonstrate that a drug candidate is safe and effective or that a biologic candidate is safe, pure, and potent for its proposed indication;
failure of clinical trial results to meet the level of statistical significance required for approval;
reporting or data integrity issues related to our clinical trials;
disagreement with our interpretation of data from preclinical studies or clinical trials;
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changes in approval policies or regulations that render our preclinical and clinical data insufficient for approval or require us to amend our clinical trial protocols;
regulatory requests for additional analyses, reports, data, nonclinical studies and clinical trials, or questions regarding interpretations of data and results and the emergence of new information regarding our drug candidates or other products;
failure to satisfy regulatory conditions regarding endpoints, patient population, available therapies and other requirements for our clinical trials in order to support marketing approval on an accelerated basis or at all;
a delay in or the inability of health authorities to complete regulatory inspections of our development activities, regulatory filings or manufacturing operations, whether as a result of a global pandemic or other reasons, or our failure to satisfactorily complete such inspections;
our failure to conduct a clinical trial in accordance with regulatory requirements or our clinical trial protocols; and
clinical sites, investigators or other participants in our clinical trials deviating from a trial protocol, failing to conduct the trial in accordance with regulatory requirements, or dropping out of a trial.
For example, in 2022, the FDA extended the Prescription Drug User Fee Act goal date for the supplemental new drug application (“sNDA”) for BRUKINSA as a treatment for adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma by three months, to allow time to review additional clinical data submitted by us, which was deemed a major amendment to the sNDA. Additionally, in 2022, the FDA deferred action on the BLA for tislelizumab as a second-line treatment for patients with unresectable or metastatic ESCC, citing only the inability to complete inspections due to COVID-19 related restrictions on travel.
Our development activities, regulatory filings and manufacturing operations also could be harmed or delayed by a shutdown of the U.S. government, including the FDA, or governments and regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions. If the FDA or other health authorities are delayed or unable to complete required regulatory inspections of our development activities, regulatory filings or manufacturing operations due to government shutdowns, public health crises, or other reasons, or we do not satisfactorily complete such inspections, our business could be materially harmed.
Delays in the completion of a clinical trial of any of our drug candidates will increase our costs, slow down our drug development and approval process, and jeopardize our ability to commence product sales and generate revenues for that candidate. Any of these occurrences may harm our business, financial condition and prospects significantly. In addition, many of the factors that cause, or lead to, a delay in the commencement or completion of clinical trials may also ultimately lead to the denial of regulatory approval of our drug candidates.
We are currently conducting and may in the future conduct clinical trials for our drug candidates outside the U.S., and the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities may not accept data from such trials.
We are currently conducting and may in the future conduct clinical trials for our drug candidates outside the U.S., including in China. The acceptance of data from clinical trials conducted outside the U.S. or another jurisdiction by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority may be subject to certain conditions or may not be accepted at all. The FDA will generally not consider the data from a foreign clinical trial not conducted under an IND unless (i) the trial was well-designed and well-conducted in accordance with good clinical practice (“GCP”) requirements, including requirements for the design, conduct, performance, monitoring, auditing, recording, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials in a way that provides assurance that the data and reported results are credible and accurate and that the rights, safety, and well-being of trial subjects are protected, and (ii) the FDA is able to validate the data from the trial through an onsite inspection, if necessary. In cases where data from foreign clinical trials are intended to serve as the sole basis for marketing approval in the U.S., the FDA will generally not approve the application on the basis of foreign data alone unless (i) the data are applicable to the U.S. population and U.S. medical practice; (ii) the trials were performed by clinical investigators of recognized competence; and (iii) the data may be considered valid without the need for an on-site inspection by the FDA or, if the FDA considers such an inspection to be necessary, the FDA is able to validate the data through an on-site inspection or other appropriate means. Additionally, the FDA’s clinical trial requirements, including sufficient size of patient populations and statistical powering must be met. Many foreign regulatory authorities have similar approval requirements. There can be no assurance that the FDA or any comparable foreign regulatory authority will accept data from trials conducted outside of the U.S. or the applicable jurisdiction. If the FDA or any comparable foreign regulatory authority does not accept such data, it would result in the need for additional trials, which could be costly and time-consuming, and which may result in drug candidates that we may develop not receiving approval for commercialization in the applicable jurisdiction.
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Our medicines and any future approved drug candidates will be subject to ongoing regulatory obligations and continued regulatory review, which may result in significant additional expense and we may be subject to penalties if we fail to comply with regulatory requirements or experience unanticipated problems with our medicines and drug candidates.
Our medicines and any additional drug candidates that are approved will be subject to ongoing regulatory requirements for manufacturing, labeling, packaging, storage, advertising, promotion, sampling, record-keeping, conduct of post-marketing studies, and submission of safety, efficacy, and other post-marketing information, including both federal and state requirements in the U.S. and requirements of comparable regulatory authorities in China, Europe and other regions. As such, we and our collaborators will be subject to ongoing review and periodic inspections to assess compliance with applicable post-approval regulations. Additionally, to the extent we want to make certain changes to the approved medicines, product labeling, or manufacturing processes, we will need to submit new applications or supplements to regulatory authorities for approval.
Manufacturers and manufacturers’ facilities are required to comply with extensive FDA, NMPA, EMA and comparable regulatory authority requirements, including, in the U.S., ensuring that quality control and manufacturing procedures conform to GMP regulations. As such, we and our contract manufacturers are and will be subject to continual review and inspections to assess compliance with GMP and adherence to commitments made in any NDA, BLA or other marketing application, and previous responses to any inspection observations. Accordingly, we and others with whom we work must continue to expend time, money and effort in all areas of regulatory compliance, including manufacturing, production and quality control. The failure to comply with these requirements could have a material adverse effect on our business. For example, in 2020, the NMPA suspended the importation, sales and use of ABRAXANE in China previously supplied to us by BMS, and the drug was subsequently recalled by BMS. This suspension was based on inspection findings at BMS’s contract manufacturing facility in the U.S.
The regulatory approvals for our medicines and any approvals that we receive for our drug candidates are and may be subject to limitations on the approved indicated uses for which the medicine may be marketed or to the conditions of approval, which could adversely affect the medicine’s commercial potential or contain requirements for potentially costly post-marketing testing and surveillance to monitor the safety and efficacy of the medicine or drug candidate. Failure to exhibit due diligence when conducting post-marketing requirements could result in withdrawal of approval for products. The FDA, NMPA, EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may also require a Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategy (“REMS”) program or comparable program as a condition of approval of our drug candidates or following approval. In addition, if the FDA, NMPA, EMA or a comparable regulatory authority approves our drug candidates, we will have to comply with requirements including, for example, submissions of safety and other post-marketing information and reports, establishment registration, as well as continued compliance with GMP and GCP for any clinical trials that we conduct post-approval.
The FDA, NMPA, EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may seek to impose a consent decree or withdraw marketing approval if compliance with regulatory requirements is not maintained or if problems occur after the drug reaches the market. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with our medicines or drug candidates or with our drug’s manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in revisions to the approved labeling to add new safety information; imposition of post-market studies or clinical studies to assess new safety risks; or imposition of distribution restrictions or other restrictions under a REMS program. Other potential consequences include, among other things:
restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of our medicines, withdrawal of the product from the market, or voluntary or mandatory product recalls;
fines, untitled or warning letters, or holds on clinical trials;
refusal by the FDA, NMPA, EMA or comparable regulatory authorities to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications filed by us or suspension or revocation of license approvals or withdrawal of approvals;
product seizure or detention, or refusal to permit the import or export of our medicines and drug candidates; and
injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.
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The FDA, NMPA, EMA and other regulatory authorities strictly regulate the marketing, labeling, advertising and promotion of products that are placed on the market. Drugs may be promoted only for their approved indications and for use in accordance with the provisions of the approved label. The FDA, NMPA, EMA and other regulatory authorities actively enforce the laws and regulations prohibiting the promotion of off-label uses, and a company that is found to have improperly promoted off-label uses may be subject to significant liability. The policies of the FDA, NMPA, EMA and of other regulatory authorities may change and additional government regulations may be enacted that could prevent, limit or delay regulatory approval of our drug candidates. We cannot predict the likelihood, nature or extent of government regulation that may arise from future legislation or administrative action, either in the U.S. or abroad, particularly in China, where the regulatory environment is constantly evolving. If we are slow or unable to adapt to changes in existing requirements or the adoption of new requirements or policies, or if we are not able to maintain regulatory compliance, we may lose any regulatory approval that we may have obtained and we may not achieve or sustain profitability.
In addition, if we obtain accelerated approval or conditional approval of any of our drug candidates, as we have done with the accelerated approval of BRUKINSA in the U.S. and China and certain approvals of tislelizumab, PARTRUVIX, XGEVA, BLINCYTO, KYPROLIS and QARZIBA in China, we will be required to conduct a confirmatory study to verify the predicted clinical benefit and may also be required to conduct post-marketing safety studies. The Food and Drug Omnibus Reform Act of 2022 (“FDORA”) granted the FDA the authority to require, as appropriate, that a post-approval confirmatory study or studies be underway prior to granting accelerated approval or within a specified time period after the date accelerated approval is granted. FDORA also gave the FDA increased authority to withdraw approval of a drug granted accelerated approval on an expedited basis if the sponsor fails to conduct such studies in a timely manner or such studies fail to verify clinical benefit. While operating under accelerated approval, we will be subject to certain restrictions that we would not be subject to upon receiving regular approval. For example, the FDA generally requires that all advertising and promotional materials be submitted to the FDA for review prior to dissemination or publication for products receiving accelerated approval, which could adversely impact the timing of the commercial launch of the product. However, the provisions for patent term extension are unclear and/or remain subject to the approval of implementing regulations that are still in draft form or have not yet been proposed, leading to uncertainty about their scope and implementation. Until the relevant implementing regulations for patent term extension in the Amended PRC Patent Law are implemented, and until data exclusivity is adopted and implemented, we may be subject to earlier generic or biosimilar competition in China than in the U.S. and other jurisdictions with stronger regulatory data protection for pharmaceutical products.
Undesirable adverse events caused by our medicines and drug candidates could interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials, delay or prevent regulatory approval, limit the commercial profile of an approved label, or result in significant negative consequences following any regulatory approval.
Undesirable adverse events (“AEs”) caused by our medicines and drug candidates could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and could result in a more restrictive label or the delay or denial of regulatory approval, or could result in limitations or withdrawal following approvals. If the conduct or results of our trials or patient experience following approval reveal a high and unacceptable severity or prevalence of AEs, our trials could be suspended or terminated and regulatory authorities could order us to cease further development of, or deny approval of, our drug candidates or require us to cease commercialization following approval.
As is typical in the development of pharmaceutical products, drug-related AEs and serious AEs (“SAEs”) have been reported in our clinical trials. Some of these events have led to patient deaths. Drug-related AEs or SAEs could affect patient recruitment or the ability of enrolled subjects to complete the trial and could result in product liability claims. Any of these occurrences may harm our reputation, business, financial condition and prospects significantly. In our periodic and current reports filed with the SEC and our press releases and scientific and medical presentations released from time to time, we disclose clinical results for our drug candidates, including the occurrence of AEs and SAEs. Each such disclosure speaks only as of the date of the data cutoff used in such report, and we undertake no duty to update such information unless required by applicable law. Also, a number of immune-related adverse events (“IRAEs”) have been associated with treatment with checkpoint inhibitors such as tislelizumab, including immune-mediated pneumonitis, colitis, hepatitis, endocrinopathies, nephritis and renal dysfunction, skin adverse reactions, and encephalitis. These IRAEs may be more common in certain patient populations (potentially including elderly patients) and may be exacerbated when checkpoint inhibitors are combined with other therapies.
Additionally, undesirable side effects caused by our medicines and drug candidates, or caused by our medicines and drug candidates when used in combination with other drugs, could potentially cause significant negative consequences, including:
regulatory authorities could delay or halt pending clinical trials;
we may suspend, delay or alter development of the drug candidate or marketing of the medicine;
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regulatory authorities may withdraw approvals or revoke licenses of the medicine, or we may determine to do so even if not required;
regulatory authorities may require additional warnings on the label;
we may be required to implement a REMS for the drug, as is the case with REVLIMID, or, if a REMS is already in place, to incorporate additional requirements under the REMS, or to develop a similar strategy as required by a regulatory authority;
we may be required to conduct post-marketing studies; and
we could be sued and held liable for harm caused to subjects or patients.
Any of these events could prevent us from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of the particular drug or drug candidate, and could significantly harm our business, results of operations, financial condition, and prospects.
If safety, efficacy, or other issues arise with any medical product that is used in combination with our medicines, we may be unable to market such medicine or may experience significant regulatory delays or supply shortages, and our business could be materially harmed.
We plan to develop certain of our medicines and drug candidates for use as a combination therapy. If a regulatory authority revokes its approval of the other therapeutic that we use in combination with our medicines or drug candidates, we will not be able to market our medicines or drug candidates in combination with such revoked therapeutic. If safety or efficacy issues arise with these or other therapeutics that we seek to combine with our medicines and drug candidates in the future, we may experience significant regulatory delays, and we may be required to redesign or terminate the applicable clinical trials. In addition, if manufacturing or other issues result in a supply shortage of any component of our combination medicines or drug candidates, we may not be able to complete clinical development of our drug candidates on our current timeline or at all, or we may experience disruptions in the commercialization of our approved medicines. For example, we have in-licensed drug candidates from third parties to conduct clinical trials in combination with our drug candidates. We may rely on those third parties to manufacture the in-licensed drug candidates and may not have control over their manufacturing process. If these third parties encounter any manufacturing difficulties, disruptions or delays and are not able to supply sufficient quantities of drug candidates, our drug combination study program may be delayed. For additional information, please see the section of this Annual Report titled “Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties—We rely on third parties to manufacture some of our commercial and clinical drug supplies. Our business could be harmed if those third parties fail to provide us with sufficient quantities of product or fail to do so at acceptable quality levels or prices.”
Recently enacted and future legislation and regulations may increase the difficulty and cost for us to obtain regulatory approval of and commercialize our medicines and drug candidates and affect the prices we may obtain.
In the U.S., China, Europe and some other jurisdictions, there have been a number of legislative and regulatory changes and proposed changes regarding healthcare that could prevent or delay regulatory approval of our drug candidates, restrict or regulate post-approval activities and affect our ability to profitably sell our medicines and any drug candidates for which we obtain regulatory approval. We expect that healthcare reform measures may result in more rigorous coverage criteria and in additional downward pressure on the price that we receive for any approved medicine. For additional information, please see the section of this Annual Report titled “Part I—Item 1—Business—Government Regulation—Healthcare Reform.”
We cannot predict the initiatives that may be adopted in the future. The continuing efforts of the government, insurance companies, managed care organizations and other payors of healthcare services to contain or reduce costs of healthcare and/or impose price controls may adversely affect the demand for our product candidates, if we obtain regulatory approval; our ability to set a price that we believe is fair for our approved products; our ability to generate revenue and achieve or maintain profitability; the level of taxes that we are required to pay; and the availability of capital.
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Risks Related to Our Financial Position and Need for Additional Capital
We have incurred significant net losses since our inception and expect to incur net losses in the future and may not become profitable.
Investment in pharmaceutical drug development is highly capital-intensive and speculative. It entails substantial upfront capital expenditures and significant risk that a drug candidate will fail to gain regulatory approval or become commercially viable. We continue to incur significant expenses related to our ongoing operations. As a result, we have incurred losses in most periods since our inception, other than periods when we were profitable due to revenue recognized from up-front license fees from collaboration agreements or the settlement of legal proceedings. As of December 31, 2023, we had an accumulated deficit of $8.0 billion. Substantially all of our operating losses have resulted from costs incurred in connection with our research and development programs and from selling, general and administrative expenses associated with our operations.
We expect to continue to incur losses in the future, although we expect these losses to decrease in the near term as product sales growth exceeds expense growth. We expect expenses to continue to increase as we continue to expand our development of, and seek regulatory approvals for, our drug candidates, and our manufacturing facilities, commercialize our medicines and launch new medicines, if approved, maintain and expand regulatory approvals, contribute up to $1.25 billion to the global development of a portfolio of Amgen pipeline assets under our collaboration agreement, and commercialize the medicines that we have in-licensed. In addition, we will continue to incur costs associated with operating as a public company. The size of our future net losses will depend, in part, on the number and scope of our drug development programs and the associated costs of those programs, the cost of our manufacturing activities, the cost of commercializing our approved products, our ability to generate revenues and the timing and amount of milestones and other payments we make or receive with arrangements with third parties. If we fail to achieve market acceptance for our medicines or if promising drug candidates fail in clinical trials or do not gain regulatory approval, or if approved, fail to achieve market acceptance, we may never become profitable. Even if we achieve profitability in the future, we may not be able to sustain profitability in subsequent periods. Our failure to become and remain profitable would decrease the value of our company and could impair our ability to raise capital, maintain our research, development, manufacturing and commercialization efforts, expand our business or continue our operations.
We may need to obtain additional financing to fund our operations, and if we are unable to obtain such financing, we may be unable to complete the development of our drug candidates or achieve profitability.
Our portfolio of drug candidates will require the completion of clinical development, regulatory review, scale up and availability of manufacturing resources, significant marketing efforts and substantial investment before they can provide us with product sales revenue. Additionally, we are investing in the manufacturing and commercialization of our approved medicines. Our operations have consumed substantial amounts of cash since inception. Our operating activities used $1.2 billion, $1.5 billion and $1.3 billion of net cash during the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively. We recorded negative net cash flows from operating activities in 2023, 2022 and 2021 primarily due to our net losses of $0.9 billion, $2.0 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively. Although we recorded positive net cash flows from operating activities in 2017, primarily due to the upfront fees received from the BMS collaboration, we cannot assure you that we will be able to generate positive cash flows from operating activities in the future.
Our liquidity and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected by the negative net cash flows, and we cannot assure you that we will have sufficient cash from other sources to fund our operations. If we resort to other financing activities to generate additional cash, we will incur financing costs and we cannot guarantee that we will be able to obtain the financing on terms acceptable to us, or at all, and if we raise financing by issuing further equity securities your interest in our company may be diluted. If we have negative operating cash flows in the future, our liquidity and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected.
Since September 2017, we have generated revenues from the sale of medicines in China licensed from BMS, and since the fourth quarter of 2019, we have generated revenues from our internally developed medicines. These revenues are not sufficient to support our operations. Although it is difficult to predict our liquidity requirements, based upon our current operating plan, we believe that we have sufficient cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments to meet our projected operating requirements for at least the next 12 months. However, our existing cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments may not be sufficient to enable us to complete all global development or launch all of our current medicines and drug candidates for the currently anticipated indications and to invest in additional programs. Accordingly, we may require further funding through public or private offerings, debt financing, collaboration and licensing arrangements or other sources.
With uncertainty in the capital markets, adequate additional funding may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all. If we are unable to raise capital when needed or on attractive terms, we would be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate our research and development programs or commercialization efforts. Our inability to obtain additional funding when we need it could seriously harm our business.
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Raising additional capital may cause dilution to our shareholders, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights to our technologies or drug candidates.
We may seek additional funding through a combination of equity offerings, debt financings, collaborations and licensing arrangements. To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, your ownership interest will be diluted, and the terms may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect your rights as a holder of our shares. The incurrence of additional indebtedness or the issuance of certain equity securities could result in increased fixed payment obligations and could also result in certain additional restrictive covenants, such as limitations on our ability to incur additional debt or issue additional equity, limitations on our ability to acquire or license intellectual property rights and other operating restrictions that could adversely impact our ability to conduct our business. In addition, issuance of additional equity securities, or the possibility of such issuance, may cause the market price of our shares to decline. In the event that we enter into collaborations or licensing arrangements in order to raise capital, we may be required to accept unfavorable terms, including relinquishing or licensing to a third party on unfavorable terms our rights to technologies or drug candidates that we otherwise would seek to develop or commercialize ourselves or potentially reserve for future potential arrangements when we might be able to achieve more favorable terms.
Fluctuations in exchange rates could result in foreign currency exchange losses and could materially reduce the value of your investment.
We incur portions of our expenses, and derive revenues, in currencies other than the U.S. dollar or Hong Kong dollar, in particular, the RMB, the Euro, and Australian dollar. As a result, we are exposed to foreign currency exchange risk as our results of operations and cash flows are subject to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. Fluctuations in currencies may be affected by, among other things, changes in political and economic conditions and the foreign exchange policies proposed or adopted by certain governments. We do not regularly engage in hedging transactions to protect against uncertainty in future exchange rates between particular foreign currencies and the U.S. dollar. Fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar against currencies in countries in which we operate could have a negative impact on our results of operations. We cannot predict the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, and foreign currency fluctuations in the future may adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
Substantially all of our revenues are denominated in U.S. dollars and RMB, our costs are denominated in U.S. dollars, Australian dollars and RMB, and a large portion of our financial assets and a significant portion of our debt is denominated in U.S. dollars and RMB. To the extent that we need to convert U.S. dollars into RMB for our operations, appreciation of the RMB against the U.S. dollar would have an adverse effect on the RMB amount we would receive. Conversely, if we decide to convert RMB into U.S. dollars for the purpose of making payments for dividends or for other business purposes, appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the RMB would have a negative effect on the U.S. dollar amount we would receive.
In addition, there are limited instruments available for us to reduce our foreign currency risk exposure at reasonable costs. Furthermore, we are also currently required to obtain approval from or registration with appropriate government authorities or designated banks before converting significant sums of foreign currencies into RMB. All of these factors could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects, and could reduce the value of, and any dividends payable on, our shares in foreign currency terms.

Our business, profitability and liquidity may be adversely affected by deterioration in the credit quality of, or defaults by, our distributors and customers or by actual events or concerns involving the liquidity, default, or non-performance of financial institutions, including the U.S. government, and an impairment in the carrying value of our short-term investments could negatively affect our consolidated results of operations.
We are exposed to the risk that our distributors and customers may default on their obligations to us as a result of bankruptcy, lack of liquidity, operational failure or other reasons. As we continue to expand our business, the amount and duration of our credit exposure will be expected to increase, as will the breadth of the entities to which we have credit exposure. Although we regularly review our credit exposure to specific distributors and customers that we believe may present credit concerns, default risks may arise from events or circumstances that are difficult to detect or foresee.
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Furthermore, actual events involving reduced liquidity, defaults, non-performance or other adverse developments that affect financial institutions, or concerns or rumors about any such events, have in the past and may in the future lead to market-wide liquidity problems. For example, in March 2023, Silvergate Bank, La Jolla, California, announced its decision to voluntarily liquidate its assets and wind down operations, Silicon Valley Bank, Santa Clara, California (“SVB”), was closed by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, and Signature Bank, New York, New York, was closed by the New York State Department of Financial Services, and, in each case the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) was appointed as receiver. Since then, additional financial institutions have experienced similar failures and have been placed into receivership. These events lead to volatility and declines in the market for bank stock and questions regarding confidence in depository institutions. There is no guarantee that the federal government will guarantee depositors in the event of a future bank closure. Investor concerns regarding the U.S. or international financial systems could result in less favorable commercial financing terms, including higher interest rates or costs and tighter financial and operating covenants, or systemic limitations on access to credit and liquidity sources, thereby making it more difficult for us to acquire financing on acceptable terms or at all. Any decline in available funding or access to our cash and liquidity resources could adversely impact our ability to meet our operating expenses or result in breaches of our financial or contractual obligations which could have material adverse impact on our liquidity and our projected business operations, financial condition and results of operations.
As a result of uncertain political, credit and financial market conditions, including the potential of the U.S. government to default on the payment of its obligations for a period of time due to federal debt ceiling limitations or other unresolved political issues, investments in financial instruments issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government pose credit default and liquidity risks. A payment default or delay by the U.S. government, or continued uncertainty surrounding the U.S. debt ceiling, could result in a variety of adverse effects for financial markets, market participants and U.S. and global economic conditions. In addition, U.S. debt ceiling and budget deficit concerns have increased the possibility a downgrade in the credit rating of the U.S. government and could result in economic slowdowns or a recession in the U.S. No assurance can be made that losses or significant deterioration in the fair value of our U.S. government issued or guaranteed investments will not occur. At December 31, 2023, we had approximately $1.1 billion invested in government money market funds, $2.6 million invested directly in U.S. Treasury securities, and $42.9 million invested in time deposits. Downgrades to the U.S. credit rating could affect the stability of securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government and the valuation or liquidity of our portfolio of such investment securities.
The carrying amounts of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and short-term investments represent the maximum amount of loss due to credit risk. We had cash and cash equivalents of $3.2 billion, restricted cash of $14.2 million and short-term investments of $2.6 million as of December 31, 2023, most of which are deposited in financial institutions outside of China. As required by the PRC securities laws, the net proceeds from our offering on the STAR Market of the Shanghai Stock Exchange (the “STAR Offering”) must be used in strict compliance with the planned uses as disclosed in the PRC prospectus for the STAR Offering as well as our proceeds management policy for the STAR Offering approved by our board of directors. Although our cash and cash equivalents in China are deposited with various major reputable financial institutions, the deposits placed with these financial institutions are not protected by statutory or commercial insurance. In the event of bankruptcy of one of these financial institutions, we may be unlikely to claim our deposits back in full.
As of December 31, 2023, our short-term investments consisted of U.S. Treasury securities. Although we believe that the U.S. Treasury securities are of high credit quality and continually monitor the credit worthiness of these institutions, concerns about, or a default by, one institution in the U.S. market, could lead to significant liquidity problems, losses or defaults by other institutions, which in turn could adversely affect us.
Failure to meet ESG expectations or standards or achieve our ESG goals could adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition or stock price.
There has been an increased focus from regulators and stakeholders on environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) matters, including greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related risks; human capital management; diversity, equity, and inclusion; responsible sourcing and supply chain; human rights and social responsibility; and corporate governance and oversight. Given our commitment to ESG as part of our long-term strategy, we actively manage these issues and have established and publicly announced certain goals which we may refine in the future. These goals reflect our current plans and aspirations and are not guarantees that we will be able to achieve them. Evolving stakeholder expectations and our efforts and ability to manage these issues and accomplish our goals present numerous operational, regulatory, reputational, financial, legal, and other risks, any of which may be outside of our control or could have a material adverse impact on our business, including on our stock price. Further, there is uncertainty around the accounting standards and climate-related disclosures associated with emerging ESG laws and reporting requirements and the related costs to comply with the emerging regulations. Our failure or perceived failure to achieve our ESG goals or comply with ESG regulations could expose us to increased scrutiny from the investment community and enforcement authorities. Our reputation also may be harmed by the perceptions that our stakeholders have about our action or inaction on ESG-related issues.
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Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property
If we are unable to obtain and maintain patent protection for our medicines and drug candidates through intellectual property rights, or if the scope of such intellectual property rights is not sufficiently broad, third parties may compete against us.
Our success depends in large part on our ability to protect our valuable innovations including medicines, drug candidates and proprietary technologies by obtaining, maintaining and enforcing our intellectual property rights, including patent rights. We seek to protect our innovations that we consider commercially important by filing patent applications in the U.S., the PRC, Europe and other territories, or relying on trade secrets or regulatory exclusivities.

However, filing, prosecuting and maintaining patents/patent applications on our medicines or drug candidates in all countries throughout the world could be prohibitively expensive. The patentability requirements across countries vary and the laws of different countries do not provide patent protection to pharmaceutical inventions to the same extent. Therefore, our patent applications may not be granted in all countries and the issued patents can have various scope and strength throughout the world. In addition, different countries may provide varying regulatory exclusivities to pharmaceutical drugs, and some countries provide no regulatory exclusivities. Consequently, we may not be able to have the same protection or exclusivities to our medicines or drug candidates in all countries throughout the world. Further, given the amount of time required for the development, testing and regulatory review of new drug candidates, patents protecting such drug candidates might expire before or shortly after such drug candidates are commercialized. As a result, our patents and patent applications may not provide us with sufficient length of exclusivities to our medicines or drug candidates. The issued patents and pending patent applications, if issued, for our medicines and drug candidates are expected to expire on various dates as described in “Part I—Item 1—Business—Intellectual Property” of this Annual Report. Upon the expiration of our issued patents or patents that may be issued from our pending patent applications, we may no longer have exclusivities on the corresponding medicines or drug candidates.
Moreover, issued patents may be invalidated for a number of reasons, including known or unknown prior art, deficiencies in the patent applications or the lack of novelty or inventive step of the underlying invention or technology.
Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our competitive position, business, financial conditions, results of operations, and prospects.
We may become involved in lawsuits to protect or enforce our intellectual property, which could be expensive, time consuming and unsuccessful. Our patent rights relating to our medicines and drug candidates could be found invalid or unenforceable if challenged in court or before government patent authorities.
Third parties may infringe our patent rights or misappropriate or otherwise violate our intellectual property rights. Litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce or defend our intellectual property rights or to protect our trade secrets. This can be expensive and time consuming. Any claims that we assert against perceived infringers could also provoke these parties to challenge the validity or enforceability of our patents.
For example, when a generic drug company files an Abbreviated New Drug Application (“ANDA”) with the FDA seeking approval to market a generic version of any of our products before the expiration of Orange Book listed patents (“OB Patents”) covering such products, this will most likely trigger ANDA litigation. The success of ANDA litigation depends on the strength of the OB Patents and our ability to prove infringement. The outcome of ANDA litigation is inherently uncertain and may result in potential loss of market exclusivity for our products which may have a significant financial impact on product revenue.
Specifically, in patent litigation, defendants often challenge the validity and/or enforceability of the asserted patents, and there are numerous potential grounds upon which a patent can be found invalid and/or unenforceable. The validity of a patent can also be challenged before administrative bodies in the U.S. or abroad, even outside the context of litigation. Such mechanisms include ex parte re-examination, inter partes review, post-grant review, derivation and equivalent proceedings in non-U.S. jurisdictions, such as opposition proceedings. Such proceedings could result in revocation or amendment to our patents in such a way that they no longer cover and protect our medicines or drug candidates. The outcome of such proceedings is inherently uncertain and may result in losing the patent protection on our medicines or drug candidates. Such a loss of patent protection could have a material adverse impact on our business.
If we are sued for infringing intellectual property rights of third parties, such litigation could be costly and time consuming and could prevent or delay us from developing or commercializing our medicines or drug candidates.
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We respect third parties’ valid intellectual property rights and diligently manage any freedom to operate risks associated with our medicines and drug candidates. Nevertheless, we bear the risk that we may sometimes be sued by third parties for patent infringement. We are aware of numerous issued patents and pending patent applications belonging to third parties that exist in fields of our medicines and drug candidates. There may also be third-party patents or patent applications of which we are currently unaware, and given the dynamic area in which we operate, additional patents are likely to be issued that relate to aspects of our business. There is a substantial amount of litigation and other claims and proceedings involving patent and other intellectual property rights in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries generally. As the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries expand and more patents are issued, the risk increases that our medicines and drug candidates may give rise to claims of infringement of the patent rights of others.
Third parties may assert that our products infringe their patents or other proprietary rights. For example, on June 13, 2023, Pharmacyclics LLC (“Pharmacyclics”) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against us and one of our subsidiaries, alleging that BRUKINSA infringes a Pharmacyclics’ patent issued on June 13, 2023. For additional information on this litigation, please see the section of this Annual Report titled “Legal Proceedings”. Defense of these claims, regardless of their merit, could involve substantial litigation expense and divert our technical personnel, management personnel, or both from their normal responsibilities. Even in the absence of litigation, we may seek to obtain licenses from third parties to avoid the risks of litigation, and if a license is available, it could impose costly royalty and other fees and expenses on us.
If third parties bring successful claims against us for infringement of their intellectual property rights, we may be subject to injunctive or other equitable relief, which could prevent us from developing and commercializing one or more of our medicines and drug candidates. In the event of a successful claim against us of infringement or misappropriation, or a settlement by us of any such claims, we may have to pay substantial damages, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees in the case of willful infringement, pay royalties or redesign our infringing medicines and drug candidates, which may be impossible or require substantial time and cost. In the event of an adverse result in any such litigation, or even in the absence of litigation, we may need to obtain licenses from third parties to advance our research or allow commercialization of our medicines or drug candidates, which could result in substantial upfront and/or royalty payment.
Changes in patent law could diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect our medicines or drug candidates.
The laws and regulations governing patents could change in unpredictable ways that would weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce our existing patents and patents that we might obtain in the future. There could be changes in the laws of the U.S. or foreign jurisdictions that may impact the value of our patent rights or our other intellectual property rights.
If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our trade secrets, our business and competitive position would be harmed. We may also be subject to claims that our employees have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of their former employers or collaboration partners.
In addition to our issued patent and pending patent applications, we rely on trade secrets, including unpatented know-how, technology and other proprietary information, to maintain our competitive position and to protect our medicines and drug candidates. We seek to protect these trade secrets, in part, by entering into non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with parties that have access to them, such as our employees, corporate collaborators, outside scientific collaborators, sponsored researchers, contract manufacturers, consultants, advisors and other third parties. We also enter into confidentiality and invention or patent assignment agreements with our employees and consultants. However, any of these parties may breach such agreements and disclose our proprietary information, and we may not be able to obtain adequate remedies for such breaches. Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret can be difficult, expensive and time- consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. If any of our trade secrets were to be lawfully obtained or independently developed by a competitor, we would have no right to prevent them from using that technology or information to compete with us and our competitive position would be harmed.
Furthermore, many of our employees, including our senior management, were previously employed at other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. Some of these employees, including members of our senior management, executed proprietary rights, non-disclosure and in some cases non-competition agreements in connection with their previous employment. Our employees may also have access to trade secrets of our collaboration partners. Although we try to ensure that our employees do not use the proprietary information or know-how of others in their work for us, we may be subject to claims that we or these employees have used or disclosed intellectual property, including trade secrets or other proprietary information, of any such employee’s former employer. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management.
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Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties
We rely on third parties to manufacture some of our commercial and clinical drug supplies. Our business could be harmed if those third parties fail to provide us with sufficient quantities of product or fail to do so at acceptable quality levels or prices.
Although we manufacture commercial supply of tislelizumab, zanubrutinib, and pamiparib at our manufacturing facilities in China, and are progressing towards the completion of our commercial-stage biologics manufacturing and clinical R&D center in New Jersey and a new small molecule manufacturing campus in Suzhou, China, we continue to rely on outside vendors to manufacture supplies and process some of our medicines and drug candidates. For example, we have entered into a commercial supply agreement for tislelizumab with Boehringer Ingelheim Biopharmaceuticals (China) Ltd. (“Boehringer Ingelheim”) and entered into a commercial supply agreement for BRUKINSA with Catalent Pharma Solutions, LLC (“Catalent”). In addition, we generally rely on our collaboration partners and their third-party manufacturers for supply of in-licensed medicines in China. We have limited experience in manufacturing or processing our medicines and drug candidates on a commercial scale. Additionally, we have limited experience in managing the manufacturing process, and our process may be more difficult or expensive than the approaches currently in use.
Although we intend to use our own manufacturing facilities, we also intend to use third parties as part of our manufacturing process and for the clinical and commercial supply of our medicines and drug candidates. Our anticipated reliance on a limited number of third-party manufacturers exposes us to the following risks: