Deals and Financings. Jiangsu Hengrui Pharma launched Luzsana Biotechnology, a US company with 11 of Hengrui's candidates initially and a goal of making Hengrui's most advanced medications affordable in global markets; Sichuan Kelun Pharma out-licensed ...
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Contents


Week in Review: Hengrui Launches US Subsidiary to Bring Novel Medicines to Global Markets

Written by Richard Daverman, PhD.

Deals and Financings

  • Jiangsu Hengrui Pharma launched Luzsana Biotechnology, a US company with 11 of Hengrui’s candidates initially and a goal of making Hengrui's most advanced medications affordable in global markets;
  • Sichuan Kelun Pharma out-licensed global rights (ex-China) for a large molecule candidate to Merck/MSD in a deal worth nearly $1.4 billion including $47 million in upfront payments;
  • Shanghai Laekna Therapeutics raised $61 million in a Series D financing to develop its next-gen cancer and liver disease medicines;
  • Shanghai Henlius Biotech signed a $55 million agreement with Eurofarma, a Brazil pharma, to out-license three biosimilar drugs in 16 Latin America countries;

Trials and Approvals

  • Shanghai Belief Biomed reported that positive results from an investigator-led clinical trial of its gene therapy for hemophilia B were published in The Lancet Haematology;
  • Germany’s Bayer AG and Merck/MSD were approved to launch a novel cardiovascular drug in China for patients with chronic heart failure;
  • Inmagene, a Shanghai-San Diego biopharma, was approved to start a Phase I US trial of its third-gen BTK inhibitor;
  • Shanghai Ascentage Pharma reported that olverembatinib, a cancer drug, effectively inhibited cytokine release storm in a preclinical test against the COVID omicron variant;
  • Green Valley Pharmaceuticals stopped the international Phase III trial of its Alzheimer’s disease treatment, citing difficulties caused by COVID and the “funding winter” for raising capital;
  • Zenas BioPharma filed a China IND for Phase I/II trials of a therapy for Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), an autoimmune disease.

Stock Symbols: (SHA: 600275) (HK: 2696) (XE: BAYN) (NYSE: MRK) (HK: 6855)

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Belief BioMed Reports Positive Data for Hemophilia Gene Therapy

Written by Richard Daverman, PhD.

Shanghai Belief Biomed reported positive results from an investigator-led clinical trial of its gene therapy for hemophilia B were published in The Lancet Haematology. In ten patients with moderate to severe hemophilia., there were no bleeding incidents during more than a year of follow-up after a one-time treatment with BBM-H901. The therapy was effective within 24 hours and did not cause significant side effects.  Belief Bio said the trial was the first intravenously injectable hemophilia B gene therapy product developed and tested in Asia. More details....

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Inmagene Approved to Start Phase I Trial of Novel BTK Inhibitor

Written by Richard Daverman, PhD.

Inmagene, a Shanghai- Diego biopharma, was approved to start a Phase I US trial of its third-gen BTK inhibitor. The company describes IMG-004 as a highly selective and brain permeable non-covalent, reversible small molecule inhibitor for inflammatory/autoimmune diseases that require long-term treatment. IMG-004 is one of four novel pre-clinical immunological candidates that Inmagene in-licensed from HutchMed last year in a deal worth up to $920 million. BTK, a non-receptor intracytoplasmic tyrosine kinase, is involved in the innate and adaptive immune responses of specific immune-mediated diseases. More details....

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Bayer/Merck Cardiovascular Drug Approved for China Use

Written by Richard Daverman, PhD.

Germany’s Bayer AG and Merck/MSD were approved to launch a novel cardiovascular drug in China. Verquvo™ (vericiguat) is a soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulator that is indicated to reduce the risk of hospitalization or IV diuretics in patients with symptomatic chronic HF and reduced ejection fraction. Patients are prescribed the drug following a decompensation event. Verquvo’s novel mechanism restores the deficient NO-sGC-cGMP pathway, which plays a critical role in the progression of heart failure by aggravating its symptoms. Verquvo was approved as an addition to standard-of-care. More details....

Stock Symbols: (XE: BAYN) (NYSE: MRK)

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Ascentage Oncology Drug Effective in Preclinical Tests for COVID Cytokine Storm

Written by Richard Daverman, PhD.

Shanghai Ascentage Pharma reported that olverembatinib effectively inhibited cytokine release storm in a preclinical test of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant. The study was conducted by researchers from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Olverembatinib is already approved in China for two forms of chronic myeloid leukemia. Although most COVID-19 patients develop only mild to moderate symptoms, 15-20% of them face the hyper-inflammation induced by a cytokine storm, which leads to respiratory failure. Ascentage said it anticipates follow-up studies of olverembatinib in patients with severe cases of COVID-19. More details....

Stock Symbols: (HK: 6855)

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More Recent Articles

Written by Richard Daverman, PhD.


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