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Week in Review: Fosun Pharma Acquires Majority Stake in China Vaccine Company for $682 Million

publication date: Oct 30, 2021
author/source: Richard Daverman, PhD

Deals and Financings

Shanghai Fosun Pharma (SHA: 600196; HK: 02196) announced a $628 million deal to acquire a 73% stake in Chengdu Antejin Biotech, a vaccine company (see story). Fosun paid $174 million to nine Antejin shareholders, and it contributed its own vaccine subsidiary, Dalian Aleph Biomedical at a value of $454 million, for the remainder. Antejin is developing a 13-valent pneumonia vaccine intended for infants, a competitor to Pfizer’s Prevnar 13. In the US, Pfizer’s Prevnar 20 was recently approved to launch while Antejin is developing a 24-valent pneumonia conjugate candidate.  

SPH SINE, a subsidiary of China's Shanghai Pharma, acquired greater China rights for two microbiome therapies from Korea's KoBioLabs in a $110 million deal (see story). SPH SINE made an upfront payment of $2.5 million, with the rest of the licensing fee payable for milestones. The two candidates are KBL697, which is aimed at psoriasis and IBD, and  KBL693, which is aimed at atopic dermatitis and asthma. Both products are preparing for US Phase II trials. KoBioLabs will transfer the technology for the two candidates to SPH SINE, which will be responsible for China trials and commercialization.  

Novadip Biosciences of Belgium raised $22 million in a Series B round from global investors including CR-CP Life Science Fund of Hong Kong (see story). Novadip is a clinical stage company developing products to regenerate impaired skeletal tissue. Its proprietary 3M3 platform is a 3-dimensional, extracellular matrix that uses adipose-derived stem cells to deliver growth factors and miRNAs that mimic natural healing. The company's lead candidate is an autologous bone product aimed at diseases that include congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia (CPT), a rare pediatric disease.  

Silenseed, a Tel Aviv RNAi company, raised $7.8 million from the Guangzhou Sino-Israel Bio-Industry Investment Fund to start a China JV (see story). Silenseed-China will own the rights to develop, market and sell Silenseed’s RNAi products in China. The Israeli company will use the capital to conduct a Phase III trial of its lead candidate, which targets the KRAS oncogene to treat pancreatic cancer. Silenseed's novel drug delivery platform enables the insertion of RNAi therapeutics directly into solid tumors. GIBF will own a 49% stake in the Silenseed Chinese subsidiary.  

SciNeuro, a Shanghai-Maryland CNS biopharma, formed a multi-program collaboration with Switzerland's Mabylon AG to discover auto-antibodies for neurological diseases (see story). The two companies will collaborate on targets that include TAR DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43) and Apolipoprotein E (APOE), which are potential treatments for ALS and Alzheimer’s disease. SciNeuro will have rights to develop and commercialize any products within Greater China with an option for global rights. Specific financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.  

CANbridge, a Beijing rare disease-focused biopharma, entered a research collaboration and license agreement with Scriptr Global to develop a gene therapy for dystrophinopathies (see story). Scriptr is a preclinical Cambridge MA company that develops therapies for dystrophinopathies based on its proprietary ribozyme-mediated RNA assembly technology, CANbridge will gain exclusive global rights to a gene therapy candidate that uses Scriptr’s Stitchr™ platform and is aimed at X-linked genetic muscular diseases, which include several rare childhood diseases.  

Deals and Financings 

Suzhou Alphamab Oncology (HK: 9966) started a China Phase II/III trial of its PD-L1/CTLA-4 bispecific antibody in patients with NSCLC who progressed after an anti-PD-L1 treatment (see story). In the Phase III part of the trial, Alphamab will recruit about 486 patients aimed at OS and PFS as co-primary endpoints. In the trial, KN046 will be combined with lenvatinib and compared to docetaxel. The BLA for the PD-L1 alone has been accepted in China for microsatellite instability-high (MSI_H) and granted priority review.  

Suzhou Innovent (HK: 01801) and Shenzhen NeoCura will test a combination of Innovent's PD-1, sintilimab, and NeoCura's individual neoantigen mRNA vaccine in patients with solid tumor cancers (see story). NeoCura's NEO_PLIN2101, a mRNA vaccine encoded corresponding neoantigen, is synthesized in vitro and vaccinated into patients to activate tumor-specific T cells. The company believes its patient-based vaccine has better specificity and immunogenicity than other therapies. Innovent will conduct a China trial to assess the safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and preliminary efficacy of the combination therapy.  

CANbridge, a Beijing rare disease/cancer biopharma, dosed the first patient in a China Phase II trial in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (see story). CAN008 is a CD95 Fc fusion protein that blocks the interaction between CD95 receptor and its cognate ligand CD95L by binding to CD95L. The trial will investigate efficacy and explore select biomarkers. CANbridge in-licensed greater China rights to the anti-TNF drug candidate, which has been granted orphan drug designation in the US and EU, from Germany's Apogenix.  

Angel Pharma, a Jiaxing-Los Angeles company, was approved to start China clinical trials of a small molecule ITK inhibitor in patients with relapsed/refractory T-cell lymphomas (see story). CPI-818, the first ITK inhibitor in clinical development, is designed to selectively inhibit ITK (interleukin-2-inducible T-cell kinase) without affecting related kinases such as RLK and BTK. Corvus Pharma (NSDQ: CRVS) discovered the drug. One year ago, Corvus formed Angel as a China JV with $106 million in original capital and China rights to three of its assets, including CPI-818.   

Disclosure: none.









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