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Week in Review: Mabwell Bio Raises $547 Million in Shanghai STAR IPO
Deals and Financings
Novotech Health Holdings Pte, a clinical CRO with integrated labs and Phase I facilities, completed a $255 million financing (see story). Novotech is an Asia-Pacific CRO that consists of Novotech in
Abbisko Therapeutics (HK: 2256) of
Suzhou Innovent Bio (HK: 01801) optioned China rights to develop up to three enzyme specific inhibitors for inflammatory diseases from Amagma Therapeutics, a Massachusetts company (see story). The candidates are products of Amagma’s structure-based SEIZMIC™ Platform. Innovent will be responsible for manufacturing the three candidates through a Phase II study conducted by Amagma. If Innovent exercises its option, it will have Greater China rights to develop and commercialize each program, and Amagma will be eligible to receive milestones plus royalties.
Everest Medicines (HK: 1952) acquired global rights to several early stage protease inhibitor candidates for SAR-CoV-2 from
Zhejiang JYSS Bio-Engineering closed a B+ round led by Huatai International Private Equity Fund to expand its single use bioreactor and assemblies manufacturing (see story). In 2014, JYSSBio was the first
Suzhou Eluminex Biosciences, an ophthalmology company, acquired global rights to a novel oral therapy for childhood blindness and night blindness in early dry AMD from Seattle's Retinagenix (see story). The candidate, zuretinol acetate, is being developed to treat rare forms of childhood blindness in patients with Leber's Congenital Amaurosis or Retinitis Pigmentosa caused by mutations of the RPE65 or LRAT gene. Zuretinol is scheduled to start pediatric Phase IIb/III trial later in 2022.
Trials and Approvals
Suzhou CStone Pharma (HK: 2616) announced a China Phase III trial of its PD-L1 (Cejemly®) met its overall survival endpoint as a first-line therapy for non-small cell lung cancer (see story). The PD-L1, sugemalimab, was administered together with chemotherapy to patients with Stage IV NSCLC. In December, CStone was approved to launch the regimen in
Shanghai Elpiscience Bio has started a US Phase I trial of its novel anti-CD39 monoclonal antibody in patients with advanced solid tumors (see story). CD39 is a key enzyme regulating the production of adenosine, a critical immune suppressor. The candidate, ES002, has shown single-agent anti-tumor activity in pre-clinical studies. The Phase I clinical trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary clinical activity of ES002. An immuno-oncology company, Elpiscience now has four molecules in clinical trials.
Neurophth Therapeutics, a Wuhan-San Diego rare disease company, was approved to start US trials of its in-vivo gene replacement therapy for Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) associated with ND4 mutation (see story). The candidate, NR082, is a novel recombinant adeno-associated viral serotype 2 vector (rAAV2) containing a codon-optimized of NADH-dehydrogenase subunit 4 (ND4) gene. In three investigator-initiated trials that enrolled 186 LHON patients, an intravitreal injection of rAAV2-ND4 was well tolerated and showed efficacy in improving vision. NR082 is the first China-developed AAV gene therapy for LHON to start clinical trials.