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Week in Review: Tasly Pharma Acquires Sutro ADC in $385 Million Deal

publication date: Jan 1, 2022
author/source: Richard Daverman, PhD

Deals and Financings

Shanghai Tasly Pharma (SHA:600535) acquired Greater China rights to an antibody-drug conjugate from Sutro Biopharma (NSDQ: STRO) of South San Francisco in a deal worth up to $385 million (see story). Sutro is currently testing STRO-002, a FolRα-targeting ADC, in a Phase I test for ovarian and endometrial cancers in the US and Europe. Sutro will receive an upfront payment of $40 million and be eligible for $345 million in milestone payments. Tasly has the possibility of adding non-small cell lung cancer and triple-negative breast cancer indications.

Shanghai Innogen Pharma has closed a $120 million Series A round to support its Phase III trial of supaglutide, a GLP-1 agonist for diabetes (see story). It will also advance several other first-in-class programs and build a clinical-trial manufacturing facility. Earlier this year, Innogen raised $19 million in a Pre-A financing. Established in 2015, Innogen focuses on developing drugs for diabetes, obesity and diabetic complications. The financing was led by Youshan Capital and China Growth Capital. Other investors include CICC Qide Fund, V Star Capital and China Everbright Limited. 

Shanghai Ark Biopharmaceutical in-licensed Greater China rights to a novel once-daily attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment Azstarys® from Commave Therapeutics of Geneva (see story). ArkBio will make an unspecified upfront payment and pay $105 million in milestones, plus royalties. Azstarys is the first and only product containing SDX, an extended-release oral prodrug of d-MPH. It was approved by the US FDA in  March 2021. ArkBio develops products for respiratory and lung diseases along with  pediatric drugs. 

Suzhou SyMap Medical raised nearly $100 million in an E Round financing to conduct clinical trials of its renal denervation devices (see story). The company also announced a strategic collaboration with Israel's Pythagoras Medical that allows SyMap full rights to use all of Pythagoras' assets including its ConfidenHT™ Renal Nerve Mapping System, a device that is approved for use in the EU. SyMap focuses on devices for cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Its latest financing, which was concluded earlier this month, is the largest financing for a renal denervation field, according to the company.  

Sirnaomics (HK: 2257), a Maryland-Suzhou RNA biopharma, completed a $64 million IPO on the Hong Kong Exchange (see story). Sirnaomics says it is the first company to report positive Phase IIa clinical results in oncology for an RNAi candidate. The company priced its IPO on the low end of the predicted range, but moved almost 20% higher in its first trading session, giving Siranomics a market cap of $900 million. Its product portfolio consists of 16 candidates for rare diseases and drugs with large patient populations including oncology, fibrosis, medical aesthetics, antiviral and cardiometabolic indications.  

Amador BioSciences, a Bay Area CRO, completed a $60 million Series B+ financing from China investors to support its translational sciences and clinical pharmacology services (see story). The company will use the proceeds to increase its offerings to include bioanalytical services. It will also develop AI and machine learning tools to facilitate clinical data analysis. Amador recently acquired Ann Arbor Pharmacometrics Group, which offers high-quality pharmacometrics analysis. The B+ round was led by MSA Capital of Beijing and included Series B co-leads GL Ventures and Sequoia Capital China, along with Co-win Ventures of Beijing.  

Great Bay Bio of Hong Kong closed a $10 million Series A funding for its AI-enabled CMC bioprocessing of biologic drug candidates (see story). The company says its technology addresses the problems of high failure rates, long development timelines and high costs. GBB has accumulated large amounts of bioprocessing development data from its 3100 square meter CMC facility. It is creating an intelligent centralized database, using deep learning to create a next-gen AI-enabled bioprocessing ecosystem. FutureX Capital was the last investor to join the financing.  

Company News 

Singapore's Biosyngen opened a cell therapy biological production base in China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (CSGKC) (see story). The $32 million facility will manufacture the company's CAR-T and TCR-T candidates, which are in early trials in  SingaporeChina and Australia for nasopharyngeal cancer.  Phase I of the construction covers 10,000 square meters, which is the largest production facility for immune cells in Southern China, according to the company. The facility will comply with GMP standards and will feature fully-automated, fully-enclosed cellular drug production lines. 

Trials and Approvals 

Suzhou CStone Pharma (HK: 2616) announced Ayvakit ® (avapritinib) was approved in Hong Kong to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) harboring a PDGFRA D842V mutation (see story). Ayvakit is a first-in-class precision therapy that will be used in adult patients with unresectable or metastatic GIST. The product is already approved for use in China. The Hong Kong Department of Health based the approval on a Phase I trial that showed an overall response rate 95%. In 2018, CStone  acquired China rights to Ayvakit in a three-drug $386 million agreement.  

Suzhou Kintor Pharma (HK: 9939) reported it will seek permission to enroll higher risk COVID-19 patients in its mainly US Phase III trial of proxalutamide (see story). In an interim analysis, the candidate did not meet specified efficacy rates in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients with mild disease. Kintor now wants to enroll only hospitalized COVID-19 patients with multiple comorbidities and/or patients with no COVID-19 vaccination history. So far, the candidate has been well-tolerated in the 348 patients enrolled with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms.  

Disclosure: none.



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