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Week in Review: Suzhou Abogen Raises $700 Million for mRNA COVID Vaccine
Suzhou Abogen Biosciences raised over $700 million in a record-breaking Series C round to support a Phase III trial of its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (see story). The company has completed a Phase II trial of the vaccine but hasn't released any data from the trial. The Phase III trial started in May of this year. Abogen is developing ARCoV together with a
Brii Bioscience (HK: 2137), a Beijing-North Carolina company, reported that its combination monoclonal antibody therapy reduced hospitalization and death in early-stage COVID-19 patients (see story). In an interim analysis of the US Phase II/III trial, the BRII-196/BRII-198 combination lowered hospitalization/death by 73% compared to placebo. Brii will continue analysis of subgroups to identify the clinical benefits of early (≤5 days) versus late (6-10 days) treatment, which will be useful for making clinical treatment decisions. Brii has also started a
Deals and Financing
BeyondSpring (NSDQ: BYSI), a New York City-China company, signed a $200 million agreement with Jiangsu Hengrui Pharma (SHA: 600276) to partner
Beijing Kangle Weishi Biotech completed a $157 million pre-IPO financing round to develop recombinant vaccines that are based on its virus-like particle (VLP) platform (see story). Specifically, the company will start Phase III trials of its trivalent papillomavirus HPV 16/18/58 recombinant vaccine and 9-valent recombinant HPV 6/11/16/18/31/33/45/52/58 vaccine. In addition, it will build a vaccine industrial complex in
Suzhou Alphamab Oncology (HK: 9966) out-licensed
Guangzhou Bio-Thera Solutions (SHA: 688177) out-licensed US commercialization rights for its Stelara® (ustekinumab) biosimilar to Hikma Pharma (LSE: HIK) in a $150 million agreement (see story). Jansen’s Stelara® inhibits inflammation in autoimmune disorders including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. One month ago, Bio-Thera started US-EU Phase III clinical trial of BAT2206 in psoriatic (PsO) patients, Bio-Thera will receive $20 million upfront and up to $130 million in milestones. Hikma also has a first-right-to-negotiate for European rights to the biosimilar.
Lynk Pharmaceuticals completed a Series B financing of $50 million to conduct Phase I/II clinical trials of its pipeline products and expand its international business (see story). Founded in 2018 by veteran drug hunters with experience working for Pfizer, Merck and Johnson & Johnson, Lynk is developing FIC/BIC small molecule drugs for autoimmune diseases, inflammation and cancer. The financing was led by Lilly Asia Ventures, plus New Alliance Capital and Hangzhou HEDA Biological Medicine as co-investors.
Ocumension Therapeutics (HK: 1477) of
Suzhou Innovent Bio (HK: 01801) and
Trials and Approvals
Shanghai Everest Medicines (HK: 1952) has begun a China Phase III trial of sacituzumab govitecan-hziy in patients with metastatic urothelial cancer (see story). The Everest trial is the
Shanghai Reistone Biopharma reported positive results from a Phase II trial of its JAK1 inhibitor for alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease (see story). Two doses of once-daily SHR0302 showed a statistically significant percentage change of SALT score, a quantitative indicator of AA severity based on scalp hair loss. Reistone in-licensed the JAK1 inhibitor from Jiangsu Hengru (SHA; 600276), which also backs Reistone. Formed in January 2018, Reistone focuses on globalizing innovative drugs developed in
LianBio, a Shanghai-Princeton in-licensing company, has started a China Phase IIa trial of infigratinib, an FGFR2 inhibitor (see story). The trial will enroll patients who have gastric cancer or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma with FGFR2 gene amplification. One year ago, LianBio acquired