Acurastem Inc. said on Sept. 25 that it struck an out-licensing deal potentially worth $580 million with Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. to develop drugs for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other PIKfyve gene-targeting therapeutics. Under the terms, Tokyo-headquartered Takeda obtains exclusive worldwide rights to Acurastem’s PIKfyve-targeting therapeutics, including Acurastem’s lead AS-202 asset, an antisense oligonucleotide therapy to treat ALS.
Despite China’s near-frozen startup scene and increasingly cautious foreign investors following the COVID-19 pandemic, multinational pharmaceutical firms continued to scout for innovative up-and-coming Chinese biotechs in Shanghai at Chinabio Partnering Forum 2023 over its two-day run.
Wuhan YZY Biopharma Co. Ltd. made its debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, raising HK$121 million (US$15.48 million) in its IPO on Sept. 22, with shares (HKEX:02496) opening at the lower end of its range at HK$16 per share and ending the day at HK$16.60, a rise of 3.75%.
Inventiva SA is getting $10 million up front and the possibility of $231 in clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones by exclusively licensing its nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) candidate, lanifibranor, to Hepalys Pharma Inc. to sell in Japan and South Korea, two massive markets for the indication.
Everest Medicines Ltd. is in-licensing Kezar Life Sciences Inc.’s phase II autoimmune disease candidate, zetomipzomib in a deal worth $132 million for greater China, South Korea and southeast Asia rights. Kezar’s lead molecule zetomipzomib (KZR-616) is a first-in-class, selective immunoproteasome inhibitor with broad therapeutic potential across multiple autoimmune diseases.
Thanks to a raft of new approvals by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW), patients in Japan will soon have access to Biogen Inc./Eisai Co. Ltd.’s Leqembi (lecanemab), an amyloid-beta binder, for slowing progression of mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia due to Alzheimer's disease.
Starpharma Holdings Ltd.'s nanoscale drug delivery technology shows enhanced safety and durable responses in phase II trials compared to standard of care therapies in patients with advanced colorectal and ovarian cancer.
HLB Co. Ltd. is ready to take half of the liver cancer treatment market with its potential first-line treatment, rivoceranib, currently undergoing U.S. FDA review, company chairman Jin Yang-gon said, backed by positive survival data that beat out competitors by three months.
After raising HKD$320 million (US$40.8 million) in its IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last week, Immuneonco Biopharmaceuticals Co. Ltd.’s stock has continued to rise, and analysts are expecting the Hong Kong market to pick up after a slack start to the year.
As a pioneer of harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to drug discovery, Insilico Medicine Inc. recently made breakaway progress to bring a generative AI-designed drug to life, announcing the progression of its INS018-055 candidate to phase II trials for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.