Beijing, China, July 15, 2015 — CANbridge Life Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing Western drug candidates in China and North Asia, has entered into an exclusive license agreement with privately-held immuno-oncology company, Apogenix (www.apogenix.com) to develop, manufacture and commercialize Apogenix's lead product, APG101 in glioblastoma multiforme in China, Macao, and Hong Kong, with options for other indications. APG101 is a fully human fusion protein that inhibits the CD95 ligand, a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily. By blocking the CD95 ligand, APG101 restores the immune response against tumors and inhibits invasive tumor cell growth. APG101 showed an improved overall survival benefit in patients with relapsed glioblastoma in a Phase II trial conducted in Europe. Additionally, the trial showed that glioblastoma patients with a certain biomarker associated with the CD95 ligand experienced the greatest benefit from treatment with APG101. Apogenix is developing a companion diagnostic test to identify those patients most likely to benefit from APG101 treatment. APG101 is also in a Phase I trial for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) in Europe. Under the terms of the agreement, Apogenix will receive upfront and milestone payments, as well as royalty payments, at tiered, double-digit royalty rates following commercial launch of APG101 in China.
"Development of this targeted therapeutic fits the CANbridge mission of bringing promising Western treatments to China and other Asian territories, where patients' severe medical needs are going unmet," said James Xue, CANbridge Chairman and CEO. "The mortality rate of malignant glioma is one of the top ten among all cancers in China. With very limited treatment options, the outcomes for Chinese patients are even more grim than in the West. The potential to develop a targeted immuno-oncology product represents a tremendous advance for glioblastoma treatment in China."
"The licensing agreement with CANbridge represents an important milestone in our goal to develop and commercialize our immuno-oncology compound APG101 as a new therapy for difficult-to-treat tumor indications on an international level," said Thomas Hoeger, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Apogenix. "We are delighted to have found a strong and committed partner with a seasoned management team and extensive drug development expertise in these important Asian markets. We look forward to working with CANbridge to obtain approval for APG101 in China, Macao, and Hong Kong, so we can provide patients suffering from glioblastoma with a novel, much-needed therapeutic option as soon as possible."
"The CANbridge and Apogenix missions and cultures are perfectly aligned, which bodes well for the success of this partnership," said Henri Termeer, CANbridge's Advisor and former Chairman and CEO of Genzyme Corporation. "Each company is dedicated to bringing forth treatments in their respective markets for patients with few options. Together, CANbridge and Apogenix can move this exciting program forward more effectively than either could alone in China."
"Glioblastoma multiforme is a very serious disease with limited therapeutic options at present. Based upon the data already generated by Apogenix, I am very excited about the possibility of APG101 to greatly improve clinical outcomes in patients with glioblastoma multiforme," said Mark Goldberg, MD. Medical Advisor to CANbridge and practicing hematologist and oncologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most lethal form of brain cancer and the hardest to treat. It is the only grade IV glioma by World Health Organization classification. Current standard-of-care consists of surgical resection of the tumor followed by radiation and chemotherapy. The five-year survival rate is less than 3%, with the mortality rate the third highest, after pancreatic cancer and lung cancer. In China, glioblastoma incidence is predicted to grow from 1.75 per 100,000 people in 2014, to 2.05 per 100,000 in 2024, which represents a 17% increase.
About CANbridge Life Sciences
CANbridge Life Sciences, Ltd. is a bio-pharmaceutical company accelerating development and commercialization of specialty healthcare products for serious and critical medical conditions in China and North Asia (Korea and Taiwan). CANbridge develops partnerships with Western bio-pharmaceutical companies with clinical-stage pharmaceutical, medical device or diagnostic products that are either unavailable in China/North Asia or address medical needs that are underserved in the region. CANbridge also licenses or obtains exclusive rights to commercialize drug and device products that are approved in their home markets for commercialization in China and North Asia. CANbridge has an exclusive licensing agreement with U.S.-based Azaya Therapeutics, Inc., to develop and commercialize ATI-1123 in China, for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and other solid tumors. CANbridge also has an agreement with EUSA Pharma, to commercialize Caphosol® in China for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis caused by cancer treatments, and a license with Apogenix to develop, manufacture and commercialize lead candidate, onco-immunotherapy, APG101, for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme in China, Macao and Hong Kong.
Led and backed by a highly-seasoned executive team, with extensive Chinese drug development experience, CANbridge has the capability to select, acquire, develop and commercialize future therapeutics and diagnostics targeting the unmet medical needs of Chinese and East Asian patients with serious or critical conditions.
CANbridge is privately-held and headquartered in Beijing, China. For more on CANbridge Life Sciences, please go to www.canbridgepharma.com