Week In Review: Beijing's Jacobio Completes $174 Million Hong Kong IPO

Trials and Approvals 

  • Legend Bio (LEGN) of Nanjing started a rolling submission of a Biologics License Application for US approval of its BCMA CAR-T therapy (see story). Ciltacabtagene autoleucel (cilta-cel) is indicated for adults with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma. In late 2017, Legend out-licensed rights for the candidate to Janssen Pharma, a division of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), in a deal worth $350 million upfront with more than $1 billion available in milestones. The BLA filing triggered a $75 million payment to Legend.  
  • CASI Pharma (CASI), a US-China biopharma, announced its partnered CD19 CAR-T product was granted Breakthrough Designation in China for relapsed/refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) (see story). In 2019, CASI acquired global rights to co-develop the candidate with Juventas Cell Therapy, a Tianjing City company, by making an $11.6 million investment in Juventas. Juventas remains responsible for clinical work in China. It started a China Phase II trial of CNCT19 in patients with B-ALL recently.  
  • Ascentage Pharma (HK: 6855) reported its Bcl-xL inhibitor started a Phase I trial in the US to treat diabetic macular edema (see story). The trial is being conducted by Unity Biotech (UBX), which in-licensed US rights to the candidate in 2016. In the future, Ascentage plans to establish a joint venture with Unity to develop and commercialize the candidate in China. Ascentage develops novel treatments for cancer, chronic hepatitis B, and age-related diseases, focusing on protein-protein interactions.
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