Week In Review: China Life Science Companies Raise Nearly $1 Billion Led By Legend's $424 Million US IPO

COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Harbour BioMed, together with its Dutch partners, has struck a deal with AbbVie to develop a novel COVID-19 therapeutic antibody. AbbVie will support their early preclinical development of 47D11, a fully human, neutralizing antibody, while it plans for later preclinical testing and clinical trials. In return, AbbVie has an option to in-license the mAb.
  • Gilead Sciences (GILD) announced positive results from a Phase III trial of remdesivir in patients with moderate COVID-19 disease, though the candidate provided only modest improvement. In patients treated with remdesivir for five days, more than half (65%) showed better clinical improvement at Day 11, compared to the standard of care. In the ten day treatment group, remdesivir's benefit did not reach statistical significance. Remdesivir is being administered in the US to treat severe COVID-19 disease under Emergency Use Authorization.

Trials and Approvals

  • BeiGene (BGNE), a Beijing cancer biotech, announced China's NMPA approved its BTK inhibitor, Brukinsa™ (zanubrutinib), for two cancer indications: chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) /small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). All indications are for second-line treatment in adult patients. Brukinsa is the second BeiGene candidate to be commercialized. The company's anti-PD-1 antibody tislelizumab was approved in China, also in late 2019, as a third-line treatment for classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL).
  • At the virtual ASCO conference, Suzhou Innovent announced clinical results from three trials of its PD-1 drug, Tyvyt: In a Phase II trial among patients with relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin's lymphoma, the ORR was 85.4% and complete response (CR) was 42.7%. In 2018, Tyvyt was approved for use in China as a third-line treatment for patients with classical Hodgkin's lymphoma. It is currently being tested in 20 clinical trials.
  • Harbour Biomed announced that China's NMPA approved its IND application to conduct a Phase II/III trial of HBM9161 in patients with Graves’ ophthalmopathy, an autoimmune disorder. The IND approval is the fourth for HBM9161 in China and the second to allow HBM to proceed directly to Phase III under an accelerated pathway.
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