Week In Review: Suzhou's Adagene To Stage $125 Million IPO On NASDAQ

Dna, Genetic Material, Helix, Proteins, Biology


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Deals and Financings

  • Adagene, a Suzhou immunotherapy company, plans to raise up to $125 million in a US IPO on the NASDAQ Exchange (see story). The company uses a computational AI-based discovery platform that studies the motion of proteins and their dynamic interactions to discover novel epitopes of drug targets, differentiating Adagene's candidates. It has novel antibodies in China and US trials that target CD137 in advanced solid tumors and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
  • Elpiscience Biopharma of Shanghai acquired China rights to an anti-VEGFxDLL4 bispecific antibody being developed by TRIGR Therapeutics of Irvine, CA (see story). TRIGR is already conducting a US Phase I trial of TR009 as a fourth-line therapy in patients with colorectal or gastric cancer. Elpiscience will make a $7 million upfront payment and be responsible for up to $110 million in milestones, plus royalties. An immunotherapy company, Elpiscience is developing 12 products including a bispecific anti-PD-1 in China trials. One year ago, the company raised $100 million in Series B funding.  
  • Suzhou Sinovent completed a pre-IPO financing of at least $30 million in a round led by Oceanpine Healthcare Fund (see story). Founded in 2016, Sinovent is a global biopharma that has 12 biologic products in development, five in clinical trials, and another three molecules preparing to file INDs in China. Its lead program is a Wnt pathway porcupine inhibitor aimed at cancers of the digestive system, including colon cancer, esophageal cancer, and gastric cancer. In August of last year, Sinovent completed a $145 million C round.   
  • Beijing's Immunotech Biopharm (HK: 6978) in-licensed China rights to a T-cell receptor (TCR) therapy for renal cell cancer from T-Cure Bio of Sherman Oaks, CA (see story). T-Cure isolates high avidity TCRs to engineer a patient's T cells, allowing them to target and destroy solid tumors. T-Cure's 800TCR, which targets HERV-E, is currently being tested in a US Phase I trial in patients with metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.
  • Neurophth Therapeutics of Wuhan partnered with Delaware's AAVnerGene to develop adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsids for next-gen ophthalmic gene therapies (see story). Neurophth will make an initial cash payment to AAVnerGene to test about 100 AAV capsids. Within six-12 months, Neurophth will complete preclinical studies on these capsids, and the two companies will select the most promising candidates for further development. AAVnerGene believes its platform selects the best AAV vector for each cell type based on transduction efficiency, immunity to the capsid, and best manufacturing processes.  
  • TenNor Therapeutics (Suzhou), a company that develops dual-action antibiotics, announced a research collaboration with Janssen Pharma that will use TenNor's drug conjugation platform to discover new therapies for the treatment of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) diseases (see story). NTM diseases require treatment by multiple antibiotics administered for a duration of more than two years. Existing therapies are not always effective and may cause side effects. The goal of the collaboration is to discover novel therapies for NTM diseases that shorten the duration of treatment with a better safety and efficacy profile.  
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