Week In Review: Eddingpharm To Pay $375 Million For Two Lilly Antibiotics And A Suzhou Manufacturing Facility

Trials and Approvals

Innovent Biologics (Suzhou) (HK: 01801) has dosed the first patient in a Phase I trial of a bispecific antibody that targets both PD-1 and PD-L1 (see story). According to Innovent, the candidate (IBI318) is the first PD-1/PDL1 bispecific to start clinical trials anywhere in the world. Innovent discovered and partnered IBI318 with Lilly as part of their $1 billion agreement, announced in 2015. The China Phase I trial will test the candidate for safety, tolerability and initial efficacy in patients with advanced malignancies.

TaiGen Biotech (TWO: 4157), a Taipei infectious disease company, has started a China Phase III trial of a combination treatment for chronic hepatitis C (see story). In 2016, TaiGen formed a $102 million JV with YiChang HEC ChangJiang (HK: 1558) to develop the oral dual-drug, direct-acting antiviral HCV treatment. TaiGen contributed China rights to furaprevir for a 49% stake in the JV, while HEC transferred China rights for yimitasvir, plus an undisclosed amount of cash, for 51% ownership. The companies expect to complete the Phase III trial in 2020.

Hua Medicine (HK: 2552) of Shanghai has started a US Phase I trial of its lead drug, dorzagliatin, a first-in-class oral glucokinase activator (GKA), in patients with type 2 diabetes not controlled by metformin, a DPP-4 inhibitor or a SGLT2 inhibitor (see story). The trial will test the PK/PD of dorzagliatin together with empagliflozin, the Boehringer Ingelheim SGLT2 inhibitor known as Jardiance. The trial's endpoints are pharmacokinetic interaction between the two molecules, plus safety and tolerability of the combination.

Sinovac Biotech (NYSE: SVA) of Beijing reported its Sabin strain inactivated polio vaccine (sIPV) proved non-inferiority in China Phase III trials (see story). Because the Sinovac vaccine does not contain any live virus, it is considered safer than its competition, oral polio vaccine (OPV) and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). Two months ago, Sinovac instituted a poison pill plan against a group of investors with a 40% stake in the company. In 2018, outsiders contested Sinovac's management-led slate of directors. Both sides claimed victory, with the outcome being fought in suits and counter-suits, which continue.

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Disclosure: Disclosure: ChinaBio® has a business relationship with Gracell. 

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