Aiming for the First CAR-T Approval in China, JW Therapeutics Debuts on Hong Kong Stock Exchange
By Tyler Chen
On November 3rd, China-based cell therapy company JW Therapeutics launched a 300 million IPO on the main board of the Hong Kong stock exchange. JW is a promising contender to become the first to bag a CAR-T approval in China.
Leading CAR-T therapy Company in China
Founded in 2016 by Bristol Myers Squibb’s subsidiary Juno Therapeutics and medical device manufacturer Wuxi AppTec, JW Therapeutics is the leading CAR-T therapy company in China. With the surging needs and affordability of CAR-T therapy, the market is estimated to rise to 24.3 billion in 2030. JW Therapeutics then became one of the strongest candidates to break the record in China, where none CAR-T therapies have been approved.
Besides being the first company to file for a new drug application (IND) of CAR-T therapy and receiving submission approval by Chinese officials, it also has enrolled the most participants in the clinical trials.
JW Therapeutics’s product line ranges from hematological cancers to solid tumors, and relmacabtagene autoleucel (relma-cel), its lead product candidate, is believed to be one of the most promising candidates in CAR-T therapy. Relma-cel is an autologous anti-CD19 CAR-T therapy for relapsed or refractory (r/r) B-cell lymphoma and has applied for the third-line therapy for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The IND was accepted for review by China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) in June and granted priority in September.
Relma-cel is expected to become the first CAR-T treatment approved as a Category 1 biologics product in China. It was given the breakthrough therapy designation to cure follicular lymphoma by the NMPA.
Past Acquisitions and Financing
Before IPO, JW Therapeutics received 100 million in series B financing, led by CPE and Mirae Asset. The funding went into the development of the CAR-T product JWCAR029 and the preparation of the product launch.
Furthermore, JW Therapeutics acquired Syracuse Biopharma in July, obtaining ARTEMIS’s exclusive use in China and the ASEAN countries. The founder and CEO of Eureka Therapeutics (parent company of Syracuse Biopharma), Dr. Cheng Liu, later joined the JW Therapeutics’ board of directors.
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