2022-05-19| ChinaFunding

China’s Hengrui Buds Off New Biotech With 11 Therapeutic Programs

by Joy Lin
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Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals, a Chinese company, has launched a Luzsana Biotechnology, arming the new subsidiary with 11 therapeutic programs in various stages of development. The two companies will co-develop medicines together, with the aim to sell the products in North America, Europe and Japan. 

Luzsana will share details of its oncology pipeline at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago. 


Partnership to Access Global R&D Resources


From the start, Luzsana, dubbed a “healing light” by Hengrui, will work closely with its parent company to access assets and research and development resources. Luzsana can select from Hengrui’s pipeline of more than 250 clinical studies across multiple therapeutic areas as well as 16 R&D centers with more than 5,400 research staff. The company itself will have locations in Princeton, New Jersey, Basel, Switzerland, and Tokyo, Japan.

Luzsana’s initial pipeline tilts heavily towards oncology, with 8 of 11 products focusing on the area. The company will collaborate with Hengrui to commercialize the candidates, which range from preclinical to Phase 3 assets. 

Scott Filosi, CEO of Luzsana, believes a “healthcare paradox” is at work when it comes to giving medical products to patients who need them. 

“There are more innovative medicines than ever being developed across the globe, yet many people continue to face barriers in terms of availability, accessibility and affordability. For example, while the World Health Organization notes that there are 25 essential cancer medications, only 10% of countries have made all 25 available to patients.”

According to Filosi, the partnership between Luzsana and Hengrui will cut development costs, allowing the companies to invest more in solutions that will increase the availability, accessibility and affordability of medical products. 


Hengrui Edges Closer to FDA with Liver Cancer Drug


Hengrui recently reported positive Phase 3 data for its combination therapy of rivoceranib and camrelizumab for liver cancer, showing that the two treatments met primary endpoints. 

The company said it expects to begin talks with the US FDA for a potential new drug application, which would bring it closer to a launch in the North American market. 

Camrelizumab is already approved in China under the brand name AiRuiKa across multiple cancer indications. Rivoceranib has also been approved in the country under the brand name Aitan to treat stomach cancer and second-line liver cancer. 

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