2021-07-01| China

China’s Simcere Gains Regional Rights for Two Alzheimer’s Drugs

by Tyler Chen
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The market for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) drugs in China is estimated to reach $2 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 10.3%, outpacing several big economies such as Japan, Canada, Europe, and Germany. The substantial growth attracts several overseas investments from pharmaceutical companies.


A $565 Million Collaboration

On June 29th, China’s Simcere Pharmaceutical announced a licensing deal worth $565 million with Germany’s Vivoryon Therapeutics N.V. to develop and commercialize two of Vivoryon’s investigational AD drugs, specifically in China.

“In partnering with Simcere, who is continuously recognized as one of the top innovative pharmaceutical and manufacturing enterprises in China, we hope to be able to make an impact beyond our own focus of developing PQ912 towards the markets in Europe and the US,” said Michael Schaeffer, Ph.D., Vivoryon’s Chief Business Officer.


Regional License for Two Alzheimer’s Drugs

The two drugs are varoglutamstat (PQ912), an oral pill, and PBD-C06, an antibody.

PQ912 is an orally-taken small-molecule inhibitor of glutaminyl cyclase (QPCT) that can target neurotoxic N3pE amyloid, a driver of AD. Currently, it is in the Phase 2b clinical trial in Europe. In addition, Vivoryon plans to conduct a Phase 2a/b trial in the US in the second half of 2021.

On the other hand, PBD-C06 is a humanized and de-immunized IgG1 antibody that removes the N3pE amyloid from the brain. The drug is also designed with low immunogenicity and low potency so that it won’t induce amyloid-related imaging abnormalities (ARIAs), a severe side effect of antibody-based AD therapies. For now, PBD-C06 is in the preclinical stage.

Under the agreement, Simcere will receive licenses to develop and sell both drugs in the China region. Except for the total amount of the deal, many of the financial details remained undisclosed, but Vivoryon will obtain double-digit royalties on sales.

Related Article: Biogen’s Controversial Alzheimer’s Drug Wins Historic FDA Approval


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