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Xiaolin Zhang, Dizal CEO

#ES­MO22: Dizal touts win in niche NSCLC pop­u­la­tion cor­nered by Take­da, J&J

AstraZeneca spinout Dizal said its cancer drug cleared the primary goal in a Phase II trial of patients with EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations, for which Takeda and J&J have approved meds, and others like Cullinan Oncology and Blueprint Medicines are attempting to treat.

Sending out the data in the early hours of this year’s European Society for Medical Oncology meeting in Paris, Dizal said 59.8% of patients evaluable as of the end of July had a confirmed objective response. The study, conducted in China, tested the breakthrough-designated sunvozertinib in platinum-pretreated non-small cell lung cancer patients who have EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations.

Shang­hai-based cell ther­a­py biotech nabs new funds; Col­orado biotech nets an ac­qui­si­tion

A Lilly Asia Ventures-backed cell therapy biotech has secured $50 million in Series A funds to bankroll CAR-NK therapies.

At the helm of the Shanghai-based Neukio Biotherapeutics is a leader with experience in the CAR-T cell therapy market, with Richard Liqun Wang having previously served as chief executive of the Fosun and Kite joint venture that landed the first CAR-T cell therapy approval in China last year. Kite and owner Gilead market the cell therapy product as Yescarta in the US.

Illustration: Assistant editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News

Chi­na's DNA gi­ant con­fronts skep­ti­cism in US ex­pan­sion bid

At the turn of the 21st century, four Chinese scientists formed an organization that thrust their country’s nascent DNA sequencing industry onto the world stage.

The organization, Beijing Genomics Institute, participated in the Human Genome Project, an international mission that produced a genetic blueprint of humankind. Beijing Genomics Institute, which in 2007 moved its headquarters to Shenzhen and rebranded as BGI Group, further demonstrated its scientific chops by sequencing the genomes of rice and even a giant panda.

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Photo: Shutterstock

US and Chi­na de­vel­op frame­work for in­spec­tion of 200 US-list­ed com­pa­nies un­der threat of delist­ing

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has struck an agreement with Chinese regulatory authorities that would allow the inspection of audit reports for US-listed Chinese companies. Now, according to SEC chair Gary Gensler, “The proof will be in the pudding.”

Roughly 200 Chinese companies — including biopharma companies BeiGene, Hutchmed, Zai Lab, I-Mab, Sinovac, Gracell Biotechnologies, Adagene and Burning Rock Biotech — have been singled out by the SEC for violating a new law governing US-listed companies. The law, called the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, stipulates that any foreign companies audited by a firm that the nonprofit PCAOB is unable to review for three consecutive years should be delisted.

James Sabry, Roche global head of pharma partnering

ICY­MI: James Sabry just signed off on a land­mark first for Roche's deal­mak­ing crew

James Sabry’s BD team at Roche has a long track record in hunting the globe for new biotech deals. But they’ve never journeyed into China before to ink a worldwide development and commercialization pact with a China-based biotech on an experimental med.

Until this week.

As Max Gelman reported yesterday, Roche fronted a new alliance with China’s Jemincare with $60 million in cash and $590 million in milestones for worldwide commercial rights to an oral androgen receptor degrader. The deal itself is fairly typical of an early-stage alliance around a promising treatment. The Shanghai-based biotech is largely unknown outside China, but this is a classic high-risk, modest upfront pact that Roche routinely inks.

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James Sabry, Roche global head of pharma partnering

Roche, Genen­tech plunk down $60M up­front to part­ner with Chi­nese phar­ma on PRO­TAC-based prostate can­cer drug

Roche and Genentech are always on the hunt for deals, and on Thursday they found their newest partner.

The pair will team up with the Chinese pharma company Jemincare to push forward a new program for prostate cancer, the companies announced. Roche is ponying up $60 million upfront to get its hands on the candidate and promising up to $590 million in biobucks, plus royalties, down the line.

In return, Genentech will get a worldwide license to develop the program, known as JMKX002992, and bring it to market.

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Xiaodong Wang, Sironax co-founder and chairman

BeiGene co-founder and ex-Viela Bio BD leader snag $200M for age-re­lat­ed biotech, with ARCH jump­ing in

Five years after forming and with more than $100 million already invested in the company, a biotech from BeiGene co-founder Xiaodong Wang is back with another whopping investment, this time at $200 million.

Sironax disclosed the Series B on Tuesday, saying the funds will bankroll studies of drugs for age-related degenerative diseases that include “regulated cell death, neuroprotective pathways and neuroinflammation.” Already in the clinic are two receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 (RIPK1) inhibitors.

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Mer­ck­'s ADC hunt con­tin­ues with sec­ond deal for Chi­na biotech Kelun

Two months after inking a relatively quiet $47 million upfront deal with China’s Kelun Biotech, Merck is back with another deal, this time eyeing an ADC for solid tumors.

The latest pact includes $35 million upfront but is largely backloaded with $901 million on the line, similar to the first tie-up, which came in at $47 million to start and $1.3 billion on the biobucks end.

As Merck reportedly circles the waters of Seagen, an early ADC leader and partner of the New Jersey Big Pharma, the company is deepening its presence in the antibody-drug conjugate field to diversify its oncology pipeline, according to SVP of oncology early development, Eric Rubin, in a statement Tuesday morning.

Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO (Romuald Meigneux/Sipa via AP Images)

UP­DAT­ED: Low-pro­file start­up stakes its claim to Sanofi's siR­NA plat­form in wake of set­backs

A biotech in China reports today that it will be scooping up a string of preclinical siRNA programs from Sanofi as the multinational player laterals a dormant development platform to the Lilly-backed group in Shanghai.

Details are sparse, but Rona Therapeutics — which scored a $33 million launch round in April from Lilly Asia Ventures, CMB International, Platanus, Fontus Capital and Lanting Capital — says it gained worldwide exclusive rights to Sanofi’s siRNA platform.

Scoop: Ab­b­Vie ter­mi­nates ear­ly-stage study of I-Mab's an­ti­body, an­oth­er clin­i­cal set­back in CD47 field

The CD47 field faced setbacks earlier this year when Gilead’s magrolimab was hit with partial clinical holds, and another clinical hurdle can be added to the list, with AbbVie terminating a study of an antibody out of partner I-Mab.

The nixed study was exploring the IV drug lemzoparlimab in combination with or without an oral or IV formulation of dexamethasone and in combination with anti-myeloma regimens in adults with multiple myeloma. The trial began in January and had been slated for a July 2025 completion, but AbbVie ended up only enrolling eight patients with the white blood cell cancer out of an originally planned 163, according to the federal trials database.

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