Chinese I/O player Adlai Nortye wraps $50M Series B; Amgen touts PhIII data for Remicade knockoff
→ Hangzhou-based Adlai Nortye has garnered $50 million from some top domestic backers for its vision in building a global immunotherapy company in China. Yuanming Capital led the Series B round, joined by Matrix Partners China, Detong Capital and Yahui Precision Medicine Fund. Adlai Nortye jumped into late-stage studies with an $86.6 million licensing deal with a struggling Oncolytics Biotech, which gave it development and commercialization rights to Reolysin (pelareorep) in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Under the leadership of CEO Carlsten Lu, the 100-plus staffers will now focus on initiating a Phase III study of Reolysin in breast cancer and continuing a Phase Ib trial for EP4 antagonist AN0025 in solid tumors. “We are very optimistic about Adlai Nortye’s huge development potential in the tumor immunotherapy area,” said Yuanming founding partner Yuan Tian in a statement. “We look forward to collaborating closely with Adlai Nortye, continuing to support their innovation and company growth.”
→ Readying a case for what would be the fourth biosimilar to Remicade, Amgen $AMGN has offered some data spotlighting ABP 710’s non-inferiority to the J&J drug in moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis. When the company begins to seek regulatory approvals, it will have to find its way into an intense rivalry between J&J and Pfizer, with the former moving to slash the price of the brand drug to guard against Pfizer’s two approved copycats. To be sure, Amgen has a ways to go before it can claim to have a product that fully threatens Remicade — indicated for chronic severe plaque psoriasis, moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease, moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis — but it’s keen to follow its five marketed biosimilars (between US and Europe) with more success stories.
→ Shares of Cara Therapeutics $CARA shot up this morning based on some positive, though not uniformly promising, data from their Phase II/III study of a new pain med called CR845. Researchers reported the high dose cleared the bar on statistical significance for pain reduction in the first 24 hours, but the low dose fell short of the mark. Some of the key secondaries also came through, with the high dose hitting on significantly reducing the incidence of patient-reported vomiting, with the low dose again falling short. Their stock soared 32% Wednesday morning.
→ Roche’s Chugai Pharmaceutical has terminated its pact on Japanese rights with PharmaMar on Zepsyre.