Josep Bassaganya-Riera, Landos Biopharma CEO (Landos)

Per­cep­tive's Chi­na up­start Lian­Bio con­tin­ues swing­ing deals, team­ing up with lead Xon­toge­ny biotech Lan­dos in IBD

One of Chi­na’s biggest up-and-com­ers has a brand new part­ner, and it’s one whose back­ers are like­ly fa­mil­iar with the oth­er’s.

Per­cep­tive’s Lian­Bio has se­cured a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Lan­dos Bio­phar­ma, the lead com­pa­ny in Chris Garabe­di­an’s Xon­toge­ny fund, to de­vel­op and mar­ket two pro­grams in Greater Chi­na and oth­er coun­tries in the re­gion, the biotechs an­nounced Mon­day morn­ing. In ex­change, Lan­dos is get­ting an up­front pay­ment of $18 mil­lion, up to $200 mil­lion in mile­stones and roy­al­ties on sales in the li­censed ter­ri­to­ries.

In ad­di­tion to Chi­na, Macau, Hong Kong and Tai­wan, Lian­Bio will be able to ex­clu­sive­ly mar­ket these two can­di­dates in South Ko­rea, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land, Viet­nam, Myan­mar, Cam­bo­dia, In­done­sia and the Philip­pines.

Found­ed just nine months ago, Lian­Bio has been busy ever since it was birthed by Per­cep­tive in or­der for the VC firm to gain a foothold in a grow­ing area. The biotech has gone full steam ahead with its in-li­cens­ing busi­ness mod­el, part­ner­ing with sev­er­al biotechs to po­ten­tial­ly bring promis­ing late-stage as­sets to the Chi­nese and Asian mar­ket­places.

Lan­dos is the sixth biotech with which Lian­Bio has part­nered so far, join­ing a sta­ble of Per­cep­tive com­pa­nies that have al­ready part­nered with the Chi­na play­er, in­clud­ing found­ing col­lab­o­ra­tors MyoKar­dia and Bridge­Bio. The two pro­grams in ques­tion will be the sev­enth and eighth in Lian­Bio’s pipeline. These can­di­dates, known as omi­lan­cor (for­mer­ly BT-11) and NX-13, would al­so mark Lian­Bio’s first for­ay in­to the IBD area.

Lian­Bio al­so saw sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment from Pfiz­er, which was the on­ly Big Phar­ma to join its $310 mil­lion Se­ries A last Au­gust. Pfiz­er fur­ther chipped in an­oth­er $70 mil­lion last No­vem­ber to in-li­cense pro­grams that they can then co-de­vel­op, putting them first in line to ne­go­ti­ate for stand­alone com­mer­cial deals.

Their busi­ness mod­el is one that has im­pressed Lan­dos CEO Josep Bas­saganya-Ri­era thus far, he told End­points News. Ever since Chi­na adopt­ed the ICH guide­lines in 2017, al­low­ing the coun­try to ex­pand its list of ap­proved drugs from main­ly gener­ics, more and more com­pa­nies have been clam­or­ing to break in­to the world’s biggest mar­ket. As Lan­dos ap­proach­es the lat­er stages of its two lead pro­grams, the part­ner­ship proved a nat­ur­al fit, Bas­saganya-Ri­era said.

“By us­ing this mod­el, there’s an op­por­tu­ni­ty for Lian­Bio to be­come a plat­form that brings the next wave of in­no­va­tion in­to Chi­na,” he told End­points. “Lian­Bio can be a true chan­nel, bring­ing in­no­va­tion from the US and oth­er parts of the world to those pa­tients that need those drugs in Asia and Chi­na in par­tic­u­lar.”

Omi­lan­cor is a LAN­CL2 ag­o­nist be­ing de­vel­oped to treat ul­cer­a­tive col­i­tis, Crohn’s dis­ease and eosinophilic esophagi­tis, and Lan­dos is ex­pect­ing to meet with the FDA by the end of June to fi­nal­ize its glob­al Phase III tri­al pro­to­col, Bas­saganya-Ri­era said. The cur­rent plan is to have Lian­Bio han­dle re­cruit­ment and have the nec­es­sary “boots on the ground” when ap­proach­ing reg­u­la­to­ry au­thor­i­ties in the li­censed coun­tries, he added.

It’s a pro­gram that no­tably missed sta­tis­ti­cal sig­nif­i­cance in its Phase II tri­al for mild to mod­er­ate UC, though re­searchers said they saw a “pos­i­tive trend” at the time. The ab­solute clin­i­cal re­mis­sion end­point for two dos­es com­pared to place­bo post­ed rates of 31.8%, 30.3% and 22.7%, re­spec­tive­ly, amount­ing to dis­ap­point­ing p-val­ues of p=0.340 and p=0.235.

But the re­sult­ing place­bo-ad­just­ed clin­i­cal re­mis­sion rates of 9.1% and 7.6% were con­sis­tent with stan­dard of care treat­ments for even se­vere UC, prompt­ing the com­pa­ny to go ahead with its Phase III. Lan­dos al­so dosed its first pa­tient for a Phase II Crohn’s dis­ease tri­al ear­li­er this month.

The oth­er can­di­date in the deal, NX-13, is an NL­RX1 tar­get­ing com­pound in de­vel­op­ment for the treat­ment of UC and Crohn’s. It’s cur­rent­ly in Phase Ib de­vel­op­ment where three dos­es are be­ing test­ed in 40 UC pa­tients, Bas­saganya-Ri­era said. The plan is to start a Phase II po­ten­tial­ly as soon as next year.

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