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.

Biotech in­vestors and CEOs see two paths to growth, but are they equal­ly vi­able?

The dynamic in the biotech market has been highly volatile in the last few years, from the high peaks immediately after the COVID vaccine in 2021, to the lowest downturns of the last 20 years in 2022. This uncertainty makes calling the exact timing of the market’s turn something of a fool’s errand, according to Dr. Chen Yu, Founder and Managing Partner of TCG Crossover (TCG X). He speaks with RBC’s Noël Brown, Head of US Biotechnology Investment Banking, about the market’s road ahead and two possible paths for growth.

Casey McPherson shows his daughters Rose (left) and Weston around Everlum Bio, a lab that he co-founded to spark a treatment for Rose and others with ultra-rare conditions. (Ilana Panich-Linsman)

Fa­ther starts lab af­ter in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty is­sues stymie rare dis­ease drug de­vel­op­ment

Under bright lab lights, Casey McPherson holds his 6-year-old daughter, Rose. His free hand directs Rose’s gaze toward a computer screen with potential clues in treating her one-of-a kind genetic condition.

Gray specks on the screen show her cells that scientists reprogrammed with the goal of zeroing in on a custom medicine. McPherson co-founded the lab, Everlum Bio, to spark a treatment for Rose — and others like her. A regarded singer-songwriter, McPherson never imagined going into drug development.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Fireside chat between Hal Barron and John Carroll, UKBIO19

It’s time we talked about bio­phar­ma — live in Lon­don next week

Zoom can only go so far. And I think at this stage, we’ve all tested the limits of staying in touch — virtually. So I’m particularly happy now that we’ve revved up the travel machine to point myself to London for the first time in several years.

Whatever events we have lined up, we’ve always built in plenty of opportunities for all of us to get together and talk. For London, live, I plan to be right out front, meeting with and chatting with the small crowd of biopharma people we are hosting on October 12 at Silicon Valley Bank’s London headquarters. And there’s a lengthy mixer at the end I’m most looking forward to, with several networking openings between sessions.

Take­da to pull key hy­poparathy­roidism drug from the mar­ket af­ter years of man­u­fac­tur­ing woes

Takeda on Tuesday morning made an announcement that almost 3,000 people with the rare disease known as hypoparathyroidism were fearing.

Due to unresolved supply issues and manufacturing woes, Takeda said it will cut its losses and discontinue its hypoparathyroidism drug, known as Natpara (parathyroid hormone), halting all manufacturing of the drug by the end of 2024, but the entire inventory will be available until depleted or expired, a company spokesperson said via email.

Tim Miller, Forge Biologics CEO

CNS-fo­cused gene ther­a­py biotech forges man­u­fac­tur­ing deal for hear­ing loss drug

A growing gene therapy company is teaming up with one of the largest gene therapy manufacturers to get its drug into patients in clinical trials.

Myrtelle announced on Monday that it inked a deal with Forge Biologics to make Myr-201, a gene therapy indicated for monogenic hearing loss. The target patient population, Myrtelle said, is people with a type of hearing loss called DFNB8, or autosomal recessive deafness 8.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Pfizer and BioNTech's original Marvel comic book links evolving Covid vaccine science to Avengers' evolving villain-fighting tools.(Source: Pfizer LinkedIn post)

Pfiz­er, BioN­Tech part­ner with Mar­vel for Avengers and Covid-fight­ing com­ic book

Pfizer and BioNTech are collaborating with Marvel to celebrate “everyday” people getting Covid-19 vaccines in a custom comic book.

In the “Everyday Heroes” digital comic book, an evolving Ultron, one of the Avengers’ leading villains, is defeated by Captain America, Ironman and others. The plotline and history of Ultron is explained by a grandfather who is waiting with his family at a clinic for Covid-19 vaccinations.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

FDA+ roundup: Ad­comm date set for Cy­to­ki­net­ics heart drug; New gener­ic drug guid­ance to re­duce fa­cil­i­ty de­lays

The FDA has set Dec. 13 as the day that its Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee will review Cytokinetics’ potential heart drug, setting up a key vote ahead of a Feb. 28, 2023 PDUFA date.

The drug, known as omecamtiv mecarbil, read out its first Phase III in November 2020, hitting the primary endpoint of reducing the odds of hospitalization or other urgent care for heart failure by 8%. But it also missed a key secondary endpoint analysts had pegged as the key to breaking into the market, failing to significantly differ in reducing cardiovascular death from placebo.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Car­olyn Bertozzi (Illustration: Assistant editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News)

Car­olyn Bertozzi, re­peat biotech founder and launch­er of a field, shares in chem­istry No­bel win

Carolyn Bertozzi, predicted by some to become a Nobel laureate, clinched one of the world’s top awards in the wee hours of Wednesday, winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry alongside a repeat winner and a Copenhagen researcher.

The Stanford professor, Morten Meldal of University of Copenhagen and 2001-awardee K. Barry Sharpless of Scripps shared the prize equally. The Nobel is sometimes split in quarters and/or halves.

Benjamine Liu, TrialSpark CEO

Paul Hud­son and Tri­alSpark's mu­tu­al de­sire to speed up de­vel­op­ment con­verges in three-year, six-drug goal

A unicorn startup that originally set out to hasten clinical studies for biopharma partners dug further into its revised path of internal drug development by linking arms with Sanofi in a pact that the biotech’s CEO said originated from the top.

TrialSpark and the Big Pharma on Tuesday committed to in-licensing and/or acquiring six Phase II/Phase III drugs within the next three years.

“I’ve known Paul Hudson for a while and we were discussing the opportunity to really re-imagine a lot of different parts of pharma,” TrialSpark CEO Benjamine Liu told Endpoints News, “and one of the things that we discussed was this opportunity to accelerate the development of new medicines in mutual areas of interest.”

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.