Zai Lab and MacroGenics Enter Into Broad Strategic Collaboration to Develop and Commercialize Preclinical Bispecific Antibodies in Oncology

On June 16, 2021 Zai Lab Limited (NASDAQ: ZLAB; HKEX: 9688), an innovative commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company, and MacroGenics (NASDAQ: MGNX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative monoclonal-antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, reported that the companies have entered into an exclusive collaboration and license agreement involving up to four immuno-oncology molecules(Press release, Zai Laboratory, JUN 16, 2021, View Source [SID1234584047]).

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The first collaboration program covers a lead research molecule that incorporates MacroGenics’ DART platform and binds CD3 and an undisclosed target that is expressed in multiple solid tumors. The next-generation CD3 component of the DART bispecific molecule has been designed to minimize cytokine-release syndrome while maintaining anti-tumor cytolytic activity. The second collaboration program will cover a target to be designated by MacroGenics. For both molecules, Zai receives commercial rights in Greater China, Japan, and Korea and MacroGenics receives commercial rights in all other territories. For the lead molecule, Zai Lab receives an option upon reaching a predefined clinical milestone to convert the regional arrangement into a global 50/50 profit share.

Zai Lab also obtains exclusive, global licenses from MacroGenics to develop, manufacture and commercialize two additional molecules. For the four programs, each company will contribute intellectual property to generate either CD3- or CD47-based bispecific antibodies.

"We are very pleased to be expanding our existing relationship with Zai Lab, which already includes regional rights in Greater China for two clinical-stage programs," said Scott Koenig, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of MacroGenics. "Zai has a strong track record of rapidly progressing the development of innovative product candidates in China. This new partnership enables us to jointly discover, develop and deliver potentially best-in-class therapeutics to address patients’ unmet medical needs."

"MacroGenics has been a great partner and one of the leading companies in the immuno-oncology field," said Samantha Du, Ph.D., Founder, Chairperson, Chief Executive Officer of Zai Lab. "We are pleased to expand our strategic collaboration, which leverages both companies’ unique research capabilities and gives Zai Lab access to MacroGenics’ proprietary technologies to expand our innovative oncology portfolio on a global basis."

Under the terms of the agreement, MacroGenics receives initial consideration from Zai Lab of $55 million, including an upfront payment of $25 million and an equity investment of $30 million in MacroGenics’ common stock at $31.30 per share. In addition, MacroGenics is eligible to receive up to $1.4 billion in potential development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments for the four programs. If products from the collaboration are commercialized, MacroGenics would also receive royalties on annual net sales in Zai Lab’s territories.

SERVIER AND PRISM BIOLAB ENTER DRUG DISCOVERY COLLABORATION FOR A NOVEL TARGET

On June 16, 2021 Servier, a global independent pharmaceutical Group, and PRISM BioLab, a Japan based biotechnology company with proprietary small molecule drug discovery platform, "PepMeticsTechnology", reported that they have entered into a Collaboration and Exclusive License Option Agreement(Press release, Servier, JUN 16, 2021, View Source [SID1234584046]).

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Under the collaboration agreement, PepMetics technology provided by PRISM BioLab are utilized to identify from their library or synthetize, characterize, and optimize small molecule compounds capable of binding and stimulating the activity of the target specified by Servier.

Wesley Blackaby, Ph.D, Head of Chemistry at Servier says: "We look forward to working with PRISM BioLab in this collaboration. The PRISM BioLab technology has the potential to help with the identification and optimization of novel compounds against hard to drug targets, in particular in cancer, which is one of the Group’s priority R&D areas."

Upon finding the lead compounds, Servier has the option to license the lead compounds for further optimization and clinical development.

PRISM BioLab will receive collaboration fee and option fees payments under the Option Agreement, and further milestones and royalty payments under the License Agreement. Specific financial terms are not disclosed.

Dai Takehara, President and CEO, PRISM BioLab, says: "We are delighted to partner with Servier who is committed to delivering therapy for patients by challenging novel targets. Our proprietary PepMetics Technology has generated various pipelines for previously undruggable targets, and our team is excited to challenge Servier’s novel target together."

PepMetics Molecules are designed to mimic α-helix or β-turn peptide using unique scaffold with corresponding dihedral angles. These motifs are essential for protein-protein interactions within the cell especially related to transcription and translation.

Using this technology, two clinical stage pipelines for cancer and fibrosis have been developed and licensed to Japanese Pharma companies, and many early pipelines and research seeds are created for novel and previously undruggable targets.

Véronique Blanc, Ph.D, Research Program Head – Immuno-Oncology at Servier, says: "Intra-cellular pathways and targets offer multiple opportunities to modulate the innate and adaptive immune response in cancer and represent a source of future innovation, that we are committed to explore. As many immune-oncology intracellular targets are difficult to drug, the design of innovative and adapted modulators is critical for the development of new drugs.

European Patent covering Kimozo®

On June 16, 2021 ORPHELIA Pharma, a French biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development and marketing of pediatric and orphan drugs and Gustave Roussy, the leading cancer center in Europe, reported that the European Patent Office has issued Patent EP3613436, which is directed to Kimozo, the first pediatric, ready-to-use and taste-masked oral suspension of temozolomide(Press release, ORPHELIA Pharma, JUN 16, 2021, http://www.orphelia-pharma.eu/news/european-patent-covering-kimozo/ [SID1234584045]). Kimozo results from the collaboration between the pharmacists and clinicians from Gustave Roussy and ORPHELIA Pharma.

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"Temozolomide is an essential oncology drug used to treat relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma, a disease that unfortunately affects very young children. We are working in close collaboration with European clinicians and our goal is to make this pediatric form of temozolomide available as early as 2021 through early access programs"; commented Jeremy Bastid, Chief Development Officer of ORPHELIA Pharma.

"We have developed a hospital compounded liquid preparation of temozolomide in 2015 to address the needs of young patients treated at our center", explain Maxime Annereau, pharmacist and Samuel Abbou, pediatric oncologist at Gustave Roussy, both at the origin of this project. "This hospital formulation was suitable for children but did not exhibit the physico-chemical and stability properties compatible with an industrialized product. This product was therefore not available to all patients. Three years of research and development between Gustave Roussy and ORPHELIA Pharma were necessary in order to achieve the targeted specifications: a highly concentrated, taste-masked and stable formulation".

"Our research efforts led to the development of Kimozo, the first drinkable formulation of temozolomide. The innovation is based on the discovery of a key excipient involved in the stability and the control of the rheological properties of the suspension, an invention that has been patented", concludes Jeremy Bastid.

The grant of Patent EP3613436 entitled "oral suspension of temozolomide" and co-owned by ORPHELIA Pharma and Gustave Roussy has been published in the European Patent Bulletin. Based on the filing date of the application, the patent protection is expected to last until 2038.

Nkarta to Present at Upcoming Investor Conference

On June 16, 2021 Nkarta, Inc. (Nasdaq: NKTX), a biopharmaceutical company developing engineered natural killer (NK) cell therapies to treat cancer, reported its participation at this upcoming investor conference(Press release, Nkarta, JUN 16, 2021, View Source [SID1234584043]):

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Raymond James Human Health Innovation Conference
June 21, 2021
3:20 p.m. ET – fireside chat presentation

The live webcast of the presentation will be available on the Investors section of Nkarta’s website, www.nkartatx.com. A replay of the webcast will be archived on the website for approximately four weeks.

Jounce Therapeutics to Host Virtual R&D Day on June 23, 2021

On June 16, 2021 Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: JNCE), a clinical-stage company focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer immunotherapies and predictive biomarkers, reported that it will host a virtual R&D Day at 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 23, 2021(Press release, Jounce Therapeutics, JUN 16, 2021, View Source [SID1234584042]).

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The event will feature presentations and a Q&A session from Jounce management and scientific team members, in addition to key opinion leader and a Jounce scientific founder, Robert Schreiber, PhD, The Washington University School of Medicine.

A webcast of the R&D Day will be available by visiting "Events and Presentations" in the Investors and Media section of Jounce’s website at www.jouncetx.com. A replay of the webcast will be available for 30 days following the presentation.