Hansoh, fresh from Big Pharma deal table, signs $690M ADC pact with Biotheus

During Big Pharma’s flurry of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) deals late last year, China emerged as the go-to location to source the tech for this red-hot modality. Now, two Chinese biotechs have paired up again for their own ADC exercise.

Under an extension to their existing partnership, Hansoh Pharma has secured a license to use Biotheus’ anti-EGFR/cMet bispecific antibody, dubbed PM1080/HS-20117, in developing ADCs. Biotheus is in line for a total of 5 billion Chinese yuan ($690 million) in combined upfront and success-based milestone payments as well as tiered royalties based on global net sales of any ADCs that Hansoh manages to bring to market.

PM1080/HS-20117 is designed to inhibit the growth and survival of tumors by specifically targeting the tumor antigens EGFR and cMet. Hansoh has already started phase 1 trials of the antibody.

The latest pact expands on a 2022 agreement that saw Hansoh acquire the license to PM1080 in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan for 50 million Chinese yuan ($5.45 million).

“We really appreciate Hansoh's confidence in the potential of PM1080," Biotheus CEO Xiaolin Liu said in a March 14 release. “Bispecific ADCs have a potential advantage for better tumor enrichment, overall efficacy and safety.”

“Hansoh develops an outstanding ADC platform, and this collaboration will facilitate the synergy between Hansoh's ADC expertise and Biotheus' antibody capabilities,” Liu added. “Through this collaboration, we hope to develop a novel EGFR/cMet bispecific ADC with better efficacy and safety for cancer patients worldwide.”

Hansoh was a key player in the ADC gold rush last year, with GSK mining two deals from the company for around $265 million in combined upfront payments. Bristol Myers Squibb also got in on the Chinese ADC action, handing SystImmune $800 million upfront for a phase 2 solid tumor candidate.

In November 2023, German mRNA pioneer BioNTech paid Biotheus $55 million upfront to develop a phase 2 bispecific antibody called PM8002 outside of China.