Fosun unit Wanbang and Sirona Biochem pen new licensing pact for non-insulin diabetes candidate

Wanbang Biopharmaceuticals is expanding a years-long partnership with Canadian biotech Sirona Biochem for global licensing rights to an investigational non-insulin diabetes treatment in both people and animals.

Wanbang, a subsidiary of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical developing antibiotics and drugs for chronic diseases in China, is expanding an agreement regarding Sirona’s SGLT2 inhibitor, dubbed TFC-039. The inhibitor type aims to modulate sodium-glucose transport proteins in the nephron and are often used to lower blood sugar levels.

In 2014, Wanbang inked a licensing pact to develop the compound as a diabetes treatment in China while Sirona retained all global rights. Since then, the two have worked together to produce preclinical data, multiple clinical studies and advance towards manufacturing development.

The new partnership terms will reduce the time it takes to reach third-party partnerships and commercialization, according to a Nov. 23 release from Sirona.

“The probability of a successful licensing agreement has been made much stronger by leveraging our alliance with Wanbang,” Sirona CEO and Founder Howard Verrico, M.D., said in the release.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Sirona is also exploring using TFC-039 as a diabetes and chronic kidney disease treatment in companion animals since SGLT2 inhibitors can be administered orally as opposed to daily insulin injections.

Wanbang isn’t the only pharma Sirona has pulled in. Just this summer, the cosmetic ingredient and drug discovery company entered a global licensing agreement with AbbVie’s Allergan Aesthetics, in which the company will work to develop topical skin care treatments based on active ingredients derived from Sirona's compounds.