China’s WuXi Biologics and CANbridge Pharma to partner on rare disease therapies

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CANbridge said it expects to file the first IND application in a rare disease in China sometime next year. (Getty images)

China-based CANbridge Pharmaceutical and CRO WuXi Biologics announced a partnership to develop and market rare disease therapies.

Under terms of the agreement, CANbridge hopes to leverage WuXi’s drug discovery, development and manufacturing strengths and move toward global commercialization of products. In exchange, WuXi will receive upfront payments as well as additional payments based on the achievement of certain milestones and product royalties. Financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.

In its announcement, CANbridge said it expects to file the first IND application in a rare disease in China sometime next year.

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“There are huge unmet medical needs in China regarding rare disease diagnosis and treatment,” Dr. Chris Chen, WuXi’s chief executive, said in a statement. “We are excited to enable CANbridge to become a leader in rare diseases and to collaborate with them to bring the much-needed treatment to Chinese patients.”

Earlier this year, CANbridge inked a deal with Puma Biotechnology to commercialize Nerlynx (neratinib) in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. Nerlynx tablets received the FDA green light in July 2017 for extended adjuvant treatment in HER2-positive breast cancer following Herceptin-based therapy. CANbridge is also developing the drug as CAN030 in HER2-positive breast and gastric cancers. 

The company also holds a license with Apogenix to develop and market its immune-oncology therapy APG101, retitled as CAN008, for glioblastoma multiforme.