SHANGHAI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Laekna Therapeutics Shanghai Co., Ltd. (Laekna) today announced a new agreement with Novartis giving the China-based biotech company exclusive global rights to Novartis’ anti-PD-L1 Antibody (FAZ053).
FAZ053 has been involved in a phase I clinical trial in patients with advanced cancer. The trial demonstrated positive proof-of-concept results for a tolerable safety profile and clinical efficacy of FAZ053 in diverse solid tumors. Laekna, a company dedicated to the research and development of small-molecule and antibody-targeted drugs, now has exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the PD-L1 oncology asset. With this move, the company aims to advance clinical research and introduce pioneering new drugs to patients, including the rapidly growing cancer patient population in China.
“A combination of PD-L1 Antibody with chemotherapy, or targeted therapy can greatly improve treatment response and prolong survival,” said Dr. Yong Yue, CMO of Laekna. “We have mapped a number of combination strategies to treat a variety of cancers that do not respond or are resistant to checkpoint inhibitor treatments.”
Laekna plans to start trials on combination therapies as soon as possible in order to address the unmet needs of people with cancer and bring innovative, effective treatments to more cancer patients across China.
This is the third in a recent series of agreements between Laekna and Novartis. “Novartis is a global leader in oncology drug innovation and we believe that the three oncology assets we have acquired from Novartis have great synergistic anti-cancer effects,” said Dr. Chris Lu, founder and CEO of Laekna. “This synergy will allow us to apply various combinations to treat many cancer indications, including triple negative breast cancer and prostate cancer.”
As part of this agreement, Novartis will receive an upfront payment, with additional payments at key development milestones as well as royalties on future sales.
Laekna, headquartered in Zhangjiang, Shanghai, is dedicated to the development of small molecule and antibody-targeted drugs, and focused on developing new targeted therapies to treat cancer and liver diseases. Laekna has developed an R&D pipeline based on disease causative biological mechanisms and molecular pathways, producing new, innovative, first-in-class and best-in-class drugs.
Laekna has already collaborated twice with Novartis AG of Switzerland, obtaining global rights for the small-molecule tumor treatment candidate LAE001, and two oral AKT pan inhibitors Afuresertib (LAE002) and Uprosertib (LAE003). Laekna continues R&D into their own in-house projects, developing new breakthrough drugs to benefit more patients, and building an internationally influential drug R&D platform.
In April 2019, Laekna also finished a B round financing for 27.5M USD, led by GP Healthcare.