CStone Partners with 3SBio for Nofazinlimab in China

02 November 2023 | Thursday | News

CStone Announces Strategic Partnership and Exclusive Licensing Agreement with 3SBio for Nofazinlimab (Anti-PD-1 Antibody) in Mainland China
Image Source : Public Domain

Image Source : Public Domain

  • CStone to grant 3SBio exclusive rights for the development, registration, manufacturing, and commercialization of nofazinlimab (anti-PD-1 antibody) in mainland China. CStone to retain the rights to nofazinlimab outside mainland China.
  • This partnership will combine the strengths of CStone and 3SBio in research and development, manufacturing, and commercialization, accelerating the clinical development and commercialization of nofazinlimab, to benefit more patients in China.
  • The global multi-regional Phase 3 study CS1003-305 of nofazinlimab in combination with lenvatinib versus placebo in combination with lenvatinib as first-line treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has completed patient enrollment and been making steady progress. Disclosure of the topline results is expected in the first quarter of 2024.
  • Proof-of-concept (PoC) data reported at 2022 ASCO annual meeting indicated that the combination of nofazinlimab and lenvatinib achieved robust and durable efficacy and manageable safety profile as the first-line treatment of advanced HCC. Data from the first-in-human (FIH) trial of nofazinlimab (CS1003-101), published in the British Journal of Cancer in September 2023, indicated that nofazinlimab monotherapy was well tolerated without observing dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) and demonstrated preliminary anti-tumor activity in multiple tumor types.

CStone Pharmaceuticals ("CStone", HKEX: 2616), a leading biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development, and commercialization of innovative immuno-oncology therapies and precision medicines, today announced a strategic partnership and exclusive licensing agreement with Shenyang Sunshine Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of 3SBio Inc. ("3SBio", HKEX: 1530) for an anti-PD-1 antibody nofazinlimab in mainland China.

Under the terms of the agreement, 3SBio will pay CStone an upfront payment of 60 million RMB, near 100 million RMB development and registration milestone payment, and additional payments for future sales based milestones and tiered sales royalties. 3SBio will obtain the exclusive rights for the development, registration, manufacturing, and commercialization of nofazinlimab in mainland China. CStone retains the rights to nofazinlimab outside mainland China and is actively looking for partners.

Dr. Jason Yang, CEO of CStone, stated, "We are excited to announce this strategic collaboration with 3SBio. Nofazinlimab, developed by CStone, has the potential to become the first anti-PD-(L)1 antibody in combination with lenvatinib approved in the first-line setting for advanced HCC. It will provide a novel and superior first-line treatment option to this patient population. With 3SBio's strong commercialization capability and pipeline synergy with nofazinlimab, we truly believe that the joint efforts will further expand the indication of nofazinlimab and maximize its clinical value and market potential in mainland China. We look forward to forging our strategic collaboration with 3SBio to deliver more cancer therapies to patients."

Dr. Lou Jing, Chairman and CEO of 3SBio Inc., said, "We are very pleased to reach a licensing agreement with CStone Pharmaceuticals for nofazinlimab CS1003. 3SBio has extensive experience of R&D and registration in the antibody field, high-quality and cost-effective production capabilities, as well as mature and strong oncology commercialization team. With those, CS1003 will enjoy a high degree of synergies, and will be an important supplement to the Company's pipeline. 3SBio is always committed to leveraging its integrated R&D, production and commercialization platform to bring more high-quality and imminently-needed-for-clinical-use biopharmaceutical products to the market. CS1003 has demonstrated in early stage excellent clinical data. We are very much looking forward to its subsequent R&D and commercialization potential. Through our mutual collaborations, we will further boost the development process of nofazinlimab, explore more effective drug combinations, and eventually make it a more effective and affordable treatment option for cancer patients."

Nofazinlimab is an Anti-PD-1 antibody developed by CStone. It's international multi-regional Phase 3 study CS1003-305, evaluating the efficacy and safety of nofazinlimab in combination with lenvatinib in first-line treatment for advanced HCC patients, has successfully achieved its prespecified patient enrollment target in March 2022. The topline results are expected to be disclosed in the first quarter of 2024. The study results will be used to support the new drug applications of nofazinlimab in countries and regions including Chinathe United States, and Europe.

Multiple research results of nofazinlimab have been published in international academic conferences and renowned journals. Preliminary data from the first-in-human trial, CS1003-101, were initially presented at the 2020 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Annual Conference and were subsequently published in full in the prestigious international oncology journal, the British Journal of Cancer, in September 2023. The data indicates that nofazinlimab monotherapy was well tolerated and demonstrated preliminary anti-tumor activity in multiple tumor types, no DLT was observed.

Additionally, data from the Phase Ib study (CS1003-102-1b) of nofazinlimab in combination with lenvatinib as a first-line treatment for unresectable advanced HCC patients in China were presented at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. The results showed an objective response rate (ORR) of 45%, with a median duration of response (DoR) not yet reached at the data cutoff, ranging from 4.2 to 18.7+ months. The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 10.4 months, and the safety and tolerability were favorable.

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