GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Sirnaomics, Inc. (www.sirnaomics.com) announced today that the company has signed a partnership agreement with Guangdong Zhongsheng Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., a Chinese pharmaceutical company trading on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE: 002317). The partnership will focus on development of small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapeutics to treat diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. This is the second partnership deal for Sirnaomics with a publicly traded Chinese pharmaceutical company following the one signed six months ago with Guangzhou Xiangxue Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (SZSE: 300147) (PRNewswire news release on December 2nd, 2010).
Sirnaomics is a leading biopharmaceutical company in the discovery and development of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics. With its proprietary technologies using multi-targeted siRNA cocktail design and nanoparticle-enhanced therapeutic delivery, Sirnaomics has developed an enriched pipeline of siRNA therapeutic product candidates, including STP705 for scarless wound healing, STP601 for ocular diseases, STP702 for respiratory influenza viral infection, STP801 for lung cancer amongst other programs. While maintaining its IP portfolio with global rights, Sirnaomics has authorized its Chinese affiliate Suzhou Sirnaomics Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. to hold and further develop the company's intellectual property rights in China.
The current partnership will pursue clinical development and commercialization of Sirnaomics' therapeutic product candidate (STP601), for treatment of ocular neovascularization conditions, in the Greater China and Southeast Asia markets. Sirnaomics previously completed a pre-IND meeting with the US FDA and determined ongoing IND enabling studies for the STP601 program. Guangdong Zhongsheng Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. is committing RMB 63 million yuan (US$9.75 million), including upfront and milestone payments to the partnership in addition to a royalty sharing and market territory sharing arrangement with Sirnaomics. This partnership signifies another major step in the siRNA therapeutic field specifically in the Greater China region. The two partnerships Sirnaomics has established not only enable the company to accelerate its development of siRNA therapeutic programs in China and Asia, but should also encourage further investments in the field of RNAi technologies in China and throughout the world.
"The partnerships with two public pharmaceutical companies in China mark a major milestone for Sirnaomics' endeavour on development and commercialization of siRNA therapeutics," said President and CEO of the company, Dr. Patrick Y. Lu. "While the Chinese pharmaceutical industry embraces our novel and innovative therapeutic programs, we receive financial support and expanded capacity as well to develop and commercialize our pharmaceutical products in China." Dr. Lu further commented, "We are excited to be able to pursue two of our siRNA therapeutic products in clinical studies in China."
"Sirnaomics' success in building partnerships with publicly traded pharmaceutical companies in China reflects both a willingness to embrace advanced technologies and the financial strength of those Chinese pharmaceutical companies," said Dr. David Evans, Executive Vice President for R&D of Sirnaomics. "This partnership will help accelerate our effort to develop the siRNA therapeutic programs in the US and other markets." Dr. Evans also indicated that the experience in preclinical safety assessment, CMC/Process Development, formulation and assay development, as well as the clinical trial designs gained during the studies in China will provide strong support to the company's ongoing effort for product development in the US.
Sirnaomics, Inc. is a privately held Delaware corporation headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. Established in 2007 by a group of leading scientists in the field of RNAi technology, the company is pursuing the mission of advancing RNAi technology with novel multi-targeted therapeutic development. In 2008, the company established its subsidiary in Suzhou, China to expand its R&D capacity and potential market. Members of the senior management team bring over 80 years of combined experience in the biopharmaceutical, financial and business management industries. Supported with funding from angel investors, corporate partnerships, government grants and China-Singapore VC, Sirnaomics has developed a strong portfolio of intellectual properties with an enriched product pipeline. The therapeutic areas of interest include regenerative medicine (wound healing), diabetic therapeutics, antiviral therapies, oncology therapeutics, and others.
VP for Corporate Development