Global Roundup: Chinook Launches China-based San Reno Therapeutics


Seattle-based Chinook Therapeutics partnered with an investor syndicate led by Frazier Healthcare Partners and Pivotal bioVenture Partners China to launch SanReno Therapeutics, a China-based company that will develop, manufacture and commercialize kidney disease therapies for the Asian market.

Chinook has granted SanReno exclusive rights to develop and commercialize atrasentan and BION-1301 in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Singapore. In exchange, Chinook will retain 50% ownership in the China-based company. In addition to its equity stake, Chinook is entitled to receive progress-dependent milestone payments and royalties with respect to atrasentan and BION-1301.

SanReno will be responsible for all development, manufacturing and commercialization costs for atrasentan and BION-1301.

“Formation of this joint venture allows Chinook to expand our global reach and establish a strong presence in China by partnering with investors who are experienced in company formation, drug development and commercialization in the region,” Eric Dobmeier, president and chief executive officer of Chinook Therapeutics said in a statement.

Chronic kidney disease is a major public health concern in China. It affects more than 10% percent of the population, including several million patients with IgAN. Working with SanReno will expand Chinook’s access to Chinese patient populations.

Elsewhere around the globe:

Galderma – Switzerland-based Galderma, a dermatology company, announced it acquired Alastin Skincare, a specialty aesthetics company dedicated to developing innovative and clinically-tested physician-dispensed skincare products. Galderma said Alastin’s skincare portfolio is synergistic with Galderma’s integrated dermatology platform. Alastin was named as one of Forbes best start-up employers in America in 2020 and 2021 and was named as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America on the INC 5000 2020 and 2021 lists.

BPC – British Patient Capital participated in Quell Therapeutics’ Series B $156 million funding round. The deal is the first life sciences investment from its Future Fund: Breakthrough, a £375 million program where British Patient Capital co-invests with private sector investors in innovative R&D-intensive UK companies. Quell Therapeutics is a leader in the development of engineered T-regulatory (Treg) cell therapies for serious medical conditions driven by over activity of the immune system. 

Nabriva Therapeutics – Ireland-based Nabriva and Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals’ announced its New Drug Application to market oral and intravenous formulations of lefamulin for the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in adults in mainland China has been accepted for review by the Chinese Center for Drug Evaluation. In May 2021, Nabriva and Sumitomo entered into an agreement for the development and commercialization rights for lefamulin in the greater China region. Lefamulin, once approved, is expected to become a new, first in class treatment for Chinese patients with CAP.

Immunicum AB – Sweden’s Immunicum extended its collaboration with PCI Biotech Holding ASA. The two companies are researching capabilities to overcome current hurdles in cancer immunotherapy by introducing tumor independent immune targets into the tumor microenvironment, in combination with vaccination or adoptive immunotherapies.

SciRhom GmbH – Based in Germany, SciRhom announced an increase of its seed capital by €8 million ($8.1 million). The added investment brings the company’s total to €16 million. Funds will be used to achieve the next development milestones of their first-in-class drug candidates, antibodies against iRhom2 that have demonstrated preclinical efficacy in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The additional financing was provided by existing shareholders and a select group of investors from Europe and the U.S. SciRhom’s drug candidates inhibit iRhom2 (inactive Rhomboid 2, RHBDF2) and thus the functions of its binding partner, the cell surface protease TACE (TNF-alpha converting enzyme or ADAM17). As a result, they simultaneously block several pro-inflammatory signaling pathways.

Isarna Therapeutics – Germany’s Isarna announced it dosed the first patient in the BETTER Study, a parallel, two-segment Phase IIa clinical study assessing Isarna’s lead candidate ISTH0036 in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). The study aims to enroll as many as 24 patients for each indication and will be led by internationally renowned experts at clinical trial centers in Austria and India. The study’s objective is to evaluate ISTH0036 in these two indications and gain data that will enable the transition into a PhaseIIb/III clinical trial. Wet AMD causes reduced vision in the center of the eye and affects as many as 190 million people globally.

Confo Therapeutics – Belgium-based Confo and Regeneron have partnered to pair Confo’s conformationally selective VHH antibodies G protein-coupled receptors in disease-relevant conformations. The agreement leverages Confo’s expertise in addressing two GPCR targets for which functional antibodies are needed. Confo will be entitled to an upfront payment, research funding, and potential clinical, regulatory, and commercial payments. Further details regarding the agreement have not been disclosed. Confo’s ConfoBody-based technology platform aims to overcome the limitations of drug discovery on GPCRs, the largest and most diverse group of membrane receptors targeted by approximately 30% of all commercialized drugs.

Arch Biopartners – Toronto-based Arch Biopartners announced its lead drug candidate, LSALT Peptide will enter the Canadian Treatments for COVID-19 (CATCO) human trial. Based on results of the Phase II study completed earlier this year, the primary endpoint of the confirmatory clinical trial will be the difference in the number of respiratory support free days between study groups during the 28-day study period. Secondary endpoints include mortality, differences in outcomes involving other organs affected by COVID-19, such as kidney, liver, and heart function, time of hospitalization and intensive care stay, healthcare resource utilization, and late follow-up at 12 months post hospitalization.

Abivax SA – France’s Abivax reported good tolerability and promising signals of clinical benefit from its Phase I/II study of ABX196. In this study, heavily pre-treated hepatocellular cancer (HCC) patients were administered ABX196 in combination with checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab, including patients who were previously exposed to checkpoint inhibitor treatments. These results support the further clinical development of ABX196 in the HCC setting. Full details of the report will be released in January.

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