Sunshine Guojian Selects Verseau’s VSIG4-targeted Antibody as the Second Partnered Macrophage Checkpoint Modulator in Immuno-Oncology Collaboration
SHENYANG, China, SHANGHAI, China and BEDFORD Mass., December 14, 2020 –3SBio Inc. (“3SBio”)’s subsidiary, Sunshine Guojian Pharmaceutical (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. (“Sunshine Guojian”) and Verseau Therapeutics, Inc. (“Verseau”) today announced the selection of a monoclonal antibody targeting VSIG4, as a licensed program under their partnership agreement focused on the development and commercialization of novel monoclonal antibodies in the field of immuno-oncology for a broad range of cancers. This is the second licensed program under the partnership agreement signed between the parties in 2019. The first licensed program was granted by Verseau to Sunshine Guojian for VTX-0811, a novel PSGL-1-targeted antibody in the field of immuno-oncology, on November 18, 2019.
By targeting VSIG4, a type-I receptor from the B7-like family that is highly expressed on tumor-associated macrophages and dendritic cells across most tumor types, the antibody reprograms macrophages and dendritic cells to a pro-inflammatory state, activates T cells and attracts other immune cells to generate a coordinated and powerful antitumor response. Verseau’s anti-VSIG4 antibodies preclinically demonstrate a greater inflammatory response compared to current immunotherapies in both PD-1 responsive tumors and non-responsive tumors. VSIG4 is the second unblinded target from Verseau’s pipeline of macrophage checkpoint modulators (MCMs). Verseau’s MCMs reprogram macrophages to be more inflammatory or more tolerogenic depending on the disease context.
“Since entering into a collaboration with 3SBio in 2019, we have made significant progress toward our goal to expand the potential of immunotherapy by developing a pipeline of first-in-class macrophage checkpoint modulators across a broad range of cancer types,” said Dr. Tanya Novobrantseva, Chief Scientific Officer of Verseau. “With the selection of a monoclonal antibody targeting VSIG4 as a licensed program under our partnership, we now have two programs in co-development with 3SBio Group’s subsidiary, Sunshine Guojian and look forward to continuing our relationship as we expand our pipeline of both partnered and proprietary programs.”
“Early data in patient-derived primary tumors suggest that VSIG4 antibodies could generate a greater anti-tumor inflammatory response compared to current immunotherapies in both PD-1 responsive and non-responsive tumors,” said Dr. Jing Lou, Chairman of 3SBio. “By partnering with Verseau we are now at the forefront of one of the most promising areas of innovation within immuno-oncology, and are making timely progress toward our goal of bringing novel cancer therapies to patients in China.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Sunshine Guojian received an exclusive license to develop and commercialize a select number of MCM antibodies for all human oncology indications in Greater China, including mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau (“Territory”). Verseau retains global rights to all MCM programs outside of Greater China. Verseau is responsible for the discovery and optimization of MCM antibodies for each program. Sunshine Guojian will fund and conduct preclinical antibody development, GMP manufacturing, and commercialization in the Territory.
VSIG4, a type-I receptor from the B7-like family, is highly expressed on tumor-associated macrophages and dendritic cells across most tumor types. The anti-VSIG4 antibody reprograms macrophages and dendritic cells to a pro-inflammatory state, activates T cells and attracts other immune cells to generate a coordinated and powerful antitumor response. In patient-derived primary tumors, Verseau’s VSIG4 antibodies demonstrate a greater inflammatory response compared to current immunotherapies in both PD-1 responsive and non-responsive tumor samples. VSIG4 is the second unblinded target from Verseau’s pipeline of macrophage checkpoint modulators (MCMs). Verseau’s MCMs reprogram macrophages to be more inflammatory or more tolerogenic depending on the disease context.
About Macrophage Checkpoint Modulators
Verseau is broadening the therapeutic potential of immunotherapy by developing macrophage checkpoint modulators (MCMs) that regulate the functional shift to make macrophages more inflammatory or more tolerogenic depending on the disease context. While many patients benefit from PD-1 inhibitor therapies, they are only effective in the ~25% of cancers that involve T cell infiltration. By targeting modulation of macrophages, which are present in ~75% of human cancers, Verseau aims to significantly expand the therapeutic benefit of immunotherapy. MCMs cause tumors to turn highly inflammatory and stimulate multiple immune cell types, including T cells. Verseau’s therapies have the potential to significantly expand the number of patients benefitting from immunotherapy, including those unresponsive to PD-1 inhibitor therapies. Through its proprietary all-human translational system Verseau has validated more than two dozen targets amenable to different therapeutic modalities, including monoclonal antibodies.
Verseau is creating a new class of therapeutics, macrophage checkpoint modulators, to benefit patients with cancer, immune and inflammatory diseases. With its proprietary all-human translational platform, Verseau is identifying novel targets and developing therapies that shift macrophages between immune activators and silencers in disease. Our data suggest that Verseau can at least double the patient population benefitting from immunotherapy. Verseau’s initial focus is building a pipeline of first-in-class therapies that modulate macrophages to trigger a coordinated immune attack on cancer. Verseau has validated more than two dozen targets amenable to different therapeutic modalities, including monoclonal antibodies. Please visit https://www.verseautx.com/ for additional information.
About 3SBio Inc.
3SBio is a fully-integrated biotechnology company in China with market-leading biopharmaceutical franchises in oncology, auto-immune diseases, nephrology, metabolic diseases and dermatology. 3SBio is focusing on building an innovative product pipeline, currently with over 30 product candidates under development. 3SBio’s manufacturing capabilities include recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies and chemically-synthesized molecules, with production centers in Shenyang, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Cuomo, Italy. Please visit www.247cinema.cn for additional information.
About Sunshine Guojian
Sunshine Guojian was established in 2002 and is one of the first batch of innovative biopharmaceutical companies focusing on antibody drugs in China. It is a domestic pharmaceutical company that has three launched therapeutic antibody drugs, and had emerged as a leader in antibody drug with its capabilities of independent R&D, manufacturing and commercialization in China. Sunshine Guojian orients its R&D efforts primarily towards innovative therapeutic antibody drugs, and provides high-quality, safe and effective clinical solutions to the therapeutic areas of major diseases such as auto-immune diseases and cancers. Currently, Sunshine Guojian has 17 antibody drug candidates which are under different development stages (including 9 drug candidates in clinical and post-clinical stage and 8 drug candidates in pre-clinical stage), targeting tumor, autoimmune diseases and ophthalmological diseases. Most of those drug candidates are Category I biological products for therapeutic use or monoclonal antibodies, Some of those drug candidates may have their applications be submitted to both the NMPA and the U.S. FDA, while some may be admitted for priority review. Please visit www.3s-guojian.com for additional information.
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