Portfolio Highlights: Clinical and Financing Updates of AIxplorerBIO, Genhouse, VivaVision, Domain, Amberstone, Anji and QurAlis

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SHANGHAI, China, July 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As the investment division of Viva Biotech, Viva BioInnovator is committed to being a collaborative platform for Innovative Biotech companies from around the world. Over the past 2 month, its portfolio companies have had great progress.

AIxplorerBIO and the Institute of Immunology at Tsinghua University Reached a Strategic Collaboration Agreement to Explore and Promote the R&D of New Drugs in the Field of Autoimmunity

Recently, AIxplorerBIO, which invested and incubated by Viva BioInnovator, reached a strategic collaboration agreement with the Institute of Immunology at Tsinghua University in the field of autoimmunity on the pathogenesis of selected diseases, the selection and validation of relevant targets, and other topics of mutual interests. The two sides held their first pipeline strategy meeting in Beijing on July 19. Professor Xiaoyu Hu, the Executive Director for the Institute, Professors Zhihua Liu and Wenwen Zeng participated in the discussion. This strategic collaboration, combined with the AIxplorerBio team’s rich experience in drug R&D, coupled with the company’s comprehensive AI drug discovery platform AIxMol, will position AIxplorerBio at the forefront in the AI drug discovery race to bring better treatment options to patients with autoimmune diseases.

CDE Accepted the IND Application of Genhouse’s ERK1/2 Inhibitor GH55

On July 12th, 2022, Genhouse Bio, a biotech company focusing on developing next-generation small molecule anti-cancer therapeutics and incubated by Viva BioInnovator, announced that the Center for Drug Evaluation (CDE) has recently accepted the IND application for the new Class I drug, GH55. At the same time, the company is actively preparing for the IND filing of this program in the U.S.

The clinical trial application of GH55 further improves the strategic layout of Genhouse Bio’s 1.0 pipeline in the RAS/MAPK signaling pathway. GH55 is a dual-mechanism ERK1/2 inhibitor that inhibits not only the kinase activity of ERK1/2, but also the activation of ERK1/2 by MEK. It thus has the potential to overcome the acquired drug resistance caused by the negative feedback loop. 

VVN539, an Innovative Dual-target Glaucoma Drug Independently Developed by VivaVision, Completed the Enrollment of the First Patient in Phase II Clinical Trials in the United States

On July 8th, VivaVision Biotech, Inc. (VivaVision), an innovative ophthalmic drug company focusing on differentiation and global new development and which was invested and incubated by Viva BioInnovator, completed a big milestone. It announced that its self-developed dual-target drug VVN539 has completed the first patient enrollment of the Phase II clinical study for patients with open-angle glaucoma in Rochester Ophthalmological Group, New York, USA. This also sets a new milestone of the first independent innovation drug for glaucoma in China entering a stage for rapid advancement. This clinical study is a randomized, double-blinded, vehicle-controlled, dose-exploratory, phase II clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of VVN539 eye drops. VVN539 is an ophthalmic drug independently developed by VivaVision with global intellectual property rights. As a new-generation drug with a dual-target mechanism, VVN539 directly acts on the trabecular meshwork of the eye to increase the outflow of aqueous humor and achieve an ideal reduction in the intraocular pressure.

Domain Therapeutics receives a single digit multimillion development milestone payment from Merck for M1069 clinical development in immuno-oncology

On June 28, 2022, Domain Therapeutics, which invested and incubated by Viva BioInnovator, is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the research and development of innovative drugs targeting G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) in immuno-oncology (IO), announced that it obtained a single digit multimillion milestone payment from Merck as part of the €240m ($261m) milestone payments and undisclosed royalties collaboration and license partnership signed in 2017.

M1069 is an orally available small molecule antagonist of adenosine receptors discovered jointly by both companies. This productive and successful partnership, based on Domain’s expertise in GPCR medicinal chemistry, pharmacology and drug discovery, led to the identification of the drug candidate M1069 to be included in the oncology pipeline of Merck. This drug candidate is the first out of Domain’s pipeline to reach clinical development stage in immuno-oncology.

Amberstone Biosciences Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board

Amberstone Biosciences, one of the companies invested and incubated by Viva BioInnovator, is an emerging biotech company with expertise in developing a new generation of cancer therapies. Recently, it announced the formation of a scientific advisory board which is comprised of industry leaders in the top fields of drug delivery, oncology, immunology, and pharmaceutical sciences. The advisory board will work jointly with Amberstone to advance the company’s therapeutic programs based on its Tumor Microenvironment Activated Therapeutics (T-MATE) platform. The members of the Amberstone board include: Robert Langer, ScD, a co-founder and board director at Moderna and a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also known as the “father of tissue engineering and drug discovery”, Philip Tagari, the vice president of research at Amgen, and other top scientists.

Anji Pharma Provides Updates on Two Lead Programs

Recently, Anji Pharma, an emerging global medicines company which was invested and incubated by Viva BioInnovator, has posted updates on two lead clinical programs – ANJ908 and ANJ900. They shared the progress on these programs at two prominent scientific conferences: Digestive Disease Week (DDW) from May 21st-24th in San Diego and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 82nd Scientific Sessions from June 3rd-7th in New Orleans. ANJ908 and ANJ900 both have major potential to unlock significant value in Anji’s clinical pipeline and fulfill the mission of improving lives globally.

-Completed patient enrollment in Phase 2 study of ANJ908 (pradigastat) in chronic idiopathic constipation.
-Currently enrolling type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients with normal, mild, and moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD stages 1-3B) in global Phase 3 study of ANJ900 (metformin delayed-release). It’s on track for Q4 2022 expansion of ANJ900 global program into T2D with CKD3B/4 in U.S., China, and rest of world. 

QurAlis Announces the Appointment of Anne C. Whitaker as Chair of the Board

On June 21, 2022, QurAlis Corporation, a biotech company that invested and incubated by Viva BioInnovator, focused on developing breakthrough precision medicines for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative diseases with genetically validated targets,  announced the appointment of Anne Clem Whitaker as chair of its board of directors. 

Ms. Whitaker is a seasoned healthcare executive and director with more than 30 years of extensive leadership and commercialization experience in pharmaceuticals, biotech, consumer products, and medical devices. Her addition to the board advance the goal of halting disease progression and significantly improve outcomes for patients with ALS and other serious neurodegenerative diseases.

About AIxplorerBio

We are an AI-powered, structure-based drug R&D biotech company. We focus on the discovery and development of new medicines for immunological and neurodegenerative diseases. In the quest for the new medications, we are committed to creating a AI-powered, data-driven, structure-based, efficient drug R&D paradigm through introduction, cooperation and technological innovation.

About Genhouse

Genhouse Bio is a clinical-stage biotech company focusing on the development of global next-generation anti-cancer therapeutics, headquartered in the Suzhou Industry Park. The senior management team of Genhouse has multiple years of experience in new drug development, clinical research and corporate management. Genhouse has a clear focus on original innovation and overcoming those “undruggable” targets.

About VivaVivion Biotech

VivaVision is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on best-in-class and first-in-class therapies for ocular diseases. Besides VVN001 program, VivaVision is developing VVN539 for the treatment for Glaucoma or Ocular Hypertension, and VVN461 for the treatment of non-infectious ocular inflammation of Uveitis. VivaVision is also engaged in discovery and development of novel therapies for the treatment of other anterior and posterior eye diseases. For more info, visit www.vivavisionbio.com.

About Domain Therapeutics

Domain Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company operating in France and Canada, is dedicated to the discovery and development of new drug candidates targeting G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), one of the most important classes of drug targets. The company focuses on developing high-value drug candidates to tackle GPCR-mediated immunosuppression in immune-oncology. www.domaintherapeutics.com

About Amberstone Biosciences

Incorporated in 2018, Amberstone Biosciences is an emerging biotherapeutics company developing a novel class of tumor microenvironment activated immunotherapeutics to treat solid cancers. For more information, visit www.amberstonebio.com.

About Anji Pharma

Anji Pharma is a clinical-stage company dedicated to bringing life-changing therapies to patients across the globe. Anji’s asset-centric business model allows for speed and flexibility in building value, leveraging a clinical and regulatory core that operates with “hub-and-spoke” efficiency. Anji’s clinical pipeline includes gut-targeted metformin (ANJ900 in Phase 3) intended for glucose management in patients with type 2 diabetes and advanced chronic kidney disease, as well as pradigastat (ANJ908 in Phase 2) for treatment of functional constipation. For more info, visit www.anjipharma.com.

About QurAlis

QurAlis is trailblazing the path to conquering amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative diseases with genetically validated targets with next-generation precision medicines. QurAlis’ proprietary platforms and unique biomarkers enable the design and development of drugs that act directly on disease-causing genetic alterations. Founded by an internationally recognized team of neurodegenerative biologists from Harvard Medical School and Harvard University, QurAlis is advancing a deep pipeline of antisense oligonucleotides and small molecule programs including addressing sub-forms of ALS that account for the majority of ALS patients. For more information, please visit www.quralis.com.

CONTACT: Wei Ding, wei.ding@vivabiotech.com 

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