Angel Pharmaceuticals Launches with 280 Million Financing by Local Partners and Strategic Collaboration with Corvus Pharmaceuticals
October 6, 2020
Angel Pharmaceuticals, China based biopharmaceutical company backed by investor group which includes three prominent pharmaceutical companies, today announced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with Corvus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CRVS) that will enable the development and commercialization of its pipeline of precisely targeted investigational medicines in China.
Angel Pharmaceuticals is a new China-based biopharmaceutical company with a mission to bring innovative quality medicines to Chinese patients for treatment of serious diseases including cancer, autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases. It was formed and launched with investments from a Chinese investor group that includes funds associated with Betta Pharmaceuticals, Tigermed, Hisun Pharmaceuticals and Zhejiang Puissance Capital, which investments are subject to the satisfaction of certain customary conditions. Contemporaneously with the financing, Angel Pharmaceuticals licensed the rights to develop and commercialize Corvus’ three clinical-stage candidates – ciforadenant, CPI-006 and CPI-818 – in greater China and obtained global rights to Corvus’ BTK inhibitor preclinical programs.
“The formation and launch of Angel Pharmaceuticals to develop our product pipeline in greater China opens a significant new opportunity for Corvus,” said Richard A. Miller, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Corvus. “We expect Corvus shareholders will benefit from this collaboration in two main ways: our ownership position in Angel in the rapidly growing Chinese biotech market, and the acceleration of our product development capabilities through the participation of patients in China. We believe Angel is positioned for success as a science-based Chinese biopharmaceutical company backed by an impressive group of investors with financial resources, and significant regulatory, drug development and commercialization experience. Their investment is strong validation of Corvus’ pipeline and its importance in addressing unmet needs in the Chinese and global markets. We have already begun working with the Angel leadership to initiate clinical trials in China with ciforadenant, CPI-006 and CPI-818 in cancer, autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases within the next 12 to 18 months. We believe that the expertise and development capabilities at Angel will accelerate and enhance Corvus’ global development capabilities.”
“Dr. Miller is a world-renowned drug developer and he has built a first class management team at Corvus. The Angel team is fortunate to partner with Dr. Miller and his team on their novel product portfolio, which has demonstrated impressive results to date in the clinic,” said Dr. Ted Wang, managing partner of Puissance Capital, co-founder and board member of Angel Pharmaceuticals. “Angel is launching at an opportune time, benefiting from China’s explosive growth in demand for innovative medicines, reform in drug regulation and approvals, and change in IPO listing requirements specifically designed to encourage drug innovation.”
“Our goal in launching Angel is to build a company that will have a long-term, positive impact on society. We have brought together a local team that is aligned with this mission and that is very experienced in the Chinese market, including expertise in research and development, clinical operations and regulatory affairs, business development, and intellectual property protection. By standing on the shoulders of Corvus, Angel can accelerate drug development and bring innovative medicines, including internally developed programs, to patients in China and globally faster.”
About Corvus Pharmaceuticals
Corvus Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Corvus’ lead product candidates are ciforadenant (CPI-444), a small molecule inhibitor of the A2A receptor, and CPI-006, a humanized monoclonal antibody directed against CD73 that has exhibited immunomodulatory activity and activation of immune cells in preclinical studies. The Company’s third cancer clinical program, CPI-818, an oral, small molecule drug that has been shown to selectively inhibit ITK, is in a multicenter Phase 1/1b clinical trial in patients with several types of T-cell lymphomas.
Ciforadenant (CPI-444) is a small molecule, oral, checkpoint inhibitor designed to disable a tumor’s ability to subvert attack by the immune system by blocking the binding of adenosine in the tumor microenvironment to the A2A receptor. Adenosine, a metabolite of ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate), is produced within the tumor microenvironment where it may bind to the adenosine A2A receptor present on immune cells and block their activity. CD39 and CD73 are enzymes on the surface of tumor cells and immune cells. These enzymes work in concert to convert ATP to adenosine.
CPI-006 is a potent humanized monoclonal antibody that reacts with a specific site on CD73. It has demonstrated immunomodulatory activity resulting in activation of lymphocytes, induction of antibody production from B cells and effects on lymphocyte trafficking. While there are other anti-CD73 antibodies in development for treatment of cancer, such antibodies have been reported to react with a different region of CD73 and are designed to block production of adenosine, which is not involved in the immunomodulatory processes seen with CPI-006.
CPI-818 is a small molecule drug given orally that has been shown to selectively inhibit ITK (interleukin-2-inducible T-cell kinase). It was developed to possess dual properties: to block malignant T-cell growth and modulate immune responses. ITK, an enzyme, is expressed predominantly in T-cells and plays a role in T-cell and natural killer (NK) cell lymphomas and leukemias, as well as in normal immune function. Interference with ITK signaling can modulate immune responses to various antigens. The inhibition of specific molecular targets in T-cells may be of therapeutic benefit for patients with T-cell lymphomas and in patients with autoimmune diseases.
About global rights BTK inhibitor preclinical programs
Compared with ibrutinib, BTK Inhibitor can significantly improve the kinase selectivity and the provide blood-brain barrier penetration, which provides a possibility for the treatment of central nervous system lymphoma and other diseases.
Tigermed is a leading provider of comprehensive biopharmaceutical R&D services and largest CRO in China that is publicly listed on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges; it has a market cap of $11.4 billion.
About Betta Pharmaceuticals
Betta Pharmaceuticals is an innovative pharmaceutical enterprise dedicated to diseases severely influencing human health that is publicly listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange; and market cap of $6.7 billion.
About Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd.
Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. is one of the largest Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) manufacturers in China that is publicly listed on the Shanghai stock exchange. Hisun has a market cap of $2.3 billion.
About Puissance Capital Management
Puissance Capital Management is a global asset manager founded in 2015 by Ted Wang, together with a senior management team comprised of former Goldman Sachs colleagues, with offices in New York and Hangzhou.