ShangPharma’s CRO ChemPartner inked an R&D collaboration with Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine focused on the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). The deal will see the Chinese firms collaborate on initial work, with ChemPartner heading preclinical research activities from target protein preparation through to lead optimization, and pharmacokinetic and preformulation studies. Hengrui will head further development of candidates, and retain relevant IP. For the first program the firm will pay ChemPartner preclinical and development milestones, plus timeline-based incentive payments.
“Hengrui is the first major domestic pharmaceutical company to form such an antibody partnership with Chempartner, and the program is the first of its kind in China,” comments Michael Xin Hui, chairman and CEO at ShangPharma. “We expect our collaborative work will lead to further domestic and multinational partnerships in biologics development, and pave the way for innovation and growth in China’s own biotechnology industry.”
Hengrui is a fully integrated pharmaceutical firm, with over a dozen NMEs undergoing clinical development. The firm made net sales of some $550 million in 2010. CRO Shanghai ChemPartner provides a full range of discovery and development services from discovery biology and medicinal chemistry, through to preclinical development services, formulation, and contract manufacturing. The firm employs over 1,000 scientists, and has oversees business development operations in the U.S. and Denmark.