Licensing Deals Involving Chinese Pharma Companies in H1 2022

by Grace Wang Jul 14, 2022

In the first half of 2022, Chinese pharmaceuticals companies have taken part in multiple licensing deals. The in-licensing deals, in which Chinese companies are licensees, highlight artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted drug R&D and COVID-19 vaccines/drugs.

Out-licensing deals, in which Chinese companies were licensors, are mostly in the field of oncology. The following are the major in-licensing deals and out-licensing deals in H1 2022.

Top 20 In-licensing Deals with Chinese Licensees

According to Pharmcube Database, there were 57 licensing deals between 43 Chinese/overseas licensors and Chinese licensees in H1 2022. 28 licensees were Chinese companies and 15 were companies based in other countries, including the U.S., Sweden, South Korea, and the U.K.1

No.

Licensor

Licensee

Asset(s)

Upfront fee (USD mln)

Total value (USD mln)

1

Heidelberg

Huadong Medicine

HDP-103, HDP-101; HDP-102, HDP-104

20

1,044.9

2

Kiniksa   Pharmaceuticals

Huadong   Medicine

Rilonacept;   Mavrilimumab

22

662

3

Bavarian Nordic

Nuance Pharma

MVA-BN RSV

12.5

225

4

NiKang Therapeutics

Hansoh Pharma

NKT2152

15

218

5

A*STAR

Everest Medicines

EDDC-2214

2.5

214.5

6

OBI Pharma

Odeon Therapeutics

OBI-833; OBI-999

12

200

7

Palleon

Henlius

Bifunctional HER2-Sialidase; a second bifunctional sialidase

/

196.5+

8

Sunshine   Guojian

Xiling Lab

Inetetamab

/

158.3

9

Hanmi

AffaMed Therapeutics

Risuteganib

6

145

10

Aurealis Therapeutics

Xbiome

AUP-16

/

139

11

Visus Therapeutics

Zhaoke Ophthalmology

BRIMOCHOL PF; Carbachol PF

15

130

12

Verlmmune

Fosun Pharma

VERI-101

2

125

13

Santhera

Sperogenix

Vamorolone

/

124

14

LENZ Therapeutics

JIXING   Pharmaceuticals

LNZ100 (aceclidine); LNZ101 (aceclidine + brimonidine)

15

110

15

AKSO Biopharmaceutical

Huadong Medicine

AB002 (AKSO)

/

75

16

Xuanzhu   Biopharm

Shanghai   Pharmaceuticals

Plazomicin; Benapenem

3.2

67.9

17

Anyuan Medical Technology

Chai Tai Tianqing

AP025; AP026

/

52.8

18

RNACure

Walvax

RQ3013

0.77

20.84

19

Ligand Pharmaceuticals

China Res Double-Crane

LGN-20

/

20.75

20

Antaiwei

Kexing Biopharm

SHEN26

3.1

15.4

Notes: “/” means the payment information   is not made public.

For in-licensing deals, AI and COVID-19 vaccines/drugs are two hot areas. In the first half of 2022, five licensing deals were completed, all between Chinese companies.

In terms of AI-powered drug R&D, Fosun Pharma and Insilico Medicine agreed on using AI to develop drugs against multiple targets, including QPCTL. The upfront fee reached 13 million USD, the highest among those of the licensing deals in the field of AI-powered pharmaceuticals. Insilico also inked a deal with ETERN Biopharma to develop drugs with novel mechanisms for several undisclosed targets.

XtalPi has signed with Qilu Pharmaceutical, Chai Tai Tianqing, and GeneQuantum Heathcare separately. XtalPi will use AI and high-precision computational chemistry technologies to develop new drugs with its partners.

Another hotspot is that nine in-licensing deals focused on COVID-19 vaccines and drugs. As far as the revealed deal value is concerned, Huadong Medicine has reached a deal with the highest value of 662 million USD to develop and commercialize Kiniksa's ARCALYST and mavrilimumab in the Asia Pacific Region.

Nine In-licensing Deals on COVID-19 Drugs

No.

Licensor

Licensee

Asset(s)

Notes

Upfront Fee (USD   mln)

Total value (USD mln)

1

Kiniksa

Huadong Medicine

Rilonacept; Mavrilimumab

Neutralizing antibody

22

662

2

A*STAR

Everest Medicines

EDDC-2214

Oral drug

2.5

214.5

3

RNACure

Walvax

RQ3013

Vaccine

0.77

20.84

4

Ligand Pharmaceuticals

China Res Double-Crane

LGN-20

Oral drug

/

20.75

5

Antaiwei

Kexing Biopharm

SHEN26

Oral drug

3.09

15.44

6

Institute of Pathogen Biology, CAMS & PUMC

Youcare Pharmaceutical

Broad-spectrum coronavirus fusion inhibitors

Peptide drug

1.54

7.72

7

Ab Studio

China Resources Pharmaceutical

ABS-VIR-001

Neutralizing   antibody

/

/

8

Afana Biotechnology

AnkeBio

mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 mutants

Vaccine

/

/

9

Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS; Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica., CAS

Junshi Biosciences; Suzhou Wangshan Wangshui Biomedicine

VV993

Oral drug

/

/

Notes: “/” means the payment information is not made public.

Everest Medicines made the second-high payment of 214.5 million USD to gain the exclusive global rights from Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR), including developing, manufacturing and commercializing a series of viral 3C-like (3CL) protease inhibitors.

Walvax took the third place by reaching a deal worth up to 20.84 million USD to develop and commercialize a mRNA vaccine with RNACure.

Junshi Biosciences reached the second deal with Suzhou Wangshan Wangshui Biomedicine to develop, manufacture, and commercialize 3CL protease inhibitor VV993 in the countries and regions other than Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The two companies reached a deal in 2021 on co-developing VV116.

20 Out-licensing Deals with Chinese Licensors

In H2 2022, Chinese pharma companies out-licensed 28 projects, including 20 for innovative drugs/technologies, 4 for biosimilars and 4 for generic/improved drugs.2

No.

Licensor

Licensee

Asset(s)

Upfront fee (USD   mln)

Total value (USD mln)

1

Kelun Botai

MSD

Macromolecular anticancer drug

47

1,410

2

Junshi   Biosciences

Boherus

TIGITantibody

35

290

3

Harbour Biomed

AstraZeneca

CLDN18.2/CD3 bispecific antibody

25

350

4

Lanova   Medicines

Turning Point

Claudin 18.2 ADC

21.78

220

5

Shenzhen Puruijin

CellPoint

BCMA CAR-T

17.5

/

6

Adagene

Sanofi

SAFEbody platform-masking antibody

16.34

2,517.5

7

Jemincare

Orion

Non-opioid painkiller

10

/

8

Biosion

Pyxis

Anti-Siglec 15 monoclonal antibody

10

232.5

9

Genfleet

Sellas

CDK9 inhibitor

0.4

150

10

Evive Biotech

APOGEPHA

Efbemalenograstim   α

/

38.9

11

Abbisko

Eli Lilly

New small molecules

/

258

12

Innovent; IASO Bio

Sana

BCMA CARs

/

204

13

Multitude Therapeutics

OnCusp

CDH6 ADC

/

/

14

Dac Biotech

Johnson & Johnson

New ADC

/

/

15

Harbor Biomed

LegoChem Biosciences

New ADC

/

/

16

Biocytogen

Merck

RenMiceTM platform antibody

/

/

17

RNACure

EQRx

New small molecules

/

/

18

Foresee Pharma

TR-Pharm

Oral allosteric ALDH2 activator

/

/

19

ETERN

Roche

Protein liquid-liquid phase separation technology platform

/

/

20

Sansheng   Guojian

Syncromune

Anti-PD-1   monoclonal antibody

/

/

Among the 20 out-licensing deals, 16 were for antineoplastic drugs. The out-licensed drugs have various types, including new molecular drugs, monoclonal antibodies, bispecific antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), and CAR-T therapies. Most of them (15 out of 20) belong to biological drugs.

All the licensees are small-sized enterprises or biotech/biopharma companies other than traditional pharma giants while licensors include small and big enterprises from overseas.

Except from Evive Biotech's Efbemalenograstim α which is applying for marketing authorization, other projects in the out-licensing deals are in the pre-clinical stage or phase I/II clinical trial.

Related Article:

Are Cross-Border Licensing Deals a Shortcut to China's Pharma Market?

Grace Wang
ChemLinked Regulatory Analyst
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