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SHANGHAI, and HOUSTON, April 30, 2020 — WuXi Biologics (“WuXi Bio”) (2269.HK), a global company with leading open-access biologics technology platforms, and Aravive, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARAV), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced a strategic collaboration agreement granting Aravive the right to use the proprietary WuXiBody™ platform to develop high-affinity bispecific antibodies for a target implicated in cancer and fibrosis.
WuXi Biologics and Aravive will collaborate to discover antibodies against CCN2, a multidomain protein also known as connective tissue growth factor (CTGF). CCN2 was identified from a similar target discovery screen that identified the significance of the AXL/GAS6 pathway in cancer. Preclinical data identified CCN2 as important for tumor growth and progression.
WuXi Biologics will be responsible for biologics discovery, process development, and manufacturing. Aravive will be responsible for preclinical and clinical development. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the collaboration.
“Aravive’s proficiency in development of anti-cancer and fibrotic drugs and WuXi Biologics’ expertise with biological discovery and manufacturing is a powerful combination,” said Gail McIntyre, Ph.D., DABT, chief executive officer of Aravive. “We look forward to further expanding our collaboration to identify high affinity antibodies that can be exploited as anti-cancer and anti-fibrotic agents.”
In 2018, and following the successful filing of a U.S. Investigational New Drug application (IND) for AVB-500, WuXi Biologics and Aravive announced expansion of their biologics manufacturing collaboration based on the rapid success achieved in the process development, scale-up and cGMP manufacture of Aravive’s lead drug candidate, AVB-500.
“We are glad to once again collaborate with Aravive as a trusted partner to accelerate the discovery, development and manufacturing of biologics through our innovative technology platforms,” said Chris Chen, Ph.D., chief executive officer of WuXi Biologics. “WuXi Biologics’ proprietary antibody platforms including WuXiBody™, are uniquely positioned to expedite development of novel bispecifics to benefit global patients.”
WuXiBody™ is a leading proprietary bispecific antibody platform developed by WuXi Biologics. It can effectively break through the CMC barriers for many bispecific antibodies development with high expression yield, high stability, good solubility, and easy purification to homogeneity, expedite the process by 6-18 months and significantly reduce manufacturing costs, a limitation still faced by many other current bispecific platforms. WuXiBody™ Platform enables almost any mAb sequence pairs to be assembled into bispecific constructs, which are expected to have low immunogenicity risk and longer in vivo half-life. WuXiBody™ Platform also has a unique structural flexibility, which makes it convenient to build various formats with different combination of valencies (1+1, 1+2, 2+2) to meet the requirements of different target biologies.
Aravive, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARAV) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing treatments designed to halt the progression of life-threatening diseases, including cancer and fibrosis. Aravive’s lead product candidate, AVB-500, is an ultra-high affinity decoy protein that targets the GAS6-AXL signaling pathway. By capturing serum GAS6, AVB-500 starves the AXL pathway of its signal, potentially halting the biological programming that promotes disease progression. AXL receptor signaling plays an important role in multiple types of malignancies by promoting metastasis, cancer cell survival, resistance to treatments, and immune suppression. The GAS6-AXL signaling pathway also plays a significant role in fibrogenesis. Aravive is evaluating AVB-500 in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, clear cell renal cell carcinoma and kidney fibrosis and intends to expand development into additional oncology and fibrotic indications. Aravive is based in Houston, Texas and received a Product Development Award from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) in 2016. For more information, please visit www.aravive.com
About WuXi Biologics
WuXi Biologics (stock code: 2269.HK), a Hong Kong-listed company, is a leading global open-access biologics technology platform offering end-to-end solutions to empower organizations to discover, develop and manufacture biologics from concept to commercial manufacturing. Our company history and achievements demonstrate our commitment to providing a truly ONE-stop service offering and strong value proposition to our global clients. As of December 31, 2019, there were a total of 250 integrated projects, including 121 projects in pre-clinical development stage, 112 projects in early-phase (phase I and II) clinical development, 16 projects in late-phase (phase III) development and one project in commercial manufacturing. With total estimated capacity for biopharmaceutical production planned in China, Ireland, the U.S., Germany and Singapore exceeding 280,000 liters by 2022, we will provide our biomanufacturing partners with a robust and premier-quality global supply chain network. For more information on WuXi Biologics, please visit www.wuxibiologics.com