San Diego USA and Shenzhen, China – March 6, 2007 — HUYA Bioscience International, LLC, announced today that it has exclusively licensed worldwide rights outside China to the cancer compound chidamide from Shenzhen Chipscreen Biosciences Ltd.
Chidamide, is an investigational cancer compound currently approved to initiate a Phase I clinical trial in China.
Chidamide is an orally bioavailable histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor derived from the benzamide class. Histone deacetylase inhibitors are a new class of cancer drugs that induce selective regulation of gene expression in cancer cells. Chidamide has exhibited preclinical efficacy and pharmacokinetic properties that may translate into a superior clinical profile over other HDAC inhibitors currently in development or being marketed.
HUYA will co-develop chidamide with Chipscreen through Phase I clinical trials to be initiated shortly in China. Thereafter, HUYA plans to file an Investigational New Drug application and commence clinical trials of chidamide/HBI-8000 in the United States and Europe. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Mireille Gingras, HUYA’s President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are excited to complete what we believe is the first license and co-development deal of such an innovative investigational pharmaceutical from a China-based company. HUYA’s mission is to comprehensively source proprietary late preclinical and early clinical drug candidates from China for development and commercialization in Western markets. This approach is significantly strengthened by partnership and cooperation on early stage clinical trials in China.”
Xian-Ping Lu, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Chipscreen, commented, “We are glad to work with HUYA to continue clinical development of such a promising new drug candidate for cancer. HUYA’s team of cancer drug development and regulatory development experts will be instrumental in allowing our two companies to expedite the development of chidamide in the United States and Europe and maximize the investment we have made in chidamide to date. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with HUYA.”
About HUYA Bioscience International
HUYA Bioscience International, LLC, with offices in San Diego and Shanghai, capitalizes on the explosive growth of the biotechnology industry in China. HUYA identifies and licenses promising Chinese pharmaceuticals for commercialization in Western markets. Using its management team and advisors, HUYA lowers the product development risk through the comprehensive sourcing of proprietary preclinical and early clinical stage pharmaceuticals from China. HUYA partners the development of such innovative investigational pharmaceuticals with biotechcompanies in China so that the initial clinical research is performed in China. Later clinical development is expected to be completed in the United States and Europe. Further information about the company is available at www.huyabio.com.
About Shenzhen Chipscreen Biosciences Ltd.
Shenzhen Chipscreen Biosciences Ltd. Is a leading China-based life sciences company that specializes in discovering and developing proprietary small molecule therapeutics, particularly in the area of receptor signaling. The company also provides a full suite of service solutions for the life sciences industry worldwide. Central to Chipscreen’s drug discovery platform are the company’s core capabilities including integration of in silico design, high content screening, pathway expression profiling, PK/PD screening, and informatics in the early stages of the discovery process. Chipscreen has increased the efficiency and accelerated the discovery of new medicines through its proprietary chemical genomics-based approach. Chipscreen operates it business from a state-of- the-art facility in Shenzhen, China, which is equipped with the latest computational & medicinal chemistry, scale-up synthesis, natural product chemistry, formulation, analytic method development and validation, biology, high throughput screening, microarray, and informatics resources. Further information about the company is available at www.chipscreen.com.
About Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors for Cancer
Aberrant silencing of tumor suppressor genes is one of the key mechanisms involved in oncogenesis. Repression of gene expression is established by the action of histone deacetylases (HDACs), which modify histone proteins in chromatin. Decreased histone acetylation, due to over-expression or aberrant activation of HDACs is associated with the development of cancer. HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs) have been shown to inhibit proliferation of a broad spectrum of human tumor cell lines in vitro and to have in vivo anti-tumor activity in human tumor xenograft models. Currently, Several HDACI are in phase II/III trials for various cancers and one has recently gained marketing approval in the United States. HDACIs thus represent a promising class of anti-tumor agents with a novel mechanism of action.
Wen Chen, MS, MBA
EVP China and Chief Representative
HUYA Bioscience International
Jan Tuttleman, PhD, MBA
Vice President of Marketing
HUYA Bioscience International