-Three partnerships focused on novel programs for treatment-resistant bacterial infections and diseases
-Company pipeline now includes up to 12 partnered assets, in addition to internal development programs
-Infectious disease focus will address disproportional unmet need in China and support global public health
BEIJING, China and DURHAM, North Carolina, United States, -- November 21, 2019 -- Brii Biosciences, a clinical-stage company committed to serving patients' needs and improving public health in China and around the world, today announced a series of partnerships to develop and commercialize novel anti-infective agents to treat drug-resistant and otherwise difficult-to-treat pathogens. Under the terms of the agreements, Brii Bio will develop up to seven compounds from clinical proof-of-concept through to commercialization, bringing the total number of partnered assets in the company's pipeline up to 12, in addition to internal development efforts underway.
"Brii Bio began with a major effort in infectious diseases because the need is great in China and the threat is global," said Zhi Hong, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Brii Bio. "Bad bugs – or superbugs – can travel the world in a matter of hours and the growing crisis of multi-drug resistant infections is a challenge that will require the combined efforts of governments, healthcare providers, academia and industry. While big pharma investment in the space has diminished in recent years, small biotechs and investors have stepped up to the fight against these pathogens. Brii Bio is joining this effort with a focus on China, where resistance is more prevalent. Together with our partners, we are committed to investing in these critical areas of unmet need."
Brii Bio's initial strategic focus takes aim at some of the most serious infectious diseases facing China and world populations today.
Brii Bio has licensed greater China rights for a clinical-stage antibacterial compound with a novel mechanism of action targeting tuberculosis from AN2 (Menlo Park, CA), a newly-formed biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development, and commercialization of novel medicines targeting infectious diseases. Brii Bio will be responsible for development, manufacturing, and commercialization in the licensed territory.
Brii Bio has entered into a multi-product collaboration with Qpex Biopharma, Inc (San Diego, CA) to develop and commercialize in China a portfolio of novel antibiotics to treat infections caused by highly resistant, gram-negative pathogens, including carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). The portfolio includes three next-generation programs including: IV and oral beta-lactamase inhibitor (BLI) combinations with ultra-broad spectrum coverage; and an IV synthetic polymyxin, with an enhanced therapeutic profile to address highly-resistant Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas infections.
Brii Bio will collaborate with Artizan Biosciences (New Haven, CT) on the development and commercialization in China of up to three programs in Artizan’s portfolio upon achievement of clinical proof-of-concept. Artizan applies its proprietary IgA-SEQ™ technology platform to identify pro-inflammatory, disease-causing bugs in the gut. The company then translates its unique insights into novel drug development programs with potential in multiple therapeutic applications for unmet medical needs.
Under the terms of each of these agreements, Brii Bio has made equity investments in each company to finance continued discovery and development efforts.
In addition to novel anti-bacterial agents, Brii Bio is also progressing a pipeline of assets focused on the functional cure for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. These include BRII-179 (VBI-2601), an immunotherapeutic in development in collaboration with VBI Vaccines (NASDAQ:VBIV) for which Brii Bio has initiated a Phase 1b/2a clinical study in patients with chronic hepatitis B infection, and an option to develop and commercialize in China VIR-2218, an RNAi therapeutic currently being studied by Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIR) in a Phase 1/2 trial.
Infectious diseases broadly and multi-drug resistant infections in particular are a growing and global public health threat. In China, there is a disproportional need for new effective antibiotics due to widespread and rapidly growing rates of multi-drug resistant mycobacteria, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. There are few or no options available to treat these infections, resulting in higher mortality, complications and patient suffering. The burden of HBV in China is the highest in the world; of the more than 290 million people chronically infected with HBV globally, more than one third live in the country.
About Brii Biosciences
Brii Biosciences (Brii Bio) is committed to serving patients’ needs and improving public health by accelerating the development and delivery of breakthrough medicines through partnerships, best-in-class research and development, and the disruptive application of digital and data insight. With operations in the People’s Republic of China and the United States, the company is poised to serve as a bridge to deliver transformative medicines to patients, help create significant growth for our partners and establish an innovation engine to help improve the health and wellbeing of patients around the world. The company is developing treatments for illnesses with significant public health burdens, including infectious diseases, liver diseases, and other illnesses. For more information, visit www.briibio.com.