Chinese biotech company Biotheus has announced an expansion of its strategic partnership with the Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group for the development of epidermal growth factor receptor/ mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (EGFR/cMET) bispecific antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs).

The development builds on their existing partnership, which was initiated in 2022.

Hansoh will gain exclusive global rights to use PM1080/HS-20117, an anti-EGFR/cMet bispecific antibody, to develop ADC products. It also holds rights to develop, manufacture and market the product, along with a sublicensing right.

Biotheus will receive up to 5bn yuan ($694m) in potential upfront and milestone payments, in addition to royalty payments on global net product sales from Hansoh Pharma.

Biotheus co-founder, chairman and CEO Xiaolin Liu stated: “This is the second collaboration between Hansoh and Biotheus. We really appreciate Hansoh’s confidence in the potential of PM1080.

“Bispecific ADCs have a potential advantage for better tumour enrichment, overall efficacy and safety. Hansoh develops an outstanding ADC platform, and this collaboration will facilitate the synergy between Hansoh’s ADC expertise and Biotheus’ antibody capabilities.

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“Through this collaboration, we hope to develop a novel EGFR/cMet bispecific ADC with better efficacy and safety for cancer patients worldwide.”

With a 1+1 heterodimeric structure, PM1080/HS-20117 is designed to inhibit the growth and survival of tumour growth by targeting EGFR and cMet antigens.

The compound is currently undergoing Phase I clinical trials.

Hansoh Pharmaceutical executive board director Eliza Sun stated: “This collaboration combines Hansoh’s proprietary ADC platform technology with Biotheus’ novel bispecific antibody.

“We hope this new approach will further increase the clinical benefit in patients with NSCLC or other solid tumours. We are confident in our ability to offer transformative treatment options to cancer patients in China and worldwide. This is made possible through our extensive experience in clinical development, exceptional commercialisation efforts and external partnerships.”

In November 2023, Biotheus entered into a strategic collaboration with BioNTech to undertake the global development, manufacturing and commercialisation of PM8002, a bispecific antibody candidate, in multiple solid tumour indications.