Innovent Biologics (Suzhou) has entered into a global collaboration agreement to evaluate the safety of its sintilimab in combination with Hutchison MediPharma’s fruquintinib to treat patients with advanced solid tumours.

Under the agreement terms, the Innovent Biologics subsidiary and Innovation Platform subsidiary of Hutchison China MediTech will explore the potential application of the combination in solid tumours through development efforts in the US, as well as in China.

Innovent founder, CEO and chairman Dr Michael Yu said: “We are two leading China-based biopharmaceutical companies, one specialised in small molecules and another in large molecules; and we share the same vision of bringing China-originated mainstream anti-cancer therapies to global patients by combining our expertise and resources.

“Innovent jointly developed the fully human anti-PD-1 antibody sintilimab (IBI308) in China with Eli Lilly and Company.”

“There is strong scientific evidence supporting synergistic effects of PD-1 therapy when used in combination with VEGFR inhibitor. In addition, we hope to benefit from recent regulatory changes in China that allow for the recognition of foreign clinical trial data to possibly expedite the path to a China launch.”

Innovent jointly developed the fully human anti-PD-1 antibody sintilimab (IBI308) in China with Eli Lilly and Company.

It binds to the PD-1 receptor on T cells and blocks the PD-1 ligand from interacting with PD-1. This helps to restore T-cell response and immune response, destroying the tumour cells.

Hutchison MediPharma’s fruquintinib (Elunate®) is a selective inhibitor of VEGFR 1, 2 and 3 and was initially approved for metastatic colorectal cancer in China in September this year.

At present, it is in late-stage clinical trials, including in combination with paclitaxel (Taxol®) in gastric cancer.