Lynk Pharmaceuticals and Simcere have signed a strategic collaboration for the development and commercialisation of a highly selective Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) inhibitor, LNK01001, in China.

According to the deal, Lynk will handle the development of LNK01001, which has the potential to treat several autoimmune disorders. 

Simcere will gain the exclusive rights for commercialising the product for rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis indications in China.

Simcere will make payments for all marketing rights and interests to Lynk.

Clinical trials of LNK01001 are being conducted in Chinese and western subject groups, including Phase II trials in China for ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis and atopic dermatitis. 

Earlier, Phase I trials of the JAK1 inhibitor concluded in healthy participants in China and Australia. 

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According to data from preclinical research, LNK01001 was demonstrated to possess increased selectivity and potentially improved safety compared to other JAK inhibitors in the market. 

Furthermore, it is anticipated to offer new and safer therapy options to patients.

Simcere chairman and CEO Jinsheng Ren said: “Autoimmune disease therapeutic are one of Simcere’s three strategic focuses. 

“We are very pleased to have reached this cooperation with Lynk Pharmaceuticals.

“We will work closely with our partner with all efforts, and accelerate the development and commercialisation process of LNK01001, to bring safer and more effective treatments to patients.”

The companies have not disclosed the financial details of the partnership.

Lynk focuses on developing new drugs to treat cancer, immune and inflammatory diseases. 

The company has so far developed various Class I clinical innovative therapies and commenced various trials, alone and along with its US partner, across the globe. 

In January this year, Lynk dosed the first subject in a Phase II trial of LNK01001 for treating ankylosing spondylitis.