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Essex-Biotechnology Announces Bevacizumab Has Received IND Approval from US FDA for the Treatment of wAMD
2021.03.19 Download

Hong Kong, 19 Mar 2021

Essex Bio-Technology Ltd (“Essex” or the “Group”, Stock Code: 1061.HK) today announced that the Investigational New Drug (IND) application of EB12-20145P (HLX04-O), a recombinant anti-VEGF humanized monoclonal antibody ophthalmic injection jointly developed by the Group and Shanghai Henlius Biotech, Inc. (“Henlius”, Stock Code: 2696.HK) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD).

This is the second IND approval EB12-20145P (HLX04-O) has received outside of China , after the approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia for initiating a Phase 3 clinical trial in January 2021. The two-part, Phase 3, global and multicentre clinical study of EB12-20145P (HLX04-O)  will be conducted to further evaluate the efficacy and safety of EB12-20145P (HLX04-O) in patients with wAMD in the near future. According to the protocol of the clinical study, there will be 388 patients from Chinese mainand, Australia, Singapore and several European countries including Spain, Poland and Russian Federation enroll to the study. Previously, a series of studies including non-clinical pharmacodynamics, safety pharmacology, repeat-dose toxicity, pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, immunotoxicity, immunogenicity and local irritation of EB12-20145P (HLX04-O) vitreous injection in the treatment of wAMD have been carried out, initially proving the efficacy and safety of EB12-20145P (HLX04-O).

Age-related macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of visual impairment and blindness in the elderly worldwide[1]. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 30 million people have suffered from AMD globally, and about half a million people become blind due to AMD each year[2]. Wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD) is characterized by the formation of subretinal choroidal neovascularization (CNV) and is responsible for approximately 90% of cases of AMD-related blindness. Due to an aging population, wAMD has become a serious social medical problem and indicated a huge burden of unmet need[3]. With the development of treatment for fundus diseases, anti-VEGF drugs are becoming the first-line therapy for the management of wAMD[4], and the efficacy and safety of vitreous injection of bevacizumab for wAMD have been verified in multiple clinical studies[5-11].

Essex and Henlius will speed up the global multicentre clinical trials of EB12-20145P (HLX04-O) and apply marketing authorization in different countries and regions around the globe based on the research results. EB12-20145P (HLX04-O) has the potential to be one of the first bevacizumabs approved for ophthalmic diseases, benefiting more patients with eye diseases worldwide.

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About EB12-20145P(HLX04-O)

EB12-20145P(HLX04-O) is a recombinant anti-VEGF humanized monoclonal antibody ophthalmic injection constructed using genetic engineering technology independently developed by Henlius. EB12-20145P(HLX04-O)can inhibit VEGF’s binding to its receptor Flt-1(VEGFR-1) and KDR(VEGFR-2) on endothelial cells to inhibit the activation of its tyrosine kinase signaling pathway, inhibit endothelial cell proliferation and reduce angiogenesis, thereby treating eye diseases associated with angiogenesis. According to the requirements of ophthalmic drugs, the Company has developed EB12-20145P(HLX04-O)which optimizes the prescription, specifications and production processes of HLX04-O, assuming that the active ingredients remain unchanged.
 
About Essex

Essex Bio-Technology Limited is a bio-pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and commercialises genetically engineered therapeutic rb-bFGF (FGF-2), having six commercialised biologics marketed in China since 1998. The products of the Company are principally prescribed for the treatment of wounds healing and diseases in Ophthalmology and Dermatology, which are marketed and sold through approximately 9,000 hospitals and managed directly by its 43 regional sales offices in China. Leveraging on its in-house R&D platform in growth factor and antibody, the Company maintains a pipeline of projects in various clinical stages, covering a wide range of fields and indications.
 
About Henlius

Henlius (2696.HK) is a global biopharmaceutical company with the vision to offer high-quality, affordable and innovative biologic medicines for patients worldwide with a focus on oncology, autoimmune diseases and ophthalmic diseases. Since its inception in 2010, Henlius has built an integrated biopharmaceutical platform with core capabilities of high-efficiency and innovation embedded throughout the whole product life cycle including R&D, manufacturing and commercialisation. It has established global R&D centers and a Shanghai-based manufacturing facility certificated by China and the European Union (EU) Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
 
Henlius has pro-actively built a diversified and high-quality product pipeline covering over 20 innovative monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and has continued to explore immuno-oncology combination therapies with proprietary HLX10 (anti-PD-1 mAb) as backbone. Up to date, Henlius has launched three mAbs developed independently: 漢利康® (rituximab), the first China-developed biosimilar, 漢曲優® (trastuzumab, Zercepac® in the EU), the first China-developed mAb biosimilar approved both in China and in the EU and 漢達遠® (adalimumab), the Company's first product indicated for autoimmune diseases. In addition, the New Drug Applications of HLX04 (bevacizumab) and HLX01 (rituximab) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis are under review, and Henlius has conducted over 20 clinical studies for 10 products and 8 combination therapies worldwide, expanding its presence in major market as well as emerging market.
 
Reference

[1] 歐陽靈藝, 邢怡橋. 抗VEGF藥物在濕性年齡相關性黃斑變性中的應用進展[J]. 國際眼科雜志, 2020(1).
[2] Resnikoff S, Pascolini D, Etya'ale D, Kocur I, Pararajasegaram R, Pokharel GP, Mariotti SP. Global data on visual impairment in the year 2002. Bull World Health Organ. 2004 Nov;82(11):844-51.
[3] Wong WL, Su X, Li X, et al. Global prevalence of age-related macular degeneration and disease burden projection for 2020 and 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2014;2(2): e106-116.
[4] Li X R, Liu J P. Recognition of anti-VEGF therapy base on the mechanism of VEGF in wet age-related macular degeneration[J]. Zhonghua Shiyan Yanke Zazhi/Chinese Journal of Experimental Ophthalmology, 2012, 30(4):289-292.
[5] Tufail A, Patel PJ, Egan C, Hykin P, da Cruz L, Gregor Z, Dowler J, Majid MA, Bailey C, Mohamed Q, Johnston R, Bunce C, Xing W; ABC Trial Investigators. Bevacizumab for neovascular age related macular degeneration (ABC Trial): multi-centre randomized double masked study. BMJ. 2010 Jun 9;340:c2459.
[6] Martin DF, Maguire MG, Ying GS, Grunwald JE, Fine SL, Jaffe GJ. Ranibizumab and bevacizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. N Engl J Med. 2011 May 19;364(20):1897-908.
[7] Chakravarthy U, Harding SP, Rogers CA, Downes SM, Lotery AJ, Wordsworth S, Reeves BC. Ranibizumab versus bevacizumab to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration: one-year findings from the IVAN randomized trial. Ophthalmology. 2012 Jul;119(7):1399-411.
[8] Kodjikian L, Souied EH, Mimoun G, Mauget-Faÿsse M, Behar -Cohen F, Decullier E, Huot L, Aulagner G; GEFAL Study Group. Ranibizumab versus Bevacizumab for Neovascular Age-related Macular Degeneration: Results from the GEFAL Noninferiority Randomized Trial. Ophthalmology. 2013 Nov;120(11):2300-9.
[9] Krebs I, Schmetterer L, Boltz A, Told R, Vécsei-Marlovits V, Egger S, Schönherr U, Haas A, Ansari-Shahrezaei S, Binder S; MANTA Research Group. A randomized double-masked trial comparing the visual outcome after treatment with ranibizumab or bevacizumab in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Br J Ophthalmol. 2013 Mar;97(3):266-71.
[10] Berg K, Pedersen TR, Sandvik L, Bragadóttir R. Comparison of ranibizumab and bevacizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration according to LUCAS treat-and-extend protocol. Ophthalmology. 2015 Jan;122(1):146-52.
[11] Schauwvlieghe AM, Dijkman G, Hooymans JM, Verbraak FD, Hoyng CB, Dijkgraaf MG, Peto T, Vingerling JR, Schlingemann RO. Comparing the Effectiveness of Bevacizumab to Ranibizumab in Patients with Exudative Age-Related Macular Degeneration. The BRAMD Study. PLoS One. 2016 May 20;11(5): e0153052.
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