Zai Lab and Crescendo Biologics Enter Exclusive Worldwide License Agreement for Innovative Protein Therapeutics for Inflammatory Indications

Crescendo Biologics

SHANGHAI, China and CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom, May 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zai Lab Limited (NASDAQ:ZLAB), a Shanghai-based innovative biopharmaceutical company, and Crescendo Biologics Ltd (Crescendo Biologics), the developer of multi-functional biologics, announced today an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement under which Zai Lab will develop, commercialize, and manufacture a topical, innovative antibody VH domain therapeutic for potential application in inflammatory indications. Crescendo Biologic’s product candidate was developed using Crescendo’s transgenic platform, which generates novel small, robust, and potent protein therapeutics based on fully human VH domain building blocks. Zai Lab anticipates filing an IND for this therapeutic candidate for clinical studies in psoriasis in 2019.

“Biologics-based therapies are increasingly effective in psoriasis and other skin conditions, but are often associated with treatment-limiting immunosuppressive side effects,” commented Harald Reinhart, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Autoimmune and Infectious Diseases at Zai Lab. “We see a clear benefit with topically administered dermatologic preparations which offers strong clinical efficacy and potentially safer for chronic administration.”

Peter Pack, CEO of Crescendo Biologics, commented, “We are pleased to sign this agreement with Zai Lab, a foremost developer of innovative medicines across diverse therapeutic areas where there are substantial unmet needs in global markets. We’re delighted with the pace and efficiency of Zai Lab’s plan to develop clinical proof of concept with our Humabody®. Crescendo Biologics is dedicated to advancing therapies with enhanced efficacy and improved safety profiles, and we believe there are significant synergies for our approach with the Zai Lab pipeline of autoimmune programs.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Crescendo Biologics has granted to Zai Lab a worldwide exclusive license to develop and commercialize its drug candidate for all indications. Zai Lab will be responsible for conducting all regulatory filings, clinical studies, and commercialization activities, with both companies participating in a Joint Development Committee. Zai Lab has made an upfront cash payment to Crescendo Biologics and will provide development, regulatory, and commercial milestones for multiple indications. Crescendo Biologics will also be eligible to receive tiered royalties on global sales.

About Crescendo Biologics

Crescendo Biologics is a biopharmaceutical company developing potent, truly differentiated Humabody® therapeutics in oncology with a proprietary pipeline focus on innovative targeted T-cell approaches.

At the heart of its proprietary pipeline, Crescendo Biologics has developed CB307, a novel bispecific PSMA-targeted T-cell engager for the selective activation of tumour-specific T-cells exclusively within the tumour microenvironment, thereby avoiding systemic toxicity. This highly modular format can be re-configured to create a pipeline of multiple therapeutic candidates each treating a different cancer indication, by targeting any of a range of alternative tumour-specific markers.

The Company’s ability to develop multi-functional Humabody® therapeutics is based on its unique, patent protected, transgenic mouse platform generating 100% human VH domain building blocks (Humabody® VH). These robust molecules can be configured to optimally engage therapeutic targets delivering novel biology and superior biodistribution. This results in larger therapeutic windows compared to conventional IgG-approaches.

Crescendo Biologics is pursuing novel Humabody®-based product opportunities, through in-house development and strategic partnerships, including multi-functional immuno-oncology modulators and Humabody® Drug Conjugates (HDCs), the next generation of ADCs. Humabody®-based formats can also be applied across a range of non-cancer indications.

Crescendo Biologics is located in Cambridge, UK, and is backed by blue-chip investors including Sofinnova Partners, IP Group, Takeda and Astellas.

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About Zai Lab

Zai Lab (NASDAQ:ZLAB) is a Shanghai-based innovative biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing transformative medicines for cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases to patients in China and around the world. Zai Lab’s experienced team has secured partnerships with leading global biopharma companies, generating a broad pipeline of innovative drug candidates targeting the fast-growing segments of China’s pharmaceutical market and global unmet medical needs. Zai Lab’s vision is to become a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company, discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing its partners’ and its own products in order to impact human health worldwide.


China’s CDH Investments said to raise $1b for fifth mezzanine fund


Ardi Wirdana, May 14, 2018

Chinese fund manager CDH Investments has raised a sum of $1 billion for its China-focused fifth mezzanine fund, according to a report by Private Debt Investor. The first close of the fund came late last year at $484 million, with backers including insurance companies, banks, trust companies and other institutional investors.

Once officially closed, the fund is expected to more than double the size of the previous mezzanine fund, which secured a total fund of $529 million in 2016 and focused on mergers and acquisitions. It will provide capital to growth-stage companies in education, healthcare, energy, and the consumer sectors.

CDH Investment Managing Director Ning Hu had told local media that CDH’s four mezzanine funds are all fully invested, and its first fund is fully exited, securing returns higher than the 11 per cent average for the market.

Launched in 2011, CDH Mezzanine and Credit provides financing for mergers & acquisitions, high growth private businesses, fixed assets investments and non-performing assets.  It offers investors a variety of creative structures, including convertible bonds, preferred debt, subordinated debt, buyback of shares and allocation of equity interests.

On its website, the company says its mezzanine fund manages more than $1.3 billion in assets across four RMB funds. Since its inception, CDH Mezzanine and Credit has reportedly invested in 58 projects and completed exits for 60 per cent of its investments, according to its website.

CDH Investments is an alternative investment fund managers focused on China with over $17 billion of assets under management, as of December 31, 2017.

Established in 2002, CDH has grown beyond its private equity root and become a diversified alternative asset management platform covering real assets, venture and growth capital, mezzanine & credit, public equities and wealth management.

In one of its latest moves, CDH is said to have made a $1.41 billion offer for Australia’s liver-cancer treatment specialist Sirtex Medical. The acquisition is conditional upon approval of Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board.

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