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LSK BIOPHARMA AND JIANGSU HENGRUI MEDICINE ANNOUNCE FDA CLEARANCE TO INITIATE A PHASE 3 CLINICAL TRIAL IN ADVANCED HEPATOCELLUL
SALT LAKE CITY, USA, and SHANGHAI, CHINA, April 8, 2019 — LSK BioPharma (or “LSKB”), a US-based biopharmaceutical firm and Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine, Co., Ltd. (SHA:600276, or “Hengrui”), one of the largest and most innovative fully-integrated biopharmaceutical companies based in China, today announced that the Companies have received FDA clearance to initiate a clinical trial in the United States in first-line patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), evaluating the safety and efficacy of LSKB’s rivoceranib, a selective VEGFR-2 inhibitor commonly known as apatinib, in combination with Hengrui’s camrelizumab (SHR-1210), a humanized anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody currently under NDA review in China for classic Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (cHL).
“We are happy with this important regulatory milestone in our global clinical collaboration,” said Dr. Sung Chul Kim, LSKB’s President. “We are enthusiastic to work with Hengrui to hopefully help more HCC patients through development of this combination therapy.”
“As one of the leading biopharmaceutical companies in China, Hengrui is committed to developing breakthrough medicines for patients worldwide. This milestone is another step towards our mission. We look forward to working with LSKB to jointly make a difference for HCC patients around the world,” said Dr. Piaoyang Sun, Chairman of Hengrui.
Currently, Hengrui is conducting an open-label, single arm multicenter phase 2 study (NCT03463876) to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the combination of camrelizumab and apatinib in patients with advanced HCC in China, where Hengrui has received approval of apatinib monotherapy for advanced gastric cancer. At ASCO 2018, it was reported that the objective response rate (ORR) and disease control rate (DCR) were 50.0% and 85.7%, respectively, among 14 evaluated advanced HCC patients treated by camrelizumab in combination with apatinib in an open-label, phase 1 study in China (Xu et al., NCT02942329). In addition, camrelizumab and apatinib combination therapy is also being evaluated by Hengrui for multiple indications including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), small cell lung cancer (SCLC), and gastric cancer (GC) in China.
Based upon earlier studies, it is hypothesized that the combination of rivoceranib and camrelizumab may enhance the immune system, aiding the fight against cancer. In addition to the known anti-angiogenic effects of rivoceranib, it may also enhance camrelizumab’s anti-tumor activity by normalizing tumor vasculature and reversing the tumor suppressive immune microenvironment.