Strand Therapeutics, a privately held developer of next-generation, programmable mRNA therapeutics for cancer and other diseases, and BeiGene, Ltd. (NASDAQ: BGNE; HKEX: 06160) today announced that they have entered into an option and license agreement aimed at developing and commercializing Strand’s innovative, multi-functional mRNA treatments for solid tumors. BeiGene has secured an option to an exclusive license to develop and commercialize in Asia (excluding Japan), Australia, and New Zealand up to two immuno-oncology programs using Strand’s intratumoral or systemic delivery mechanism, which is designed to deliver a tumor microenvironment-modifying mRNA directly to the tumor site.
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Strand has developed the first platform for the creation of programmable, long-acting mRNA therapeutics capable of delivering multi-functional treatments for deadly diseases, with an initial aim of developing potentially curative treatments for solid tumor cancers. The company’s self-replicating mRNAs are bioengineered to enable precise control of the location, timing, intensity, and duration of therapeutic protein expression for improved efficacy and lower toxicity.
“BeiGene is a recognized global leader in the development and commercialization of innovative, high-quality cancer therapeutics,” said Jacob Becraft, Ph.D., Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Strand. “This collaboration between our two companies provides strong validation of Strand’s next-generation mRNA platform and our work to advance mRNA-based medicines beyond vaccines into potentially curative therapies.”
“We look forward to working closely with BeiGene’s unsurpassed clinical team to accelerate the development of our solid tumor immuno-oncology therapies,” said Tasuku Kitada, Ph.D., Co-founder, President, and Head of R&D of Strand. “The aim of both our companies is to increase patient access to cutting-edge therapeutics by providing safe and effective treatments that are more easily administered, cost-effective, and scalable.”
“Strand’s programmable mRNA technology is incredibly exciting as a cutting-edge therapeutic platform and is expected to help us build novel mRNA-based immuno-oncology therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. We look forward to exploring this technology further and to collaborating with Strand as we advance up to two development programs with this new approach,” said Lusong Luo, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of External Innovation at BeiGene.
Under the terms of the agreement, Strand will receive an upfront cash payment of $5 million and will also be eligible to receive additional near-term payments totaling up to $28 million, inclusive of BeiGene's exercise of its options to the two programs following initial proof-of-concept studies. Additionally, Strand is eligible to receive payments from BeiGene based upon the achievement of certain development, regulatory, and sales milestones for a total deal value of up to $277 million, together with tiered royalties on any product sales in the licensed territory. In connection with the agreement, Strand also received investments of $10 million, including $5 million from BeiGene.
About Strand Therapeutics
Strand Therapeutics is an emerging biopharmaceutical company poised at the forefront of mRNA therapeutics and synthetic biology. The company has created the first platform for programmable, long-acting mRNA therapeutics for cancer and other diseases that are poorly addressed by traditional approaches. Bioengineered for high efficacy and low toxicity, Strand’s next-generation mRNA therapies deliver multi-functional treatments for deadly diseases. The company’s initial focus is the development of mRNA therapies that act through multiple mechanisms to deliver potentially curative treatments for solid tumors. Strand is also developing programmable mRNA for the generation of cell therapies capable of greatly expanding patient access to the technology in a cost-effective, re-doseable, off-the-shelf form. Strand Therapeutics was founded in 2017 by world leading mRNA researchers from the MIT Synthetic Biology Center, creators of the field of mRNA-based synthetic biology. The company is based in Cambridge, MA. For more information, visit our website at www.strandtx.com.
BeiGene is a global, commercial-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing, manufacturing, and commercializing innovative medicines to improve treatment outcomes and access for patients worldwide. Our 5,000+ employees in China, the United States, Australia, Europe, and elsewhere are committed to expediting the development of a diverse pipeline of novel therapeutics. We currently market two internally discovered oncology products: BTK inhibitor BRUKINSA® (zanubrutinib) in the United States and China, and anti-PD-1 antibody tislelizumab in China. We also market or plan to market in China additional oncology products licensed from Amgen Inc., Celgene Logistics Sàrl, a Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) company, and EUSA Pharma. To learn more about BeiGene, please visit www.beigene.com and follow us on Twitter at @BeiGeneUSA.
BeiGene Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws, including statements regarding the further advancement of the mRNA technology and mRNA-based immuno-oncology programs under the agreement with Strand, BeiGene’s option to obtain an exclusive license and the condition that the programs demonstrate proof of concept, the parties’ commitments and the potential benefits of the collaboration, potential payments payable to Strand, and other information that is not historical information. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including BeiGene's ability to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of its drug candidates; the clinical results for its drug candidates, which may not support further development or marketing approval; actions of regulatory agencies, which may affect the initiation, timing and progress of clinical trials and marketing approval; BeiGene's ability to achieve commercial success for its marketed products and drug candidates, if approved; BeiGene's ability to obtain and maintain protection of intellectual property for its technology and drugs; BeiGene's reliance on third parties to conduct drug development, manufacturing and other services; BeiGene’s limited operating history and BeiGene's ability to obtain additional funding for operations and to complete the development and commercialization of its drug candidates; and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s clinical development, commercial and other operations, as well as those risks more fully discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in BeiGene’s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in BeiGene's subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and BeiGene undertakes no duty to update such information unless required by law.
Liza Heapes or Vivian Ni
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