$75 Million Boost: Major Biopharma Firm Secures Game-Changing Investment

Ascentage Pharma secures a transformative $75 million equity investment from Takeda, advancing global efforts to develop novel cancer therapies

June 26, 2024

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In a significant move for the biotech industry, Ascentage Pharma (6855.HK), a global biopharmaceutical company specializing in novel therapies for cancer, chronic hepatitis B (CHB), and age-related diseases, has successfully closed a US$75 million equity investment from Takeda. The transaction, finalized on June 20, 2024, involved the issuance of 24,307,322 subscription shares to Takeda at a purchase price of HK$24.09850 per share (approximately US$3.08549).

This investment marks a substantial milestone for Ascentage Pharma, reflecting Takeda’s confidence in their innovative therapeutic pipeline and ongoing clinical development programs. The infusion of capital is set to accelerate Ascentage Pharma’s mission to address unmet clinical needs globally, with a particular focus on enhancing their R&D capabilities and expediting clinical trials.

Earlier this month, Takeda announced that they had signed an option agreement with Ascentage Pharma to potentially secure an exclusive global license for olverembatinib, a third-generation BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) designed for treating chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and other hematological cancers. This agreement allows Takeda to develop and commercialize olverembatinib outside of mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Russia, addressing the significant unmet needs of patients resistant to current TKI therapies. Ascentage Pharma will continue the late-stage clinical development of the drug prior to Takeda’s potential exercise of the licensing option. This collaboration aligns with Takeda’s commitment to advancing treatment options for hematological cancers. The agreement includes a $100 million option payment and additional milestone and royalty payments if the option is exercised.

This strategic partnership not only significantly bolsters Ascentage Pharma’s financial position but also strengthens their collaboration with Takeda, leveraging Takeda’s global commercial expertise to enhance drug distribution worldwide. With a primary focus on olverembatinib, the partnership aims to expedite regulatory approvals and address critical patient needs in oncology and beyond. Ultimately, this collaboration underscores the pivotal role of strategic investments in advancing innovative treatments and improving patient outcomes globally.

About Takeda

Takeda is focused on creating better health for people and a brighter future for the world. We aim to discover and deliver life-transforming treatments in our core therapeutic and business areas, including gastrointestinal and inflammation, rare diseases, plasma-derived therapies, oncology, neuroscience and vaccines. Together with our partners, we aim to improve the patient experience and advance a new frontier of treatment options through our dynamic and diverse pipeline. As a leading values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan, we are guided by our commitment to patients, our people and the planet. Our employees in approximately 80 countries and regions are driven by our purpose and are grounded in the values that have defined us for more than two centuries. For more information, visit www.takeda.com.

About Ascentage Pharma

Ascentage Pharma (6855.HK) is a globally focused biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing novel therapies for cancers, chronic hepatitis B, and age-related diseases. On October 28, 2019, Ascentage Pharma was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited with the stock code 6855.HK.

Ascentage Pharma focuses on developing therapeutics that inhibit protein-protein interactions to restore apoptosis, or programmed cell death. The company has built a pipeline of 9 clinical drug candidates, including novel, highly potent Bcl-2, and dual Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibitors, as well as candidates aimed at IAP and MDM2-p53 pathways, and next-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Ascentage Pharma is also the only company in the world with active clinical programs targeting all three known classes of key apoptosis regulators. The company is conducting more than 40 clinical trials, including 5 global registrational phase III studies, in the US, Australia, Europe, and China. Ascentage Pharma has been designated for multiple Major National R&D Projects, including five Major New Drug Projects, one New Drug Incubator status, four Innovative Drug Programs, and one Major Project for the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.

Olverembatinib, the company’s core drug candidate developed for the treatment of drug-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and the company’s first approved product in China, has been granted Priority Review Designations and Breakthrough Therapy Designations by the Center for Drug Evaluation (CDE) of China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA). To date, the drug had been included into the China 2022 National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL). Furthermore, olverembatinib has been granted an Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) and a Fast Track Designation (FTD) by the US FDA, and an Orphan Designation by the EMA of the EU. To date, Ascentage Pharma has obtained a total of 16 ODDs from the US FDA and 1 Orphan Designation from the EMA of the EU for 4 of the company’s investigational drug candidates.

Leveraging its robust R&D capabilities, Ascentage Pharma has built a portfolio of global intellectual property rights and entered into global partnerships with numerous renowned biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and research institutes such as UNITY Biotechnology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, MSD, and AstraZeneca. The company has built a talented team with global experience in the discovery and development of innovative drugs and is setting up its world-class commercial manufacturing and Sales & Marketing teams. One pivotal aim of Ascentage Pharma is to continuously strengthen its R&D capabilities and accelerate its clinical development programs, in order to fulfill its mission of addressing unmet clinical needs in China and around the world for the benefit of more patients.