CANbridge Life Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing Western drug candidates in China and North Asia, has partnered with Azaya Therapeutics in San Antonio, Texas, to develop and commercialize Azaya’s investigational drug, ATI-1123, for treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and potentially other solid tumor cancer indications, in China, Taiwan and South Korea.
ATI-1123, a liposomal formulation of docetaxel, has completed a FDA-approved phase I trial in 29 patients with solid tumor cancers who had failed on other therapies. Phase II trials in the U.S. are planned in NSCLC, gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer and soft-tissue sarcoma.
CANbridge plans to manufacture the product locally and to supply the region via a technology transfer arrangement. The company will be responsible for financing in all the territories and will pay Azaya milestones and royalties. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“In China, over two-thirds of the newly diagnosed lung cancer patients are not eligible for surgery,” said James Xue, CANbridge founder and CEO. “Their only options are chemotherapy and radiation. We are racing against time to develop and deliver a more effective treatment to Chinese and Asian lung cancer patients. We see ATI-1123 as a promising potential new treatment in this underserved Asian market.”
Lung cancer is the most common solid-tumor cancer in China in both incidence and mortality. In 2012, a national conference reported that at least 700,000 Chinese patients were diagnosed with lung cancer, annually. Over the past 30 years, incidence of lung cancer increased almost five-fold, primarily caused by smoking and pollution.