I-Mab Teams up With Genexine to Treat Brain Cancer

The biotech company exclusively gained rights from Genexine to develop and commercialize cancer treatment products in Greater China.

Author: Belinda Zhou   

The immunology-focused biopharmaceutical company I-Mab (Nasdaq: IMAB) announced on Thursday that the authority in China has signed off on a clinical development plan to treat patients with a low level of white blood cells.

The Shanghai and Maryland-based company announced on Thursday that the China National Medical Products Administration has approved the initiation of Phase Two clinical trial of TJ107/HyLeukin-7™, or Efineptakin alfa. 

The recombinant protein is developed by Genexine Inc. (KOSDAQ: 095700) from South Korea and China's I-Mab Biopharma for the treatment of patients with newly-diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme(GBM). 

GBM is the most aggressive type of cancer that begins within the brain, accounting for 17% of new cases of brain and nervous system cancers; these cancers reached 76,494 in China, according to data from World Health Organization in 2018.

I-Mab also announced further collaboration with Genexine, while I-Mab will lead the Phase 2 GBM clinical trial in China with the assistance of Genexine, according to the statement.

"I-Mab's expanded collaboration with Genexine speaks volumes of our productive partnership and excellent progress made to date, which brings us a step closer to deliver on our promise to help patients in need," Joan Shen, the chief executive officer of I-Mab, said.

The biotech company announced Wednesday that its Hong Kong office was formally established, designed to become a regional hub to tap into Hong Kong capital markets. 

"We are very pleased that the Hong Kong office has become a part of the global layout of I-Mab," Jingwu Zang, the founder of I-Mab, said in the statement.

I-Mab has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Maryland, United States.

The company raised $103.7 million in its IPO on January 17, after Zai Lab Ltd.'s (Nasdaq: ZLAB) $173 million offering in 2017.

I-Mab has over 10 drug candidates in the pipeline in the therapeutic areas of immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases. 

Shares in I-Mab gained over 55% since 2020, trading at $21.7 per share midday Thursday, down 4%.