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Mar 28, 2016
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Canbridge can-can

Why Aveo's AV-203 is leading Canbridge to venture outside Asia

Canbridge Life Sciences Ltd.'s deal with Aveo Pharmaceuticals Inc. will see the Chinese biotech developing its first programs outside Asia. But Chairman and CEO James Xue says the company is not deviating from its strategy, which is focused on in-licensing clinical assets from the West to target diseases prevalent in Asia.

In this particular case, it made sense to take rights to Aveo's AV-203 in all territories outside North America because the target indication also plays to Canbridge's experience with Orphan diseases in the West.

AV-203 is an antibody against Erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase 3 (ERBB3; HER3; EGFR3) that has completed Phase I testing in solid tumors and is in preclinical testing to treat esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC).

China alone accounts for more than half of newly diagnosed cases of esophageal cancer worldwide, and the squamous cell subtype accounts for about 90% of all cases in Asia.

In contrast, esophageal cancer is much less common in Western countries, and is predominantly the adenocarcinoma subtype. In these territories, management's experience developing Orphan drugs will come in handy.

Xue, who founded Canbridge in 2013, was the founding general manager of Genzyme China,...

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