Pharma Focus Asia
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Sirnaomics Enters Partnership with Walvax Biotechnology to Co-Develop Its Antiviral RNAi Therapeutic Product Candidate STP702

Friday, April 30, 2021

Sirnaomics Biopharmaceuticals (Suzhou) Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Sirnaomics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of RNAi therapeutics against cancer, fibrotic diseases and viral infections, announced that the company has entered into a partnership agreement with Walvax Biotechnology (Walvax) for the co-development of its anti-influenza siRNA therapeutic product candidate STP702. Sirnaomics will out-license to Walvax the exclusive development and commercialization rights for territories including mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. Based on the agreement, the company will receive an initial payment of ~US$6.4 million for this asset, with additional milestone payments and royalty sharing based on product sales.  

While the medical and scientific communities are continuing the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, there needs to be continued attention towards other viruses, such as Influenza, which cause severe epidemics worldwide. Along with its resistant strains, new pathogenic viruses continue to be discovered, creating an ongoing need for new anti-influenza treatments. RNA interference (RNAi) is a cellular gene-silencing phenomenon, in which sequence-specific degradation of target mRNA is achieved by means of complementary short interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules. This advanced therapeutic approach, using siRNA technology as a targeted inhibitor, affords a tractable strategy to combat influenza pathogenesis. SiRNAs are easy to design, and can be directed against multiple strains of the influenza virus by targeting their conserved gene regions. The newly established partnership between Sirnaomics and Walvax will specifically focus on development of the siRNA-based anti-influenza therapeutic candidate STP702.

"Establishing this partnership with Walvax exemplifies our continued execution for development strategy," said Patrick Lu, PhD, President and CEO of Sirnaomics, and Chairman of Sirnaomics Suzhou. "The out-licensing of our antiviral siRNA candidate, especially to an internationally well-recognized biopharma company like Walvax Bio that specializes in development of vaccine and therapeutics against various viral infections, marks a major milestone in Sirnaomics' growth. I look forward to seeing the Sirnaomics and Walvax teams working together to develop a novel siRNA therapeutic to combat potential influenza epidemics of the future."

"We believe our siRNA technology has extremely broad therapeutic potential and we are excited to combine Walvax's deep vaccine expertise with our siRNA platform technology to unlock additional value outside of our core oncology and fibrosis therapeutic focus," said Allan Shaw, Chief Financial Officer at Sirnaomics. "This alliance provides the latest validation of Sirnaomics technology platform and furthers our strategy to evaluate its potential in a wide range of new disease areas."

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