Henlius successfully held its fourth Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting
Henlius Biotech, Inc. (Henlius), a global biologics company specialized in the discovery and development of high-quality and affordable antibodies for the treatment of patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases, recently held its fourth Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting at Bay Area where the United States (US) Research and Development (R&D) site is located. Scientists from R&D groups at Shanghai, Taiwan China and US sites have attended the meeting either in-person or via tele-conference.
During this all-day SAB meeting, the topics focused on the presentation and discussion of Henlius’ most advanced research projects including scientific justification, competitive landscape, data update and future plans. The SAB members provided positive acknowledgement on the broad coverage of research pipeline, diverse mechanism and differentiated strategy, and impressive progress of key projects, as well as constructive feedbacks on project priority, biological insights and resource allocation.
Dr. Scott Liu, Henlius co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, started the meeting with an introduction of Henlius, focusing on Henlius’ vision and mission of affordable innovation, company history and strategy, commercialization plan and commitment to Research. Dr. Alvin Luk, Henlius Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, provided an overview on Henlius Clinical strategy and pipeline, especially HLX10 anti-PD1 programs. Special guest of the meeting Professor Ron Levy from Stanford University gave a lecture on the antibody therapy targeting tumor and in situ vaccination targeting immune system. Dr. Levy was the driving force behind the first FDA-approved monoclonal antibody for cancer treatment, Rituximab, which happens to be the first approved biosimilar in China and the first approved product from Henlius, HLX01 . He also encouraged the collaboration between biotech and academia, leveraging each other’s strength in drug development and biology understanding. His sentiment was also unanimously shared by all the SAB members, guests and Henlius participants, and Henlius already had some specific collaboration initiatives with renowned researchers from academia that can be put into place soon.
“This was a very informative and productive SAB meeting. We are very excited to know the strong progress. Let’s try to find a date that is good for everyone around mid-2020 for the next SAB meeting. Professor Kun-Liang Guan, chairman of Henlius’ SAB acknowledged.
One of the SAB member, Professor Zihai Li, also commented, “Very impressive progress and a phenomenal meeting. The entire team was so engaging and energetic. Great things are bound to happen.”
The meeting was concluded by a panel discussion on a variety of topics, an acknowledgement on the impressive progress, and emphasis on the research focus and collaboration. It is decided that the frequency of the SAB meeting shall be increased and the next SAB meeting is scheduled in mid-2020.
Biographies of Scientific Advisory Board Members
Dr. Kun-Liang Guan is a Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego. He obtained his BS (1982) at Hangzhou University, China and Ph.D. (1989) at Purdue University. From 1992-2007, Guan was a faculty at the University of Michigan. He received the MacArthur Fellowship, the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Young Investigator Award, Distinguished Alumni Award from Purdue University, an AAAS Fellow, and is a highly cited researcher in Molecular Biology & Genetics (Thomson Reuters). Guan studies signaling mechanisms of cell growth and tumorigenesis, particular focusing on the mTOR and Hippo pathways.
Dr. Yiping Yang, Director, Division of Hematology, Professor of Medicine, the Ohio State University. Dr. Yang received his M.D. from Zhejiang University, and Ph.D. from University of Michigan. He then completed his postdoctoral training and Internal Medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania, and his Medical Oncology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. He is an ABIM-certified physician with clinical interest in lymphoma and leukemia. He has been selected as America’s top oncologist since 2008. He has also served as Associate Editor for Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) and JCI Insight. Funded by grants from National Institute of Health and private foundations, his research focuses on cancer immunology and immunotherapy, as well as gene therapy and viral immunity. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers in journals including Science, Nature Immunology, Nature Genetics, Nature Medicine, Immunity, JCI, PNAS, etc.
Dr. Weiping Zou is a faculty at the University of Michigan. His research interests are in tumor immunopathology and immunotherapy. Over the past few years, his research team has achieved important insights into cancer immunopathogenesis. His research efforts demonstrate that the tumor microenvironment is comprised of immune cells that have been reprogrammed by active tumor-mediated processes to defeat tumor immunity and promote tumor progression in a highly effective manner. These studies have helped define the nature of immune responses in the cancer microenvironment, form the concept of immunosuppressive networks in the cancer microenvironment and provide significant insights into designing current immune therapies including inhibitory B7 checkpoint blockade (PD-L1, B7-H1) to treat cancer patients. The Zou laboratory is one of the most cited research teams in the field of Cancer Immunology. Dr. Zou is/was an editorial board member for 9 scientific journals. He has delivered more than 200 invited lectures. He serves as a reviewer for more than 15 funding agencies including NIH and DOD, and for more than 50 scientific journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Cell, Science, and Nature journals. He is the AACR Cancer Immunology Chairperson-elect 2018-2019.
Dr.Zihai Li is Klotz Memorial Chair in Cancer Research, Professor and Founding Director of the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology at The Ohio State University James Comprehensive Cancer Center. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. He completed his internal medicine residency in the Montefiore-Einstein Medical Center and his medical oncology fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Prior to his current position, he was chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and co-leader of the Cancer Immunology Program at the NCI-designated Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). He is an expert in the field of GP96/GRP94 chaperone and played important roles in advancing HSP–based cancer vaccines. He recently uncovered the roles of platelets especially the TGFbeta-GARP axis on the platelets in immune tolerance and cancer immunotherapy, and discovered CNPY2 as a key initiator of the unfolded protein response. His laboratory has been continuously funded by NIH for the last two decades. Dr. Li has served multiple leadership roles in the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Chinese American Hematologist and Oncologist Network (CAHON). He has been leading the effort to establish the Committee of Overseas Experts (COE) of the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO) and is the elected founding chair of the CSCO COE (2018-2020).
About Henlius SAB Meeting
The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of Henlius was established in May 2018, which consists of world-renowned scientists or physicians including Dr. Kun-Liang Guan, Dr. Yiping Yang, Dr. Weiping Zou and Dr. Zihai Li. These experts of biology, immunology and oncology have not only brought in professional insights on Henlius research strategy, but also provided scientific guidance on antibody discovery and development, helping Henlius to develop high-quality and affordable drugs to enhance the product pipeline and bring effective combo immunotherapies to patients.
Henlius (2696.HK) is a leading biopharmaceutical company in China with the vision to offer high-quality, affordable and innovative biologics for patients worldwide with a focus on oncology and autoimmune diseases. Since its inception in 2010, Henlius has built an integrated and efficient global R&D platform with key facilities in Shanghai, Taipei and California. The three R&D centers closely collaborate with each other to ensure a highly productive and cost-efficient R&D process. Starting from biosimilar, Henlius presses forward with novel mAb products and immuno-oncology combination therapies with proprietary anti-PD-1 and PD-L1 mAbs as backbone. Henlius establishes a diversified product pipeline of biosimilars, bio-innovative drugs and combination therapies, and builds an integrated platform covering the whole product lifecycle including R&D, commercial-scale production and commercialization. On September 25, 2019, Henlius was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited with the stock code: 2696.HK.
Until now, in addition to one product launched commercially, two products under New Drug Application (NDA) review and one product under Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) review, Henlius has conducted over 20 clinical studies for 14 products and 7 combination therapies worldwide. HLX01 (汉利康®, rituximab injection), the first product of Henlius, has been granted approval by the NMPA as the first approved biosimilar in China. HLX03 (adalimumab injection) and HLX02 (trastuzumab for injection) have their NDA under priority review by the NMPA. HLX02 is also the first China-manufactured biosimilar developed in a global setting. In June 2019, the MAA for HLX02 was accepted for review by EMA. Moreover, Henlius advances immuno-oncology combination therapies with proprietary mAbs including HLX10 (anti-PD-1 mAb) as backbone in combination with chemotherapy and other mAbs including HLX04 (bevacizumab biosimilar) and HLX07 (anti-EGFR mab). The global multi-center clinical trials are ongoing in various countries and regions worldwide.