Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co., Ltd., a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company based in Shanghai, and Arcutis, Inc., a biotechnology company based in Menlo Park, CA, entered into an exclusive option and license agreement for the development and commercialization of topical applications of Hengrui’s investigational drug, SHR0302, for the treatment of dermatology disorders. SHR0302, a highly potent, selective JAK inhibitor, is currently being evaluated in Phase 2 clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis in China.
“Arcutis has been formed around a team of industry veteran leaders with deep expertise and an admirable track record in developing and commercializing dermatology therapeutics,” said Lianshan Zhang, PhD, President of Global R&D of Hengrui. “There is high unmet need for a topical therapy with new mechanism of action to effectively address immune-mediated dermatology disorders. We are very excited to be a partner of Arcutis.”
“We are delighted to be partnering with Hengrui to develop topical applications of SHR0302,” said Howard Welgus, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Arcutis. “JAK inhibition is one of the most promising areas of innovation in topical treatments for immune-mediated dermatological disorders, and through its unique combination of potency and specificity, SHR0302 has the potential to be the ‘best-in-class’ topical JAK inhibitor.”
JAK-STAT signaling, which plays a critical role in immune and hematopoietic function, is an intracellular pathway upon which numerous different proinflammatory signals converge. SHR0302 is a novel JAK inhibitor designed to offer a greater therapeutic window through high selectivity, high potency, and an extended tissue half-life. Hengrui has completed a Phase 1 study in healthy volunteers in China and is currently pursuing clinical development of SHR0302 as a systemic therapy for a range of autoimmune disorders. There is growing evidence suggesting that inhibition of JAK may be broadly useful in dermatology.
“As one of the leading, research-driven biopharmaceutical companies in China, Hengrui is passionate about and committed to developing breakthrough medicines for patients,” said Piaoyang Sun, Ph.D., Chairman of Hengrui. “This collaboration is another step towards globalizing our mission. We look forward to bringing together capabilities of both companies and quickly developing SHR0302 for patients who need innovative, meaningful therapies.”Next Story