Fosun Pharma will obtain an exclusive license to VerImmune’s lead AIR-ViP product candidate, VERI-101, in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau region, and Taiwan


VerImmune develops AIR-ViP platform technology. (Credit: Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay)

Chinese pharmaceutical firm Fosun Pharma, through its US subsidiary Fosun Pharma USA, has signed an exclusive license and option agreement with US-based VerImmune.

VerImmune is engaged in developing virus-inspired particle (ViP) platform technology that can be deployed as a delivery system to attack cancer.

Based on its highly adaptable ViP platform, the company has formulated a novel therapeutic strategy, dubbed Anti-tumour Immune Redirection (AIR).

AIR approach leverages ViP platform to redirect natural pre-existing immunity from past viral infections or childhood vaccinations to target cancer and is denoted as AIR-ViP.

Under the terms of the deal, Fosun Pharma will obtain an exclusive license to VerImmune’s lead AIR-ViP product candidate, VERI-101.

In addition, the company gets the right to license certain potential AIR-ViP products arising from VerImmune’s pipeline in the future.

It will conduct the clinical development and marketing in certain territories, including the Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong and Macau Special Administration Regions and Taiwan Region.

VerImmune is eligible to receive a total of up to $125m in milestone payments in addition to tiered royalties on net sales of VERI-101 in specified territories.

The company is also entitled to receive additional milestone payments and royalties, subject to Fosun Pharma exercising its option to select future AIR-ViP product candidates.

VerImmune founder and CEO Joshua Wang said: “Cancer is a global unmet medical need and thus we are very excited to be working with the Fosun Pharma companies to bring our novel lead AIR-ViP immunotherapeutic products to China.

“Fosun Pharma has both the expertise and access to reach these fast-growing markets We hope to benefit more Chinese patients and the region through our cooperation.”

Fosun Pharma chairman and CEO Wu Yifang said: “The field of tumour immunotherapy is the frontier of current biomedical research, and it is also one of the key directions of Fosun Pharma’s strategic layout.

“We are pleased to partner with VerImmune to bring such a promising immunotherapy to China, and hope the cutting-edge biotherapeutic technologies and products can benefit more patients in China.”

Earlier this year, VerImmune teamed up with Janssen, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), to evaluate its AIR-ViP technology platform.