Expands immunotherapy pipeline with potential first in class treatments for a range of autoimmune diseases
Hangzhou, China and Diepenbeek, Belgium, (August 18, 2021): Worg Pharmaceuticals (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd (“Worg”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments for allergy and Apitope International NV (“Apitope”), a clinical stage biotech company focusing on autoimmune diseases, today announce that they have entered into an asset purchase agreement (the “Agreement”) under which Worg will acquire Apitope’s proprietary platform and therapeutic pipeline. Apitope’s innovative pipeline consists of clinical, preclinical and discovery stage assets for the treatment of a range of autoimmune diseases with significant unmet medical need.
Apitope is developing potential first-in-class antigen-specific immunotherapy targeting the immunological basis of autoimmune diseases. Its novel discovery platform enables the identification and selection of highly specific epitopes which reinstate immune tolerance, known as “apitopes®”. Apitope has built a robust development pipeline of antigen specific immunotherapies. The lead compounds include the first potential disease modifying therapy for Graves' disease, the first innovative treatment for the disease in more than 60 years, as well as a potential first-in-class antigen specific immunotherapies for Factor VIII inhibitors and Multiple Sclerosis. In addition, other innovative early-stage programs include projects for Uveitis, Myocarditis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
“The assets that we will acquire fit well with Worg’s business strategy by overlapping with our current business in allergy immunotherapies. With this acquisition, we will be able to expand our immunotherapy pipeline based on the same core immunology knowledge. We are pleased to take the leading role of these innovative therapies and bring new treatment options to patients”, said Andrew Xu, CEO of Worg.
Rainer Henning, CSO and Head of European Operations of Worg added: “We are very excited to add the Apitope platform to our portfolio. This transaction expands our immunotherapy pipeline from allergies into autoimmune diseases and we are fully committed to advance the products through clinical development. We see great potential to offer innovative treatments for patients suffering from a range of autoimmune diseases.”
Stéphane Verdood, Chairman and Hayley French, CEO of Apitope, commented: “We are very pleased to join forces with Worg which will drive the development of our promising pipeline of first in class immunotherapies to give patients novel effective and safe treatments. We believe the combination of Apitope’s innovative programs and Worg’s drug development expertise will maximise the potential of these projects and address significant unmet medical needs.”
Worg is a specialty biopharmaceutical company focusing on the research and development of innovative immunotherapies for unmet medical needs in allergy and relevant diseases. Headquartered in Hangzhou, China, Worg is led by members with extensive experience in life science executive roles, pharmaceutical development, clinical trials, regulatory affairs. In 2020, Worg closed a deal with an Austrian company, Biomay, and acquired its PCFiT platform and related allergy programs. Worg is developing these programs and seeking business opportunities in the relevant field. For more information, please visit: www.worgpharma.com
Apitope is a clinical stage biotech company that develops antigen-specific immunotherapies targeting autoimmune diseases. Apitope uses its novel, proprietary discovery platform to select and develop highly specific peptide-based therapeutics known as "apitopes®" (antigen processing independent epitopes), that directly target the immunological basis of autoimmune diseases. The apitope® mechanism of action and platform have the broad potential to treat a wide variety of autoimmune diseases. While current therapies for autoimmune diseases typically have the effect of suppressing the immune system, apitopes® modulates only the malfunctioning part of the immune system to avoid such global immune suppression. Apitope was founded in 2002 by Professor David Wraith, as a spin-out from the University of Bristol. It is based in Diepenbeek, Belgium. For more information, please visit: www.apitope.com