Change in Use of Proceeds From the Global Offering for Expansion of R&D Portfolio into Hepatitis B Clinical Cure and NASH
HANGZHOU, China and SHAOXING, China, Nov. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Ascletis Pharma Inc. (HKEX code: 1672) announces today that the board of directors of the Company (the "Board") resolved to change the use of the remaining Net Proceeds from the Global Offering. (see announcement: https://www.ascletis.com/Index/index/relation/cate_id/150.html)
The main reasons for the changes in the proposed applications of the Net Proceeds and reallocation of the unutilized amount of the Net Proceeds are as follows:
(a) The proportion of the Net Proceeds to be used in continued research and development of the Company's pipeline products has been raised from approximately 65% to 75% in total, primarily for the purpose of expansion of R&D portfolio into two new disease areas: hepatitis B clinical cure and NASH.
(b) The Prospectus stipulates that approximately 10.0% of the Net Proceeds is originally intended to be used for the Group's research and development of ASC21, which is an IND-approved NS5B polymerase nocleot(s)ide inhibitor licensed from Medivir AB under the exclusive licensing agreement executed in June 2017. The Company and Medivir AB agreed to cease the cooperation on November 17, 2020. The Company also ceased utilization the Company's resources for the research and development of ASC21, and ASC21 is no longer a pipeline product of the Company. The Company currently has another IND-approved HCV dual-targeted fixed-dose combination (FDC) candidate in its pipeline, ASC18, which is in-house developed, one-pill once-a-day FDC as the complete treatment of hepatitis C. ASC18 FDC consists of two DAAs: Ravidasvir, an NS5A inhibitor and Sofosbuvir, an NS5B polymerase nocleot(s)ide inhibitor. Since ASC21 is also an NS5B polymerase nocleot(s)ide inhibitor, which intended to be combined with Ravidavir as FDC, ceasing cooperation with Medivir AB does not have material impact on the Company's HCV pipeline.
(c) The Prospectus stipulates that approximately 25.0% of the Net Proceeds is originally intended to be used for the Group's commercialization of Ganovo® and Ravidasvir. However, since all oral regimens have become standard for HCV treatment in 2020, Ganovo® (Danoprevir) in combination with injectable peginterferon is no longer an option for many HCV patients, the Company intends to reduce from approximately 25% to 18% of this portion of the Net Proceeds and re-allocate mainly to continued research and development of the Core Product pipeline in viral hepatitis, NASH, HIV/AIDS.
"Since Hong Kong IPO in 2018, Ascletis has developed from a single disease – HCV platform into multi-disease platform including viral hepatitis, NASH and HIV/AIDS," said Dr. Jinzi J. Wu, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ascletis, "The change in use of Proceeds from the Global Offering makes more resources available to support our global leading pipelines for hepatitis B clinical cure and NASH."
Ascletis is an innovative R&D driven biotech with two commercial products and listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange (Ascletis, 1672.HK). Ascletis is committed to developing and commercializing antiviral, steatohepatitis, and tumor-related innovative drugs for unmet medical needs in China and Globally. Led by a management team with deep expertise and a proven track record, Ascletis has developed into a fully integrated platform covering the entire value chain from discovery and development to manufacturing and commercialization. Ascletis' pipeline is focused primarily on three therapeutic areas: 1. HCV: one commercial stage product, one near commercial stage drug and two R&D stage drug candidates. Ganovo® (Danoprevir) is the first direct-acting anti-viral agent for hepatitis C, developed by a domestic firm in China. 2. HBV: one commercial stage product and three R&D stage drug candidates. Pegasys® (Peginterferon alfa-2a) is a leading marketed pegylated interferon for hepatitis B&C partnered with Roche. 3. NASH (Non-Alcoholic SteatoHepatitis): three R&D stage drug candidates against three different targets for combination treatments. For more information, please visit www.ascletis.com.