Anji Pharma and Population Health partner to progress lead candidates

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

© Minerva Studio / Getty Images
© Minerva Studio / Getty Images

Related tags: Diabetes, constipation, metabolic disease, Oncology

The biopharma company and investment firm will cooperate to progress late-stage clinical assets in diabetes and chronic idiopathic constipation.

Anji Pharmaceuticals is a biotech company, with operations in the US and China, including Shanghai and Beijing. The biotech has three assets moving through clinical trials in metabolic disease, and two oncology assets in the preclinical stage being developed by its subsidiary, Anji Onco.

Population Health Partners (PHP) is an investment firm that specializes in making investments in the life sciences industry.

Together, the two companies will focus on the development of Anji’s pipeline, with a particular focus on ANJ900 (delayed-release metformin) and ANJ908 (pradigastat).

ANJ900 is currently going through Phase III trials to test its potential to treat patients with Type 2 diabetes with advanced chronic kidney disease. The company is pursuing the treatment as it could improve treatment options for patients with kidney disease that are contraindicated from use of regular metformin.

ANJ908 is a novel DGAT1inhibior that has completed Phase II trials as a treatment for patients with chronic idiopathic constipation, with results expected to be released from the study later this year. The trials took place in both the US and China across 25 different clinical sites.

PHP stated that it would help Anji to develop its lead assets by advising on strategic and operational matters, as they advance the clinical assets towards commercialization.

On its website, the investment firm outlines that it works with its partners by committing them to “using [its] codified frameworks, methods, and tools.”​ 

PHP manages this through its subsidiary, Validae Health, which states it can reduce evidence-generation for assets by 30-90% relative to industry norms, accelerate time to launch by three to five years, and deliver the required evidence for regulatory approval. PHP’s current portfolio of partners includes Areteia Therapeutics, Invivyd, Comanche Biopharma, Fractyle Health, and New Amsterdam Pharmaceuticals, among others.

The latest partnership arrangement is the second time in a year that Anji has secured financial backing, after it launched a Series B financing round last year​.

During the previous round, the biotech raised $70m (€71m), which was managed through just one participant, CR Capital. The venture capital firm announced that it had made its investment in the biotech as it believed the dual US and China clinical trial strategy would help it achieve “higher clinical success rates with lower development costs,” thereby allowing a higher return on investment.

At the time, Anji outlined that the funds would go towards advancing # assets into first-in-human clinical trials.

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