REDWOOD CITY, Calif., April 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Coherus BioSciences, Inc. (“Coherus”, Nasdaq: CHRS), today announced the closing of the sale of Coherus common stock to Junshi Biosciences. Under the terms of the February 2, 2021 stock purchase agreement, Coherus has received $50 million from Junshi Biosciences’ acquisition of 2,491,988 shares at a price per share of $20.06. The collaboration agreement between the companies for the development and commercialization in the United States and Canada of toripalimab, Junshi Biosciences’ PD-1 antibody, became effective in March.
“This collaboration is a tremendous opportunity for Junshi Biosciences given Coherus’ commercial expertise and track record in bringing affordable high-quality medicines to patients,” said Dr. Ning LI, CEO of Junshi Biosciences. “Since the collaboration was announced two months ago, we have already made progress toward the introduction of toripalimab in the United States with the initiation of the rolling submission of the Biologics License Application (BLA) for treatment of recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).”
“It is an honor to welcome Junshi Biosciences as both collaborators and investors as we build on our oncology biosimilar success with the expansion of our mission into immuno-oncology. This investment speaks volumes about Junshi Biosciences’ commitment to our partnership,” said Denny Lanfear, Chief Executive Officer of Coherus. “Our teams are already making excellent progress with the NPC BLA submission and are working together closely on the registration strategy for additional toripalimab indications.”
About the Exclusive License and Commercialization Agreement
Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Coherus paid $150 million upfront for exclusive rights to toripalimab in the United States and Canada, options in these territories to Junshi Biosciences’ anti-TIGIT antibody and next-generation engineered IL-2 cytokine, and certain negotiation rights to two undisclosed preclinical immuno-oncology drug candidates. Coherus will also pay Junshi Biosciences a 20% royalty on net sales of toripalimab and up to an aggregate $380 million in one-time payments for the achievement of various milestones. The option exercise fee for each of the anti-TIGIT antibody and the IL-2 cytokine is $35 million per program. Additionally, for each option program, Coherus will pay Junshi Biosciences an 18% royalty on net sales and up to an aggregate $255 million for the achievement of various milestones. The Companies will collaborate in the development of toripalimab and other licensed compounds, and Coherus will pay for a portion of these co-development activities up to a maximum of $25 million per licensed compound per year.
About Junshi Biosciences
Founded in December 2012, Junshi Biosciences is an innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapeutics. The company has established a diversified R & D pipeline comprising 28 innovative drug candidates and 2 biosimilars, with five therapeutic focus areas covering cancer, autoimmune, metabolic, neurological, and infectious diseases. Junshi Biosciences was the first Chinese pharmaceutical company that obtained marketing approval for anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody in China. Its first-in-human anti-BTLA antibody for solid tumors was the first in the world to be approved for clinical trials by the FDA and NMPA and its anti-PCSK9 monoclonal antibody was the first in China to be approved for clinical trials by the NMPA. In early 2020, Junshi Biosciences joined forces with the Institute of Microbiology Chinese Academy of Science and Eli Lilly to co-develop JS016 (etesevimab), China’s first neutralizing fully human monoclonal antibody against SARS-CoV-2. JS016 administered with bamlanivimab has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by US FDA in Feb 2021 for the treatment of recently diagnosed, mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. The JS016 program is a part of our continuous innovation for disease control and prevention of the global pandemic. Junshi Biosciences has over 2,000 employees in the United States (San Francisco and Maryland) and China (Shanghai, Suzhou, Beijing and Guangzhou). For more information, please visit: http://junshipharma.com.
About Coherus BioSciences
Coherus is a commercial stage biopharmaceutical company with the mission to increase access to cost-effective medicines that can have a major impact on patients’ lives and to deliver significant savings to the health care system.
In February 2021, Coherus and Junshi Biosciences announced a collaboration in which Coherus would in-license toripalimab, an anti-PD-1 antibody, in the United States and Canada. Coherus’ strategy is to build a leading immuno-oncology franchise funded with cash generated by its commercial biosimilar business. Coherus markets UDENYCA® (pegfilgrastim-cbqv) in the United States and through 2023 expects to launch biosimilars of Humira®, Avastin® and Lucentis®, if approved.
For additional information, please visit www.coherus.com.
UDENYCA® is a trademark of Coherus BioSciences, Inc.
Avastin® and Lucentis® are registered trademarks of Genentech, Inc.
Humira® is a registered trademark of AbbVie Inc.
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, Coherus’ ability to generate cash flow from its UDENYCA® business; Coherus’ and Junshi Biosciences’ ability to co-develop toripalimab, and Coherus’ ability to commercialize toripalimab, or any other drug candidates developed as part of its collaboration with Junshi Biosciences in the licensed territory; the potential for toripalimab to gain approval in the United States for nasopharyngeal carcinoma or any indication; Coherus’ and Junshi Biosciences’ plans to file additional toripalimab BLAs with the FDA for any clinical indication; Coherus’ plans to invest the cash generated by its biosimilar commercial business to build a focused immuno-oncology franchise; Coherus’ ability to prepare for projected launches through 2023 of biosimilars of Humira®, Avastin® and Lucentis®, if approved.
Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause Coherus’ actual results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the risk that the parties are unable to obtain clearance under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or any other statute or regulatory agency having jurisdiction with respect to the proposed transactions, the risks and uncertainties inherent in the clinical drug development process; the risks and uncertainties of the regulatory approval process, including the timing of Coherus’ regulatory filings; the risk that Coherus is unable to complete commercial transactions and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of Coherus’ drug candidates; and the risks and uncertainties of possible patent litigation. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Coherus undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Coherus’ business in general, see Coherus’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 25, 2021, and its future periodic reports to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Our results for the year ended December 31, 2020 are not necessarily indicative of our operating results for any future periods.
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