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Simcere Collaborates with SIMM to Develop Novel COVID-19 Antiviral Therapy

publication date: Nov 23, 2021
author/source: Richard Daverman, PhD

Nanjing Simcere Pharma (HK: 2096) has formed a collaboration to develop novel antiviral drugs for COVID-19 with the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Specifically, Simcere has exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize a small-molecule antiviral that targets the 3C-like protease, a key enzyme in the replication and of coronaviruses. In preclinical animal models, SIM0417 showed good antiviral activity and safety against SARS-CoV-2. The two entities will work together to promote clinical research and marketing of the candidate.

No financial details of the agreement were released.

The companies said that, due to the 3CL protease's highly conserved nature, SIM0417 has a strong inhibitory effect on a variety of SARS-CoV-2 variants including the highly infectious Delta variant.

Mr. Ren Jinsheng, Chairman and CEO of Simcere, said, "R&D collaboration is one of our 'dual-track'-based R&D strategies. SIMM's powerful platforms and technologies for drug development have produced several novel drug candidates for COVID-19 during the pandemic. Simcere is committed to providing today's patients with the medicines of the future. We are very excited to work with CAS to develop this new generation of antiviral drugs and help further contribute China's strength to fight against COVID-19."

Earlier this year, Simcere in-licensed a clinical-stage therapy for Alzheimer's disease from Germany's Vivoryon Therapeutics (AM: VVY). Vivoryon's neurotoxic amyloid species N3pE (pGlu-Abeta) candidate showed a promising ability to restore memory function in a Phase IIa trial conducted among early stage AD patients. Simcere made an upfront payment and agreed to pay up to $565 million in milestones.

Simcere describes itself as transitioning to an innovation and R&D-driven pharmaceutical company. The company markets over 40 products in China and is developing a large portfolio of additional products. Its projects include drugs for oncology, central nervous system disease and autoimmune disease.

See our other articles on Simcere.

Disclosure: none.



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