Why Genentech eyes on Jemincare's androgen receptor degrader?
Minhua Chu ·09/01/2022

Roche believes Jemincare’s novel oral androgen receptor degrader will complement its efforts to develop new treatment options for patients with advanced prostate cancer.



On August 18, Roche’s Genentech entered an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Jemincare, a China’s pharamaceutical company, for the development and commercialization of the latter’s oral androgen receptor degrader, JMKX002992.

“This agreement is the first in which Genentech is licensing the global rights to develop and commercialize a potential medicine from a China-headquartered company,” Harm-Jan Borgeld, Head of Roche Pharma Partnering Asia, told PharmaDJ.

JMKX002992 was developed by Jemincare’s Shanghai Jemincare Small Molecule Innovative Center and is currently in preclinical development.

Jemincare told PharmaDJ that the androgen receptor is a recognized driver for prostate cancer, and it believes JMKX002992 has the potential to treat patients who have developed resistance to current therapies. It can complement Roche’s work in developing novel treatments for advanced prostate cancer.

Clearly, Roche agrees. Patrick Schleck, Head of Oncology, Roche Pharma Partnering, told PharmaDJ that “ JMKX002992 has potential to be a best in class androgen receptor degrader.  We look forward to bringing the program forward into clinical trials.  

Under the terms of the agreement, Genentech will pay Jemincare a $60 million upfront and up to $590 million in development, regulatory and sales-based milestone payments. Jemincare is also entitled to received tiered royalties on net sales.

Genentech will now hold the worldwide rights, including China, and be responsible for all the cost in development and commercialization. “We believe the collaboration will accelerate the development of JMKX002992 and benefit patients,” said Jemincare.

The draw for Genentech

Cancer is a major focus for Genentech, and “prostate cancer still represents a significant unmet need,” according to Schleck.

Prostate cancer remains a leading cause of death in men worldwide, with certain forms being particularly difficult to treat.

Good interactions and conversation between the two parties is another reason for reaching the agreement. “Since the beginning, the interactions with the Genentech and Jemincare teams have been very fruitful and a great exchange on a scientific and personal level. This partnership is the result of the great scientific and business conversations from diligence through to deal negotiations,” said Borgeld.

Jemincare’s third out-licensing program

This is the third out-licensing deal for Jemincare and the all three candidates were discovered by Shanghai Jemincare,  the R&D center and wholly-owned subsidiary of Jemincare Group.

In May 2022, Jemincare licensed out the rights of a new non-opioid analgesic drug, JMKX000623, to ORION. ORION secured the exclusive development, manufacture and commercialization right outside of Greater China, while Jemincare will keep the rights in Great China.

Jemincare received an initial payment of €15 million and 8-15% of net sales for JMKX000623, a highly selective sodium channel blocker.

In November 2021, Jemincare entered a licensing agreement with HUYABIO, a company aiming to put the novel biopharmaceutical products originating in China to global market.

The candidate in question is JMKX1899, a KRAS inhibitor. Data from preclincial studies showed that the drug has strong blood-brain-barrier crossing capability. HUYABIO obtained the exclusive worldwide ex-China rights from the deal.

Jemincare’s pipeline comprises of a mix of innovative small moleculars and biologics, traditional Chinese medicines (TCM), as well as modified new drugs. They cover therapeutic fields such as oncology, nephrology, cerebro-cardiovascular, anti-infection, analgesic, respiratory and pediatrics.

The company now has more than 70 projects in the development pipeline including a dozen of small-molecular products in the IND or IND filing preparation stage, three in clinical studies.

Supporting innovation in China

As one of the first multinational companies to establish a presence in China, Roche has launched the Roche Accelerator to support innovation in the country.

“China’s urge for innovation is strong, and has enabled many biotechs to develop first in class and best in disease compounds,” said Borgeld.

“We are very pleased with the scientific progress seen in China in recent years, with Jemincare’s androgen receptor degrader as a prime example. This agreement with Jemincare represents our ambition to further expand Roche's partnering activities with innovative Chinese companies  and through these partnerships, we want to help bring Chinese innovation to patients around the globe. 

Keywords: Genentech first global in-licensing a China-based company via Jemincare deal
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