BOSTON, MA and NEW YORK – October 19, 2022 – Anji Pharmaceuticals, invested and incubated by Viva BioInnovator, and Population Health Partners announced that they have entered into a strategic collaboration, bringing together two complementary teams to jointly address high prevalence human diseases.
Anji Pharmaceuticals (‘Anji’) is an emerging global medicines company founded by CEO Dr. Brian Hubbard, who has led therapeutics discovery and development programs at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Merck, Novartis, and Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Anji co-founders also include CMO Dr. Dan Meyers, who has designed and led over 40 clinical trials; CSO Dr. Mike Serrano-Wu, who was part of discovery teams that identified daclatasvir, pradigastat, and 5 additional molecules which have reached clinical trials; and COO Dr. Yiwei Zong, an experienced investor and entrepreneur. Anji is progressing high potential late-stage clinical assets in Phase II and Phase III development.
Population Health Partners (‘PHP’) is a global life-science investment firm founded by Dr. Clive Meanwell, who has led therapeutics development programs in his roles as Founder and CEO of The Medicines Company, and in a range of executive positions at Roche. Other Partners at PHP include Ian Read, former Chairman and CEO of Pfizer; Dr. Roy Berggren, former lead of McKinsey’s global Life Sciences practice; and Chris Cox, former head of Cadwalader Wickersham and Taft’s global corporate law practice.
PHP will work with Anji to support their portfolio and to advise on strategic and operational matters as they advance clinical assets which have high potential to improve the lives and reduce the health burdens on millions of people with prevalent diseases and/or disease risk factors.
“We’ve built Anji to be an agile asset-centric biopharma enterprise that can repeatedly unlock value of clinical programs where we see high validation and unmet need,” said Brian Hubbard, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Anji. “Teaming up with PHP is clearly one of those ‘1+1 = 3’ moments, where the deep skillsets of each will equip Anji to deliver life-changing medicines to patients even more quickly.”
The initial focus of the Anji/PHP collaboration is to accelerate development of the two lead clinical assets in Anji’s pipeline. ANJ900 (delayed-release metformin) is an investigational agent currently in Phase 3 trials to enable safe use of metformin in Type 2 diabetes patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). Previous trials with ANJ900 demonstrated clinically meaningful glucose lowering with only one-third the plasma concentrations observed with currently marketed formulations of metformin. This finding points to the potential for expanded and improved treatment for CKD patients in whom metformin use is currently contraindicated.
ANJ908 (pradigastat) is a novel DGAT1 inhibitor which has completed a successful Phase 2 study in patients with chronic idiopathic constipation (NCT04620161). This proof-of-concept study was performed across 25 clinical trial sites in U.S. and China and demonstrated the potential efficacy, safety, and dose range of pradigastat in patients who met the Rome IV criteria for constipation. Chronic idiopathic constipation affects nearly one in seven Americans, with nearly two million patients seeking pharmacotherapy options worldwide. Anji anticipates sharing preliminary results from the study later this year.
“Anji has an extraordinary team – and an inspiring proven leader in Brian. Their ability to unpack the complexities of biology, chemistry, pharmacology, and clinical performance so that they can recognize high potential value and perform efficient drug development programs is highly impressive,” said Clive Meanwell, M.D., Chairman and Managing Partner of PHP. “We will put PHP’s knowledge and experience to work in order to help Anji create value, and produce a positive impact on prevalent diseases.”
Locust Walk serves as an advisor to Anji and will work in concert with Anji and PHP to further the goals of the strategic collaboration.
About Anji Pharma
Anji Pharma is a clinical-stage company dedicated to bringing life-changing therapies to patients across the globe. Anji’s asset-centric business model allows for speed and flexibility in building value, leveraging a clinical and regulatory core that operates with “hub-and-spoke” efficiency. Anji has R&D expertise in Boston, Shanghai, and Berlin, and is preparing additional programs for early clinical development. For more info, visit www.anjipharma.com.
About Population Health Partners, L.P.
Population Health Partners, L.P. is a private equity firm committed to building great companies around important late-stage therapeutics and solving the health and economic challenges presented by prevalent diseases. While at The Medicines Company, leaders from Population Health Partners secured eight drug approvals involving 21 clinical trials and 91,000 randomized patients and were ranked #1 in the CNBC RQ 50 for biopharmaceutical R&D productivity. For more info, visit www.populationhp.com.
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