CANbridge Pharmaceuticals Appoints Head of Global Research


October 26, 2020, Beijing, China; Cambridge, Massachusetts—CANbridge Pharmaceuticals Inc., a company developing and commercializing innovative drugs to treat rare diseases and targeted cancers, announced that it has appointed Yunxiang Zhu, PhD, to the position of VP/Head of Global Research, overseeing all research and development and responsible for all drug development programs, from early discovery to the pre-clinical stage. Dr. Zhu will be based at the CANbridge US headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“Yunxiang comes to CANbridge on the heels of our second rare disease gene therapy Research Agreement with UMass Medical School, underscoring our commitment to rare disease research and developing a world-class CANbridge research capability, particularly in biologics and gene therapy,” said James Xue, PhD, CANbridge Founder, Chairman and CEO. “He will be instrumental in expanding our US-based global research programs and driving our strategy of in-China development for the global market.”

Dr. Zhu has had an exemplary pharmaceutical industry career. Most recently, he was Sr. Vice President at a biotech company in Beijing, China, where he shaped the company’s immune-oncology roadmap and was responsible for disease drug target selection and preclinical validation. During his two years there, he designed and created more than five first-in-class bispecific and trifunctional antibody lead candidates. Before then, Dr. Zhu was at Genzyme for 17 years, advancing through the ranks from staff scientist to Senior Director. While at Genzyme, he oversaw rare disease discovery programs in muscular dystrophies and genetic metabolic diseases, managing multiple groups and overseeing the process from target validation to the animal proof-of-concept stage. Dr. Zhu’s research led to the invention of the second-generation enzyme replacement therapy, avalglucosidase-alfa, which Sanofi has submitted for marketing approval in Europe for the treatment of Pompe disease. 

Dr. Zhu has a PhD in cell biology from the University of Miami School of Medicine, in Miami, Florida. He also has a MS from the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, in Shanghai, China, and a BS in chemistry from Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou, China.  He completed his post-doctoral training at the Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Zhu is the co-author of 26 peer-reviewed articles and inventor on 16 patents. Several additional patents are pending.


About CANbridge Pharmaceuticals Inc. 

CANbridge Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company accelerating the development and commercialization of specialty healthcare products for orphan diseases and targeted cancers to address unmet medical needs.

CANbridge has a global partnership with WuXi Biologics to develop and commercialize proprietary therapeutics for the treatment of rare genetic diseases. In greater China, where it is a recognized leader in orphan diseases, CANbridge has an exclusive licensing agreement to commercialize Hunterase®, an enzyme replacement therapy for the treatment of Hunter syndrome, developed by GC Pharma and marketed in more than 11 countries worldwide. CANbridge also has a collaborative agreement with the Horae Gene Therapy Center at UMass Medical School for the research and development of gene therapies to treat rare genetic diseases. The CANbridge oncology portfolio includes exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Puma Biotechnology’s NERLYNX® (neratinib), which was recently approved in greater China, as well as rights to other novel candidates. 


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Deanne Eagle

Planet Communications