CANbridge Congratulates Apogenix on First Patient Dosed in Asunercept (CAN008) Phase 3 Trial for the Treatment of COVID-19

-CANbridge holds exclusive rights for the development of CAN008 for any indication in Greater China

-CAN008 currently in Phase 2 trial for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme in China


Beijing, China; Burlington, Mass., January 5, 2023 — CANbridge Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (1228.HK), a global biopharmaceutical company, with a foundation in China, committed to the research, development and commercialization of transformative therapies to treat rare diseases and oncology, congratulates partner, Apogenix, on first patient enrolled in the ASUCOV Phase 3 trial of asunercept (CAN008) for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. CANbridge holds the right to develop CAN008 for any indication in Greater China and is currently conducting a CAN008 Phase 2 trial in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in China. The pivotal asunercept COVID-19 trial, sponsored by Apogenix will enroll over 600 patients hospitalized with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 disease at 50 sites in Europe, India and South Africa.

CAN008 has a unique mechanism of action that  inhibits immune cell death, thereby potentially enhancing the ability of the immune system to recognize pathogens and fight tumor growth. Specifically, CAN008 inhibits the CD95 ligand (CD95L). CD95 ligand mediates dysregulation of   immune homeostasis and induces apoptotic cell death. In COVID-19, CD95L dysregulation might also be a factor in reduced lymphocyte counts and lung tissue deterioration during COVID-19 progression, and therefore could represent a novel disease-mediating approach. Since CAN008 is not targeting the coronavirus, but rather the COVID-19 infection, treatment with CAN008 is independent of individual viral strains.


“We are encouraged to observe the potential application of CAN008 to COVID-19, as the disease continues to ravage many populations,” said James Xue, Ph.D., Founder, Chairman and CEO of CANbridge Pharmaceuticals Inc. “We look forward to continuing to develop this powerful immunotherapy in glioblastoma, and to maximizing its value.”  


About CAN008

CAN008 is a CD95-Fc fusion protein that binds to the CD95 ligand to block the interaction between the ligand and the CD95 receptor. CAN008 has a unique dual-mechanism of action. It both inhibits the invasive growth and migration of tumor cells, and could reduce the T-cell apoptosis,  thereby enhancing immune recognition of the cancer. Previous CAN008 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) clinical trial data showed favorable safety and tolerability, prolonged survival and improved quality-of-life. Based on this, European Medicines Agency (EMA) included CAN008 in the Priority Medicines (PRIME) program. CANbridge holds the rights to develop CAN008 for any indication in Greater China and is currently conducting a CAN008 Phase 2 trial in GBM in China.


About CANbridge Pharmaceuticals Inc.

CANbridge Pharmaceuticals Inc. (HKEX:1228) global biopharmaceutical company, with a foundation in China, committed to the research, development and commercialization of transformative therapies for rare disease and rare oncology. CANbridge has a differentiated drug portfolio, with three approved drugs and a pipeline of 10 assets, targeting prevalent rare disease and rare oncology indications that have unmet needs and significant market potential. These include Hunter syndrome and other lysosomal storage disorders, complement-mediated disorders, hemophilia A, metabolic disorders, rare cholestatic liver diseases and neuromuscular diseases, as well as glioblastoma multiforme. The CANbridge Next-Generation Innovation and Process Development Facility is developing novel, potentially curative, gene therapies for rare genetic diseases, including Pompe disease, Fabry disease, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and other neuromuscular conditions, and collaborates with world-leading researchers and biotech companies. Animal data from the SMA gene therapy was presented in 2022 at the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ASCGT), the European Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ESCGT) and the World Muscle Congress. CANbridge global partners include: Apogenix, GC Pharma, Mirum, Wuxi Biologics, Privus, the UMass Chan Medical School, the University of Washington School of Medicine and Scriptr Global.

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U.S. Investor Relations:

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ICR Westwicke


China Investor Relations

CANbridge Pharmaceuticals Inc.



Deanne Eagle

Planet Communications