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Cooperation on Projects | Leto Laboratories and Hanson Pharmaceutical Entered into Cooperation in Developing a New Drug for Metabolic Diseases

Published: September 13, 2021

News summary
In September 2021, the Hanson Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd. (HKEX: 3692) ("Hanson Pharmaceutical") and Leto Laboratories Co., Ltd. ("Leto Laboratories") signed a co-development agreement, in which the parties agreed to carry out a cooperation on metabolic disease projects to facilitate the development and production of a new drug molecule.
Metabolic disease refers to illnesses or conditions associated with metabolism, including diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia etc. It's characterized by complex pathogenesis, long disease course, and great difficulty in treatment. As diets and living environment change, metabolic diseases and the complications show higher occurrence and are more prevalent among young people. According to the “Annual Report on Cardiovascular Health and Diseases in China (2020)” released in July 2021, if evaluated based on the WHO diagnostic criteria, the prevalence of diabetes in adults was 11.2%, but detection rate in early stage was only 35.2%; number of adults with abdominal obesity was 277.8 million, and cardiovascular diseases have become the leading cause of death. These conditions have also raised global concern- governments are encouraging and large pharmaceutical companies are developing novel drugs to treat metabolic diseases. In China, the market size of medications for digestive and metabolic diseases in public hospitals has raced up over the years, from about 100 billion RMB in 2013 to 180 billion RMB in 2020, and medications for diabetes take the largest share, accounting for over one-third of the total drug use in this disease category in the first half of 2020 (Source: Qianzhan Industrial Research Institute).

For many years Leto Laboratories has been working on the R&D of medications for metabolic diseases, and this cooperation with Hanson Pharmaceutical can be an alliance of powers. They are going to work closely to design and carry out clinical research for a novel hypoglycemic, lipid-lowering drug, to meet market and patients’ demand for safer and more effective medications. Hanson Pharmaceutical’s strength in clinical research and commercialized production and sales will be an integral part of this cooperation. Both companies expect to facilitate Healthy China 2030 with solid actions.

“This is a win-win cooperation," said Dr. ZHANG Wei, founder and chairman of Leto Laboratories, “It is a great honor to have entered into a project cooperation with Hanson Pharmaceutical. We share a common vision of improving human health and providing treatment to metabolic diseases. In this cooperation Leto Laboratories will make a full use of its technological advantages to advance the design and research of the novel drug molecules together with Hanson Pharmaceutical, such as its independently- developed protein engineering and design platform, and ultra-high-throughput macromolecule screening platform. At the same time, Leto Laboratories is going to collaborate with Hanson Pharmaceuticals in downstream processing of manufacturing, depending on Leto’s unique directional protein refolding technology and years of experience in prokaryotic process development, so as to advance the clinical research and drug launch. This cooperation between Leto Laboratories and Hanson Pharma is an example of complementing advantages between an innovative bio-tech firm and a large pharma.”

Mr. LV Aifeng, the Executive Director of Hanson Pharmaceutical, said, “We are honored and delighted to cooperate with Leto Laboratories. We will focus on advancing the development and approval of this drug in China. This strategic cooperation will not only enhance our strength in the area of metabolic diseases, but also provide new possibilities to benefit more patients. We believe this collaboration is essential to our long-term development strategy of strengthening our polypeptide pipeline.”


About Leto Laboratories

Leto Laboratories is a high-tech and biotechnology R&D company that focuses on the development of novel protein drugs. By its world leading technology platforms (ultra-high-throughput screening platform and directional protein refolding), it can carry out molecule design, screening, purification, dosage form development, fixed point coupling etc. efficiently for novel protein drugs. In the past years, Leto Laboratories has innovated a number of recombinant protein drug pipelines with independent IPR, and built a complete quality management system for R&D. It has closed a financing amounting to hundreds of millions RMB in the past 3 years, and established strategic and project cooperation with many well-known domestic pharmaceutical companies.


About Hanson Pharmaceutical

Hanson Pharma, the main operating entity of Hanson Pharmaceutical, was founded in 1995 as a leading innovation-driven pharmaceutical company in China. Its mission is to "optimize medicines made in China". It’s committed to improving human health by continuous innovation, focusing on the therapeutics of the deadliest diseases including cancers, central nervous system diseases, infections, and diabetes. Till now it has marketed 5 novel drugs as Category 1 innovative drugs in China, has over 100 drugs under development and over 20 innovative drugs under clinical research, which form a rich and broad range of drug pipeline. The company has been ranking in the top 30 of the Top 100 Chinese Pharmaceutical Companies and top 3 in the Top Enterprises with Best Pharmaceutical R&D Pipelines in China for many years in a row. It is recognized as a key high-tech enterprise at state level and a demonstration enterprise with technological innovation. In June 2019, the company was listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (stock symbol: HK.03692).