GBI and Bloomberg Co-Host Webinar on China’s PD-1/L1 Drug R&D and Vaccines Opportunities

GBI was invited by Bloomberg to co-host a webinar held on July 16, 2020, discussing the current market landscape in China for the development of programmed death-1/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-1/L1) therapies, as well as latest trends in COVID-19 vaccines development.

GBI’s head of content Robert McTiernan presented “China Emerges as a PD-1/L1 Powerhouse: Key players and strategic approaches”. With a first wave of eight PD-1/L1 molecules, including four domestic PD-1 inhibitors, now launched to market in China since Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)’s Opdivo (nivolumab)’s first approval in 2018, GBI reviewed information on clinical trials (CTs) planned or under way in China by the eight manufacturers of those drugs. Those eight firms published details of 258 China CTs for PD-1/L1 drugs as of May 15, 2020, with 174 focused on combination therapies, or around 67% of the total.

Domestic firms can be seen to be focusing on the three core combination strategies that have already been validated in other markets, with 75% of China’s combination therapy CTs focused on pairings between PD-1/L1 inhibitors and either chemotherapy, a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor, or alongside a cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) inhibitor.

GBI research reveals that BeiGene is the most active domestic firm in terms of combination therapy CTs for its PD-1 drug tislelizumab with details of 34 studies published, while Hengrui’s camrelizumab is the leading domestic product in terms of clinical trial applications and supplementary indication filings with the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA). Meanwhile, Innovent is trying out sintilimab in several globally unique combination therapy pairings, including with gemcitabine in squamous non-small cell lung cancer, with metformin in lung cancer, and with a human papillomavirus vaccine in cervical cancer.

Bloomberg’s Senior Healthcare Analyst Mia He also presented analysis of China’s post-COVID-19 vaccine opportunities and development gaps. The presentation provided details of China’s current vaccine industry landscape and opportunities, as well as China’s involvement in the global race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, China’s leading COVID-19 vaccine developers include China National Biotec Group (CNBG), CanSino Biologics, and Sinovac, all of which have initiated Phase III clinical trials in sites around the world for vaccines against the SARS-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.