Ascentage Pharma and MD Anderson Cancer Center Announce Strategic Alliance in Cancer Drug Development

Five-year collaboration aims to accelerate clinical development of select novel apoptosis-targeted and tyrosine kinase inhibitor product candidates

Rockville, MD and Hong Kong, and Houston—January 6, 2019—Ascentage Pharma Group, Inc., and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced a five-year strategic collaboration agreement to advance the development of five potential new cancer therapies.

The alliance is aimed at developing novel cancer therapeutics based upon Ascentage’s proprietary Protein-Protein Interaction drug discovery technology platform. MD Anderson’s leukemia team will join in efforts to advance the clinical development of Ascentage’s apoptosis-targeted and tyrosine kinase inhibitor candidates, including Bcr-Abl inhibitor HQP1351, Bcl-2/xL inhibitor APG-1252, Bcl-2 selective inhibitor APG-2575, IAP inhibitor APG-1387 and MDM2-p53 inhibitor APG-115. These compounds will be studied as single-agent therapies, as well as in combination with approved or investigational therapeutics against various forms of hematologic malignancies.

The strategic alliance leverages MD Anderson’s translational research and clinical expertise to help accelerate the development of the select candidates, chosen for their potential to target cancer cell apoptosis and other pathways for treating life-threatening cancers, such as Acute Myelocytic Leukemia (AML), Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN), and Myelofibrosis. The alliance will be led by Hagop Kantarjian, M.D., Chair of Department of Leukemia at MD Anderson, whose research and collaborations were the basis for the FDA approvals of over 20 drugs in leukemia.

“MD Anderson is highly dedicated to developing and providing more effective therapies for patients. This strategic alliance is important for our work towards finding cures to treat cancers. We will be investigating this pipeline of candidate therapies, and we are interested in the novel mechanism of their actions,” said Dr. Kantarjian.

“We are pleased to announce this important partnership with MD Anderson,” said Dr. Dajun Yang, Chairman & CEO of Ascentage Pharma. “We look forward to working closely with the investigators in MDACC in the hopes of accelerating the clinical development of these important candidates to provide new treatment options for cancer patients in the US and worldwide.”

About Ascentage Pharma

Ascentage Pharma is a globally-focused, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel small molecule therapies for cancers, hepatitis B and age-related diseases. Based on breakthrough technology from the University of Michigan, the Company’s expertise is in designing therapeutics that inhibit protein-protein interactions to restore apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancers. Ascentage Pharma has built a pipeline of eight clinical candidates, including a novel, highly potent Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibitor, APG-1252, as well as candidates aimed at IAP and MDM2-p53 pathways, and next-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors. For more information, please visit

About MD Anderson
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world’s most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. The institution’s sole mission is to end cancer for patients and their families around the world. MD Anderson is one of only 49 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). MD Anderson is ranked No.1 for cancer care in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” survey. It has ranked as one of the nation’s top two hospitals for cancer care since the survey began in 1990, and has ranked first 14 times in the last 17 years. MD Anderson receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672).