Rockville, Maryland and Hong Kong—January 8, 2019—Ascentage Pharma, a global clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing apoptosis-targeted therapies for cancers and other diseases, today announced that Unity Biotechnology, Inc. (Nasdaq:UBX) has selected one of Ascentage’s compounds as its lead development candidate in its ophthalmology pipeline to advance into further preclinical studies to enable an Investigational New Drug (IND) application. The two companies previously entered into a compound library agreement giving UNITY access to certain small molecule inhibitors of Bcl-2 proteins, which not only have been implicated in the formation of various types of cancer but also in diseases of aging. The parties have now entered into a compound license agreement for the selected compound, UBX1967. Under terms of the UBX1967 license agreement with UNITY, Ascentage is eligible to receive an upfront payment in shares of UNITY’s common stock and cash milestone payments and royalties based on clinical development and commercial sales milestones of UBX1967.
“We’re pleased that UNITY has chosen one of our compounds for IND-enabling studies focused on age-related diseases of the eye,” commented Dr. Dajun Yang, Chairman & CEO of Ascentage Pharma. “Their decision further validates our industry-leading expertise in the discovery and development of small molecules for complex and difficult-to-target protein-protein interactions including Bcl-2 and other apoptotic pathways.”
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 has built a rich 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 www.ascentagepharma.com.
UNITY is developing therapeutics to extend healthspan by slowing, halting or reversing diseases of aging. UNITY’s initial focus is on creating senolytic medicines to selectively eliminate senescent cells and thereby treat age-related diseases, such as osteoarthritis, eye diseases and pulmonary diseases.