Aravive, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARAV), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, and WuXi Biologics ("WuXi Bio") (2269.HK), a global company with leading open-access biologics technology platforms, today announced a strategic collaboration agreement granting Aravive the right to use the proprietary WuXiBody™ platform to develop high-affinity bispecific antibodies for a target implicated in cancer and fibrosis.

Aravive and WuXi Biologics will collaborate to discover antibodies against CCN2, a multidomain protein also known as connective tissue growth factor (CTGF). CCN2 was identified from a similar target discovery screen that identified the significance of the AXL/GAS6 pathway in cancer. Preclinical data identified CCN2 as important for tumor growth and progression.   

WuXi Biologics will be responsible for biologics discovery, process development and manufacturing. Aravive will be responsible for preclinical and clinical development. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the collaboration.  

“Aravive’s proficiency in development of anti-cancer and fibrotic drugs, and WuXi Biologics’ expertise with biological discovery and manufacturing is a powerful combination,” said Gail McIntyre, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Aravive. “We look forward to further expanding our collaboration to identify high affinity antibodies that can be exploited as anti-cancer and anti-fibrotic agents.”

In 2018, and following the successful filing of a U.S. Investigational New Drug application (IND) for AVB-500, Aravive and WuXi Biologics announced expansion of their biologics manufacturing collaboration based on the rapid success achieved in the process development, scale-up and cGMP manufacture of Aravive’s lead drug candidate, AVB-500.

“We are glad to once again collaborate with Aravive as a trusted partner to accelerate the discovery, development and manufacturing of biologics through our innovative technology platforms,” said Chris Chen, Ph.D., chief executive officer of WuXi Biologics. “WuXi Biologics' proprietary antibody platforms including WuXiBody™, are uniquely positioned to expedite development of novel bispecifics to benefit global patients.”

About WuXiBody™WuXiBody™ is a leading proprietary bispecific antibody platform developed by WuXi Biologics. It can effectively break through the CMC barriers for many bispecific antibodies development with high expression yield, high stability, good solubility and easy purification to homogeneity, can expedite the process by 6-18 months, and significantly reduce manufacturing costs  -- a limitation still faced by many other current bispecific platforms. WuXiBody™ Platform enables almost any mAb sequence pairs to be assembled into bispecific constructs, which are expected to have low immunogenicity risk and longer in vivo half-life. WuXiBody™ Platform also has an unique structural flexibility, which makes it convenient to build various formats with different combination of valencies (1+1, 1+2, 2+2) to meet the requirements of different target biologies.

About Aravive Aravive, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARAV) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing treatments designed to halt the progression of life-threatening diseases, including cancer and fibrosis. Aravive’s lead product candidate, AVB-500, is an ultra-high affinity decoy protein that targets the GAS6-AXL signaling pathway. By capturing serum GAS6, AVB-500 starves the AXL pathway of its signal, potentially halting the biological programming that promotes disease progression. AXL receptor signaling plays an important role in multiple types of malignancies by promoting metastasis, cancer cell survival, resistance to treatments and immune suppression. The GAS6-AXL signaling pathway also plays a significant role in fibrogenesis. Aravive is evaluating AVB-500 in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and clear cell renal cell carcinoma, and intends to expand development into additional oncology and fibrotic indications. Aravive is based in Houston, Texas, and received a Product Development Award from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) in 2016. For more information, please visit www.aravive.com.

About WuXi BiologicsWuXi Biologics (stock code: 2269.HK), a Hong Kong-listed company, is a leading global open-access biologics technology platform offering end-to-end solutions to empower organizations to discover, develop and manufacture biologics from concept to commercial manufacturing. Our company history and achievements demonstrate our commitment to providing a truly ONE-stop service offering and strong value proposition to our global clients. As of December 31, 2019, there were a total of 250 integrated projects, including 121 projects in pre-clinical development stage, 112 projects in early-phase (phase I and II) clinical development, 16 projects in late-phase (phase III) development and one project in commercial manufacturing. With total estimated capacity for biopharmaceutical production planned in China, Ireland, the U.S., Germany and Singapore exceeding 280,000 liters by 2022, WuXi Biologics provides its biomanufacturing partners with a robust and premier-quality global supply chain network. For more information on WuXi Biologics, please visit www.wuxibiologics.com.

Forward-Looking StatementsThis communication contains forward-looking statements (including within the meaning of Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended), express or implied, such as expanding the collaboration to identify high affinity antibodies that can be exploited as anti-cancer and anti-fibrotic agents and the expansion of the development of AVB-500 into additional oncology and fibrotic indications. Forward-looking statements are based on current beliefs and assumptions, are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, risks and uncertainties related to: the contribution to be derived from the new collaboration, the Company’s ability to expand development into additional oncology and fibrotic indications, the Company’s dependence upon AVB-500, AVB-500’s ability to have favorable results in clinical trials, the clinical trials of AVB-500 having results that are as favorable as those of preclinical and clinical studies, the ability to receive regulatory approval, potential delays in the Company's clinical trials due to regulatory requirements or difficulty identifying qualified investigators or enrolling patients especially in light of the COVID-19 outbreak; the risk that AVB-500 may cause serious side effects or have properties that delay or prevent regulatory approval or limit its commercial potential; the risk that the Company may encounter difficulties in manufacturing AVB-500; if AVB-500 is approved, risks associated with its market acceptance, including pricing and reimbursement; potential difficulties enforcing the Company's intellectual property rights; the Company's reliance on its licensor of intellectual property and financing needs. The foregoing review of important factors that could cause actual events to differ from expectations should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with statements that are included herein and elsewhere, including the risk factors included in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, recent Current Reports on Form 8-K and subsequent filings with the SEC. Except as required by applicable law, the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement, or to make any other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contacts for Aravive:

Investors:Christina TartagliaStern Investor Relationschristina@sternir.com

Media:Heidi Chokeir, Ph.D.Canale Communicationsheidi@canalecomm.com619-203-5391

WuXi Biologics Media Contact Kevin Huang, Ph.D.kevin_huang@wuxibiologics.com+86 (510) 85353705

Source: Aravive

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