3SBio Inc, a leading China-based biotechnology company focused on researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing biopharmaceutical products, and Ascentage Pharma Group Corporation, Ltd have formed a strategic alliance to research, develop and commercialize best-in-class targeted cancer therapeutics focusing on programmed cell death, or apoptosis.

The alliance will leverage Ascentage Pharma's expertise in structure-based small molecule design, lead optimization and preclinical development with 3SBio's proven drug development and commercialization capabilities in China.

Under the terms of the agreement, 3SBio will make a US$ 3 million equity investment in Ascentage Pharma. The investment will be used to fund Ascentage Pharma’s R&D programmes. 3SBio will have the exclusive right to develop and commercialize cancer therapeutics in China that are discovered through Ascentage Pharma programs, while Ascentage Pharma will retain the rights to the rest of the world and receive future milestone and royalty payments from any sales by 3SBio in China.

"The collaboration with Ascentage Pharma represents a key strategic initiative for 3SBio to develop our pipeline in the area of cancer therapeutics," said Dr Jing Lou, CEO of 3SBio. “This investment allows 3SBio to gain access to the best external science and small molecule drug discovery platform in China."

"Apoptosis targeted small molecule has the potential to play a key role in the next generation of highly effective targeted cancer drugs," said Dr Dajun Yang, CEO of Ascentage Pharma. “We believe that this 'win-win' collaboration will generate innovative medicines that benefits patients worldwide.”

3SBio is a leading, fully integrated biotechnology company focused on researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing biopharmaceutical products, primarily in China.

Ascentage Pharma is a recent spin-off of Ascenta (Shanghai) R&D Center, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ascenta Therapeutics, Inc. which was established in August 2005. The new company, including the team and facility, became independent in the summer 2009. The team has an established track record in late stage discovery, preclinical and IND enabling work, working with both China's SFDA and the US FDA.