Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. launched Luzsana Biotechnology, its wholly owned subsidiary headquartered in Princeton that aims to offer accessible, affordable drugs to more people globally, the Chinese pharmaceutical firm announced May 18.
Through a strategic plan with its parent company — which is one of the largest pharmaceutical firms in China, according to company representative Jenn Gordon — Luzsana has access to Hengrui’s more than 250 clinical studies in areas such as oncology, cardiovascular, metabolic/diabetes, pain management, immunology, and liver and renal disease.
In addition to the clinical studies, Luzsana will also have access to Hengrui’s 16 research and development centers with more than 5,400 research staff. Because of this agreement, Luzsana will be able “to develop innovative medicines faster and get them to the people who need them most,” Gordon said in an email.
“There are more innovative medicines than ever being developed across the globe, yet many people continue to face barriers in terms of availability, accessibility and affordability,” Scott Filosi, Luzsana CEO, said in a statement. “For example, while the World Health Organization notes that there are 25 essential cancer medications, only 10% of countries have made all 25 available to patients. We refer to this as the health care paradox.
“We believe the most effective medicines are ones that people can use. That’s why we won’t rest until we get our medicines into the hands of those who need them most—no matter their geography or socioeconomic status,” Filosi continued, adding that because of its partnership with Hengrui Pharma, the company will be able to lower development costs.
In addition to its Princeton base, Luzsana has locations in Basel, Switzerland and Tokyo, and plans to employ more than 200 by the end of the calendar year, the company said in the announcement. While its initial programs will focus mostly on oncology, it plans to expand its research in the future.
“Combining Hengrui Pharma’s established discovery and manufacturing capabilities with our robust global clinical trials network provides Luzsana with the potential to bring medicines to market quickly and at a competitive cost following regulatory approval without needing to make significant investments in high-risk, early discovery and infrastructure,” added Jeff Crowther, Luzsana’s president, Commercial Strategy and Global Operations.
Luzsana executives will share more details at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting from June 3-7 in Chicago, as well as at the 2022 European Society for Medical Oncology Congress from Sept. 9-13 in Paris.