An interview with MabSpace CDO Qian Xueming
The MabSpace Biosciences Co., Ltd (MabSpace) celebrated its 5th anniversary on May 9, 2018.While announcing its successful completion of B series round of financing for $40 million, it inaugurated a 2,500 square meters of MabSpace Innovation Antibody drug R&D Center. Dr. Qian Xueming, Chairman and CEO of MabSpace, surmised the day was memorable.
▲Dr. Qian Xueming, Chairman and CEO of MabSpace.
In 2010, Dr. Qian came back to China after working for more than 12 years in multinational pharmaceutical giants. He had spent more than two years preparing the foundation for his own bio-medicine company, MabSpace. Carrying independent research and development of new antibody discovery technology, MabSpace discovered the first PD-L1 antibody globally with unique pH-dependent binding properties.
In February 16, 2018, its humanized PD-L1 monoclonal antibody, MSB2311 for the treatment of local advanced or metastatic solid tumors, gained the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval to enter the clinical trial. It was indeed an important milestone for MabSpace. Subsequently, the company conducted a first-in-human, open-label, multi-center, dose-escalation and expansibility clinical study of MSB2311 antibody.
Prior to the study, FDA approved several PD-L1 and PD-1 antibodies for MSB2311 to treat various solid tumors and lymphoma. Compared with the PD-L1 antibody approved by FDA, MSB2311 antibody, with unique pH-dependent antigen binding property, can recycle, infiltrate, and besiege tumor tissues.
In May 9 during the 5th anniversary, Dr. Qian told a reporter at the ceremony that, “we have undertaken Phase I MSB2311 antibody clinical trial in the United States and keen to start at least one registered clinical trial for products market application while conducting several clinical studies for combined therapy in the second half of 2019. Preclinical studies have proved that MSB2311 antibody features better tumor targeting and permeability, promising better efficacy and safety in the forthcoming clinical trial.
In addition, its second project, MSB0254 antibody, is expected to enter the Investigational New Drug (IND) Application in 2018. One or two innovative antibodies will complete studies in Carolinas Medical Center (CMC) or preclinical stage to enter the clinical trial application in the next 18 months.
The B series round of financing was led by Sequoia Capital China jointly with Lilly Asia Ventures and King Star. “Sequoia Capital China is a leading venture in the medical and health field. We are honored to gain the support from new investors (such as Sequoia Capital China) and former investor Lilly Asia Ventures," said Dr. Qian adding, “Our team has greatly enhanced the company’s innovative pipelines. The raised funds will advance MSB2311 project into major registered clinical trial and other projects into clinic trials.
Lu Xiaobo, partner at Sequoia Capital China said: “innovative medicine and biotechnology are key investments for Sequoia Capital China in the healthcare field. MabSpace boasts of Immune Tolerance Breaking Technology (IMBT) that can identify antibodies covering larger complete epitope space. Based on IMBT, MabSpace has discovered many second generation tumor immunomodulatory antibodies against multiple targets in the tumor microenvironment. Not only can these projects be integrated with each other in the clinical trials, but also with existing drugs in the market. We hope our team will speed up the launching of these antibody drugs into the market to benefit patients globally."
From molecules to antibody drugs, we are leaving no stone unturned to benefit patients. This sentence is not only a slogan displayed on MabSpace's cultural wall, but the driving force behind Dr. Qian's leadership as he inspires them to be industrious and dedicated to innovation.
For five years, Dr. Qian has built a 2,500-square-meter R&D center from a 300-square-meter office with 12 research projects. He is buoyant that he will share more brilliant experiences with us in the next five years.