LENZ Therapeutics and JIXING in exclusive greater China license agreement

Closely-held LENZ Therapeutics entered into an exclusive license agreement with Ji Xing Pharmaceuticals (JIXING) to develop and commercialize LNZ100 (aceclidine) and LNZ101 (aceclidine + brimonidine) for the treatment of presbyopia in Greater China. 

Shanghai-based JIXING is backed by RTW Investments, a leading healthcare investment firm, that is focused on advancing innovative medicines for patients with ophthalmic and cardiovascular diseases in China. RTW plans to invest $10- million in LENZ.

Under the licensing agreement, LENZ will receive $15-million in upfront payments and may receive up to $95-million in additional payments, based on various prescribed development, regulatory and commercial milestones as well as royalty payments based on future net sales. 

In a statement, Eef Schimmelpennink, CEO of LENZ, said that in addition to reaching one of the largest presbyopia markets in the world, the investment by RTW highlights the “promise of LENZ to emerge as a global leader based on its potential best-in-class aceclidine presbyopia eye drop.” 

Joseph Romanelli, CEO of JIXING, said age-related ophthalmic diseases are a growing challenge in China, with an estimated 440 million patients suffering from presbyopia. 

“We have built a portfolio in presbyopia and dry eye disease and will continue to expand into more critical ophthalmic disease areas,” he added. “Our goal is to bring disruptive science to help improve upon the standard of care for patients in China. [The] collaboration with LENZ is another milestone in fulfilling that commitment.”