AskGene Pharma Announces First Development Milestone in License Agreement with AffaMed for the Development of ASKG712 in Retinal Disease

Camarillo, California, June 20, 2022 – AskGene Pharma Inc., an innovative clinical-stage biotech company, announces that its partner AffaMed has dosed the first patient in its US Phase 1 study of ASKG712 (AM712), a novel proprietary bispecific biologic molecule blocking both vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) for the treatment of retinal diseases. The study will investigate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy of AMSKG712 in subjects with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD).  As a result, AskGene will receive the first development milestone payment from AffaMed.

Jian-Feng (Jeff) Lu, Ph.D., CEO of AskGene commented: “Dosing the first patient with ASKG712 is a major milestone for this program. AskGene wants to congratulate its partner AffaMed for this achievement, and looks forward to working together with AffaMed and advancing ASKG712 as an innovative and differentiated therapy for the patient population with nAMD and other retinal diseases.”

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an acquired degeneration of the retina that results in significant central vision loss due to neovascular (choroidal neovascular membrane formation) and non-neovascular (drusen and retinal pigment epithelium abnormalities) damages.  Neovascular AMD is an advanced form of macular degeneration that has historically been the leading cause of AMD-related vision loss. Simultaneous neutralization of VEGF and Ang-2 represents a novel therapeutic approach to treat nAMD with better efficacy.

In late 2021, AskGene licensed to AffaMed the exclusive rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize ASKG712 globally in ex-Asia plus Japan territories.  AskGene retains the rights for develop, manufacture, and commercialize ASKG712 in Asia territories except Japan.

About AskGene Pharma

AskGene (California, USA), founded in 2012 in Los Angeles, California, is dedicated to the discovery and development of novel antibody and fusion protein therapeutics. AskGene is a pioneer in the discovery and development of next generation cytokine therapeutics. It has established the cutting edge SmartKine® cytokine prodrug platform. The SmartKine® platform significantly improves the developability of cytokines for oncology and inflammation indications. AskGene is actively moving multiple projects into clinical and preclinical developments.

About AM712 (ASKG712)

AM712 is a novel bispecific biologic molecule specifically designed for ocular use. It provides dual inhibition of two important disease-relevant pathways in retinal diseases, VEGF and Ang-2. In pre-clinical studies, AM712 demonstrated robust efficacy, good ocular pharmacokinetics, and the desired safety profile supporting clinical exploration. AskGene received China CTA clearance for AM712 from NMPA in January 2022.  the Investigational New Drug (IND) applications filed by AffaMed for the clinical development of ASKG712 was cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2022.