Shanghai, China& Mountain View, California, February 9, 2023– Asieris Pharmaceuticals is delighted to announce today that one of its late-stage investigational drugs, APL-1202, helped the University of California, San Francisco, save the life of a man suffering from a rare brain-eating amoeba, according to an article recently published by the prestigious Science magazine.
The amoeba, known as Balamuthia mandrillaris, is a very rare infectious pathogen of the central nervous system. Due to lack of safe and effective treatments, the mortality rate of the infected patients is reportedly as high as 90%.
After screening thousands of compounds, a research team at UCSF and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub discovered that nitroxoline was able to effectively fight Balamuthia. In 2021, this discovery inspired UCSF physicians to decide to treat a Balamuthia patient with nitroxoline, after the failure of several existing drugs, either not effective or too toxic. Because nitroxoline is not an approved drug in the U.S, the UCSF team reached out to Asieris with an urgent request for assistance. Asieris immediately responded and shipped APL-1202, its investigational drug for treating bladder cancer – which contains nitroxoline.
“We responded promptly, because we understood how devastating this disease is,” said Dr. Kevin Pan, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Asieris. “Helping to save this patient’s life also aligns with our company’s values, which are to improve human health by developing impactful drugs. I’m delighted that Asieris was able to use its expertise and resources to fulfill our pledge to be a trusted partner in the healthcare industry.”
Moving forward, the UCSF team is calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expedite the approval process for emergency use of drugs for treating rare diseases such as Balamuthia infection and to maintain a modest supply of drugs like APL-1202.
“We’re excited to see the new use of our drug,” commented Dr. Linda Wu, Asieris’ newly appointed Chief Development Officer. “We stand ready to work with both the medical community and regulatory authorities to make this drug available to any patients who need it, as quickly as possible.”
Asieris Pharmaceuticals (688176.SH), founded in March 2010, is a global biopharma company specializing in discovering, developing, and commercializing innovative drugs for the treatment of genitourinary tumors and other related diseases. We strive to improve human health and help people live more dignified life. We aim to become a global pharma leader that integrates R&D, manufacturing, and commercialization in our areas of focus, as we provide best-in-class integrated diagnosis and treatment solutions for patients in China and worldwide.
The company has been developing its proprietary R&D platform and core technologies, exploring new mechanisms of action, and efficiently screening and evaluating drug candidates. With a well-established in-house R&D system and expertise in global drug development, Asieris is committed to launching first-in-class drugs and other innovative products to address huge unmet needs in its areas of focus.
Asieris is also enhancing its pipeline for genitourinary diseases via proprietary R&D and strategic partnerships, while closely following cutting-edge technologies and therapeutics. The company strives to discover and identify unmet clinical needs and adopts a forward-looking approach to product planning and life-cycle management. We aim to establish an outstanding portfolio that covers diagnosis and treatment in a bid to benefit more patients in China and globally.