Chinook Therapeutics helps form China-based biotech venture to treat kidney disease

Eric Dobmeier, president and chief executive officer of Chinook Therapeutics. (Photo Chinook Therapeutics)

News: Chinook Therapy On Tuesday announced the establishment of SanReno Therapeutics, which will promote kidney disease therapies in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Singapore. SanReno is a 50/50 joint venture of Chinook and an investment group led by Frazier Healthcare Partners and Pivotal bioVenture Partners China.

Pipeline: Chinook is developing therapies for rare chronic kidney disorders. Its leading experimental drug is atrasenten, which is being tested in phase 3 studies for IgA nephropathy and other conditions. The publicly traded biotech is also evaluating a monoclonal antibody, BION-1301, in a phase 1/2 trial for IgA nephropathy, and is developing other agents.

Agree: SanReno will have exclusive rights to develop and commercialize atrasentan and BION-1301 in the regions. In return, Chinook will have 50% ownership in SanReno, and will also enjoy milestone payments and royalties. The investor consortium has invested $40 million in exchange for the remaining 50% ownership in SanReno, which will be based in Shanghai. An executive and CMO for SanReno has been hired but not announced, and the joint venture will have a more formal launch in early 2022. The new deal comes after a public offering in May. 11. grossed 183.5 million dollars for Chinook.

Quote: “Chronic kidney disease is a major public health concern in China, affecting more than ten percent of the population, including several million patients with IgA nephropathy. Working with SanReno will expand Chinook’s access to the Chinese patient population, key opinion leadership network, and field operations support,” said Eric Dobmeier, chairman and chief executive officer of Chinook, in a statement. Chinook has locations in Vancouver, BC, Seattle and Berkeley, and about 50 of the biotech company’s 135 employees are based in the Seattle area.

Supporters: Other partners in the investor consortium include existing Chinook investors Versant Ventures and Samsara BioCapital.

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