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Athenex and its Collaborative Partner, Hanmi Pharmaceutical, Announce Strategic Realignment of their Joint Projects

BUFFALO, N.Y., Sept. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Athenex, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATNX), a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer and related conditions, and its business partner, Hanmi Pharmaceutical, today announced a strategic realignment of their joint projects to further explore and develop those projects worldwide. 

Under the realignment, Athenex and Hanmi Pharmaceutical agree to new arrangements in the following projects:

a)  Orascovery Program – Extension of Athenex’s territories to worldwide apart from Korea.  In previous agreements, Athenex in-licensed the rights of the Orascovery Program from Hanmi Pharmaceutical for the US, Europe, Latin America, Japan, China and the rest of Asia (apart from Korea).  The revised agreement will also provide Athenex with rights to the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) as well as South Africa. Given the excellent progress that has been made in the various clinical programs, Athenex and Hanmi Pharmaceutical believe that global development of the Orascovery Program under Athenex will result in more rapid advancement of the clinical and regulatory process across the globe.  Hanmi Pharmaceutical, as a leader of the pharmaceutical industry in Korea, will continue to oversee the development and regulatory efforts in Korea.

b)  KX-01 Oral Formulation – Athenex will receive back from Hanmi Pharmaceutical the rights to KX-01 Oral Formulation for Korea, China and other Asian territories.  As recently announced, KX-01 Ointment (KX2-391) was shown to be effective and safe for actinic keratosis (AK) in two Phase 3 clinical studies conducted in the US, with both studies having met their primary endpoint of 100% clearance of AK lesions at Day 57 within the treatment areas, with statistical significance (p<0.0001).  The arrangement will allow Athenex to explore the potential of KX-01 Oral Formulation globally.

Dr. Johnson Lau, Athenex’s CEO and Chairman of the Board, commented, “We are very pleased with the strategic realignment of our collaborative partnership with our long-term partner, Hanmi Pharmaceutical.  This will allow both companies to capitalize on their respective strengths, with the ultimate goal of bringing benefits to patients globally as well as stakeholders of both companies.  We will continue to work diligently to advance these programs as fast as we can.”

About Athenex, Inc.
Founded in 2003, Athenex, Inc. is a global clinical stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to becoming a leader in the discovery and development of next generation drugs for the treatment of cancer. Athenex is organized around three platforms, including an Oncology Innovation Platform, a Commercial Platform and a Global Supply Chain Platform. Athenex’s Oncology Innovation Platform generates clinical candidates through an extensive understanding of kinases, including novel binding sites and human absorption biology, as well as through the application of Athenex’s proprietary research and selection processes in the lab. The Company’s current clinical pipeline is derived from four different platform technologies: (1) Orascovery based on non-absorbed P-glycoprotein inhibitor, (2) Src kinase inhibition, (3) T-cell receptor-engineered T-cells (TCR-T), and (4) metabolic manipulation of cancer. The Orascovery platform is based on the novel oral P-glycoprotein pump inhibitor molecule HM30181A, which is able to facilitate oral absorption of traditional cytotoxics, which Athenex believes may offer improved patient tolerability and efficacy as compared to IV administration of the same cytotoxics. The Orascovery platform was developed by Hanmi Pharmaceuticals and licensed exclusively to Athenex for all major worldwide territories except Korea, which is retained by Hanmi. The Src Kinase Inhibition platform refers to novel small molecule compounds that have multiple mechanisms of action, including the inhibition of the activity of Src Kinase and the inhibition of tubulin polymerization during cell division. The TCR-T platform is a cancer immunotherapy platform originally developed by Xiangxue Life Sciences.  Athenex has established and is leading a Joint Venture with Xiangxue Life Sciences that owns the global rights to this program, apart from China.  The metabolic manipulation of cancer was through depletion of circulating arginine, an amino acid that can be made by normal cells but not by a significant proportion of cancer through interruption of their urea cycle, a pathway essential for the synthesis of arginine, and thereby starving the cancer cells with interrupted urea cycle. Athenex believes the combination of these mechanisms of action provides a broader range of anti-cancer activity as compared to either mechanism of action alone.  Athenex’s employees worldwide are dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients by creating more active and tolerable treatments. Athenex has offices in Buffalo and Clarence, New York; Cranford, New Jersey; Houston, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Hong Kong; Taipei, Taiwan and multiple locations in Chongqing, China.

CONTACTS:
Athenex Contacts
Investor Relations:
Tim McCarthy
Managing Director, LifeSci Advisors, LLC
Tel: +1 212-915-2564

Athenex, Inc.:
Randoll Sze
Email: randollsze@athenex.com 

Jacqueline Li
Email: jacquelineli@athenex.com

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Athenex, Inc.