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【Portfolio】Anji to Advance MCL1 Inhibitor Program from Broad Institute into Clinical Trials


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17 Jun 2021

The MCL1 target has been widely viewed as undruggable – Anji sees it as undone

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and SHANGHAI, JUNE 17, 2021 – Anji Pharma (“Anji”), a global pharmaceutical company focused on tackling high-value drug targets validated by human genetics, announced that an Anji subsidiary has acquired worldwide development and commercialization rights to an MCL1 inhibitor program through a license from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and will work to advance the program’s MCL1 inhibitors through clinical development.

MCL1 is a member of the Bcl-2 family, normally acting as a “brake” on the apoptosis pathway. In many human cancers, the Mcl-1 gene is highly amplified, shifting the balance from pro- to anti-apoptotic signals and promoting cancer cell survival and tumor formation. Molecules which selectively block MCL1 function induce rapid and specific killing of cancer cells in preclinical models when administered as single agent or in combination with other targeted therapy.

“MCL1 has always been at the top of our list for oncology mechanisms, given its pronounced amplification across tumor types and central role in orchestrating chemotherapy resistance,” noted Dan Meyers, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Anji. “We believe this specific class of MCL1 inhibitors has a unique profile that could offer a wider safety window and better outcomes for cancer patients.”

“Our interest in this MCL1 program reaffirms our commitment to pursue compelling mechanisms – regardless of disease indication – and develop therapies that can help patients across the globe,” added Brian Hubbard, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Anji. “What matters to us most is whether it will work, and then we commit our clinical and regulatory experience to bring treatments to patients as safely and quickly as possible.”

The MCL1 program is one of several programs pursued by the Center for Development of Therapeutics (CDoT) at the Broad Institute. CDoT is a highly collaborative team of professional scientists who work closely with Broad’s principal investigators to advance deep biological insights into therapeutics.


About Anji Pharma

Anji Pharma is a clinical-stage company dedicated to bringing life-changing therapies to patients as efficiently as possible. Anji’s asset-centric business model allows for speed and flexibility in building value, leveraging a clinical and regulatory core that operates with “hub-and-spoke” efficiency. Anji’s clinical pipeline is led by delayed-release metformin (ANJ900 – Phase 3) for effective glucose management in patients with type 2 diabetes and advanced chronic kidney disease, followed by pradigastat (ANJ908 – Phase 2) for treatment of chronic constipation. Anji is advancing oncology programs through its subsidiary, Anji Onco, Inc.

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