CASI Pharmaceuticals Announces Partner Juventas Completes $65 Million Financing And Initiates Registration Study For CNCT19 (CD19 CAR-T)

CASI Pharmaceuticals today announces partner Juventas has completed the equivalent of $65 million financing and has initiated and enrolled the first patient in a Phase II registration study for CNCT19 (CD19 CAR-T) in China in patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL).

Dr. Wei-Wu He, CASI's Chairman, and CEO commented, "Initiating the Phase II B-NHL registration study and enrolling the first patient is an exciting milestone for the development of CNCT19.  Our partner Juventas is also making good progress in the Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) and is expecting to start the Phase II study by the end of 2020. Its financing provides Juventas with resources to continue moving CNCT19 through registration and we remain excited about its potential as a first-line treatment for B-NHL. In addition, as a large (16%) shareholder of Juventas, we are pleased to see Juventas' progress in their overall pipeline and expect its financing to help accelerate its development. Juventas is an example of CASI's entrepreneurial partnership model that is built on two components, co-development and equity investment. We believe investment in our partners deepens our collaboration and provides additional potential return to our shareholders. With this approach, we will continue to grow CASI's pipeline, one asset at a time."

About CNCT19

CNCT19 targets CD19, a B-cell surface protein widely expressed during all phases of B-cell development and a validated target for B-cell driven hematological malignancies. CD19- targeted CAR constructs from several different institutions have demonstrated consistently high antitumor efficacy in children and adults with relapsed B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL). CD19 antigen is the most frequently used target in the CAR-T cell therapy clinical trials for hematological malignancies such as leukemia and lymphoma. Juventas is responsible for the development of CNCT19. CASI and Juventas will co-commercialize CNCT19 under the direction of the program's joint steering committee.

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