AstraZeneca to Market Junshi Bio’s PD-1 Cancer Drug in China

AstraZeneca Plc has reached a deal with Shanghai Junshi Biosciences Co. to market the Chinese biotech firm’s cancer drug, the latest tie-up that sees a global pharmaceutical giant selling China’s home-grown cancer therapies.

Under the agreement, effective Sunday, AstraZeneca will be granted the right to market Junshi’s anti-PD-1 cancer drug toripalimab for urothelial carcinoma across China, and for other cancer types in some areas, according to a news release from Junshi. The two companies will also discuss commercial cooperation in emerging markets.

Toripalimab belongs to the latest type of therapy known as PD-1 or PD-L1 that utilizes a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Western drugmakers from Pfizer Inc. and Novartis AG to Eli Lilly & Co. have licensed such therapies from Chinese biotech firms.

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