Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals has formed a joint venture, Visirna Therapeutics, with Vivo Capital to expand the reach of innovative medicines in Greater China.

Visirna Therapeutics received an exclusive license in Greater China to four of Arrowhead’s RNAi-based investigational cardiometabolic medicines. Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals develops medicines that treat intractable diseases by silencing the genes that cause them. Arrowhead therapies trigger the RNA interference mechanism to induce rapid, deep, and durable knockdown of target genes.

“Greater China is an important region for global pharmaceutical products broadly, and specifically for medicines that treat cardiovascular and metabolic diseases,” said Christopher Anzalone, Arrowhead’s CEO. “We believe that the best way to get important new medicines to patients in China as quickly and effectively as possible is to have a dedicated entity with its own management and development staff that understand and are solely focused on the intricacies of China’s clinical, regulatory, and commercial environment. We believe this structure will allow us to maximize the value of key Arrowhead assets, without losing focus on our core business opportunities. Our colleagues at Vivo Capital have a broad network in the Chinese biopharma ecosystem, which makes them an invaluable partner as we look to recruit the best people to run this new business.”