Henlius Awarded Innovation Passport Designation by the U.K. Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway Steering Group for Serplulimab in ES-SCLC

Release time:2024-03-13 Content sourced from: Page View:

Recently, an Innovation Passport designation has been awarded to serplulimab, Henlius’self-developed anti-PD-1 mAb (trade name in China: HANSIZHUANG), for the treatment of extensive stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC) by the U.K. Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway Steering Group including the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This designation marks serplulimab’s entry into the U.K.’s Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway (ILAP) and is expected to promote the presence of serplulimab in the U.K., benefiting more local SCLC patients.


ILAP steering group consists of The All Wales Therapeutics and Toxicology Centre (AWTTC), The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC). It was launched by the MHRA in order to accelerate the development and access to promising medicines. The designation is open to medicinal product that developed for life-threatening or seriously debilitating condition and meet a significant patient or public health need in the U.K., including, but not limited to, cutting-edge treatments, medicines for rare diseases and/or other special populations, and medicines being developed in a clinically significant new indication for an approved medicine.


Lung cancer is the third most prevalent malignancy in the UK, with over 50,000 new cases and 35,000 deaths of lung cancer in 2022, ranking first in the country for cancer deaths [1]. Globally, SCLC is the most aggressive subtype of lung cancer, accounting for around 15% of all lung cancer cases [2]. The SCLC breaks down into limited stage small cell lung cancer (LS-SCLC) and ES-SCLC. Around 30%–40% patients are in limited stage and most patients are in extensive stage when diagnosed [3]. Their clinical condition deteriorates rapidly, and the overall prognosis is poor. In the past 20 years, chemotherapy such as etoposide combined carboplatin/cisplatin was still the standards of care for ES-SCLC, but almost all patients in extensive stage relapse within one year [4]. The advent of immune checkpoint inhibitors has brought new hope to patients with SCLC. The company's first innovative product, HANSIZHUANG (serplulimab) is the world's first anti-PD-1 mAb for the first-line treatment of SCLC.


Since its approval in March 2022, HANSIZHUANG has been approved for 4 indications in China including MSI-H solid tumour, squamous non-small cell lung cancer (sqNSCLC), ES-SCLC, and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), benefiting nearly 58,000 Chinese patients. In December 2023, HANSIZHUANG was approved for marketing in Indonesia, making it the first Chinese anti-PD-1 mAb approved in Southeast Asia. Previously, HANSIZHUANG was successively granted orphan drug designations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Commission (EC) for the treatment of SCLC, which will enable HANSIZHUANG to benefit from certain policy support for research and development, registration, and commercialisation in the United States (U.S.) and European Union. To date, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has validated the application for HANSIZHUANG. The company is also steadily advancing the bridging head-to-head trial in the U.S. to compare HANSIZHUANG to standard-of-care Atezolizumab (anti-PD-L1 mAb) for the first-line treatment of ES-SCLC to propel the product towards U.S. market approval.


Henlius has aggressively pursued international commercialization of HANSIZHUANG with global partners, actively involved in bringing its therapeutics to patients in the U.S., Europe, and other emerging markets, covering over 70 countries and regions. Through collaboration and innovation, Henlius will continue to contribute to the development and clinical application of immuno-oncology globally, providing more efficient and high-quality treatment choices for patients.



[1] Ferlay J, Ervik M, Lam F, Laversanne M, Colombet M, Mery L, Piñeros M, Znaor A, Soerjomataram I, Bray F (2020). Global Cancer Observatory: Cancer Today. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer. Available from: https://gco.iarc.who.int/today, accessed [29 January 2024]

[2]Eskandar A, Ahmed A, Daughtey M, et al. Racial and sex differences in presentation and outcomes of small cell lung cancer in the United States: 1973 to 2010[J].Chest, 2015,147(4): e164-e165.

[3]Klautke G , Sauer R, Fietkau R .Combined Treatment Modality in Small Cell Lung Cancer[J]. Strahlentherapie Und Onkologie, 2008, 184(2):61-66.

[4]Puglisi M , Dolly S , Faria A , et al. Treatment options for small cell lung cancer – do we have more choice?[J].Br J Cancer, 2010, 102(4):629-638.



HANSIZHUANG (recombinant humanized anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody injection, generic name: serplulimab injection) is the first anti-PD-1 mAb for the first-line treatment of SCLC and has been approved in China and Indonesia. Up to date, 4 indications are approved for marketing, 2 marketing applications are under review in China and the EU, and more than 10 clinical trials are ongoing across the world.


HANSIZHUANG was approved in China in March 2022 and has been approved by the National Medicinal Products Administration (NMPA) for the treatment of MSI-H solid tumours, squamous non-small cell lung cancer (sqNSCLC), extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC), and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). The marketing applications of the first-line treatment for non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (nsNSCLC) and ES-SCLC are under review by the NMPA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), respectively. Focus on lung and gastrointestinal cancer, the synergy of HANSIZHUANG with in-house products of the company and innovative therapies are being actively promoted. The company has initiated more than 10 clinical trials on immuno-oncology combination therapies in a wide variety of indications with  more than 3,900 subjects enrolled in China, the U.S., Turkey, Poland, Georgia and other countries and regions. The results of 4 pivotal trials of HANSIZHUANG were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Nature MedicineCancer Cell, and the British Journal of Cancer, respectively. Furthermore, HANSIZHUANG was respectively recommended by the CSCO Guidelines for Small Cell Lung Cancer, the CSCO Guidelines for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, the CSCO Guidelines for Esophageal Cancer, the CSCO Guidelines for Colorectal Cancer, the CSCO Clinical Practice Guidelines on Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor, the China Guidelines for Radiotherapy of Esophageal Cancer, and other definitive guides, providing valuable references for clinical diagnosis and treatment of tumours. On the other hand, serplulimab was granted orphan drug designations by the U.S. FDA and the EC for the treatment of SCLC, and its bridging head-to-head trial in the United States to compare HANSIZHUANG to standard of care atezolizumab (anti-PD-L1 mAb) for the first-line treatment of ES-SCLC is well under way.