2020-02-18| Asia-Pacific

Weekly Cover:Foundation Medicine and Chugai Partnership with National Cancer Center

by GeneOnline
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By Ching-Hsu Yang, Ph.D. Candidate


Kogene Biotech Novel Coronavirus Test Receives Emergency Use Assessment and Listing Approval in Korea

As the coronavirus outbreak spreads, a number of electronics, clothing, and other companies say China’s mass epidemic and public shutdown hurts their profits.

Diagnostic kit developers are prepping to rapidly monitor the diagnosis of the current deadly coronavirus, with some planning to enter commercial markets within this month.

The Global In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) Market is expected to reach more than US$ 60.8 billion by 2024 and will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.4% during the forecast period.

Korea-based company Kogene Biotech recently developed a Real-time PCR diagnostic kit for the COVID-19 virus and submitted documents to Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) for Emergency Use Assessment and Listing (EUAL). On February 10, 2020, Kogene announced that the company has received EUAL approval in Korea for its novel coronavirus test.

About Kogene Biotech

KogeneBiotech was founded in 2000 in Korea. The Company designs, develops, manufactures and markets about 700 PCR and Real-time PCR Kits, inclusive of infectious pathogen, Human coronavirus, MERS and 2019 Novel Coronavirus.


Foundation Medicine and Chugai Announce Partnership with National Cancer Center for the Use of FoundationOne®Liquid in the Third Stage of SCRUM-Japan

SCRUM-Japan, the largest nationwide cancer genome screening consortium in Japan, aims to apply genomic insights based on the blood to educate and accelerate the production of precision medicine strategies for advanced cancer patients.

Foundation Medicine, Inc. and Chugai Pharmaceutical, Ltd. announced on February 13, 2020 that the two companies have entered into an agreement with the National Cancer Center (NCC) for the use of FoundationOne®Liquid, Foundation Medicine’s proprietary liquid biopsy test, in the third stage of SCRUM-Japan. The international initiative, in cooperation with hospitals on a regional scale in Japan and other countries in Asia, offers genomic screening and aims to accelerate the development of novel biomarker-driven precision cancer therapies.

About SCRUM-Japan

The third stage of SCRUM-Japan is structured in two programs – LC-SCRUM-Asia and MONSTAR-SCREEN. LC-SCRUM-Asia is probing into genomic changes with the goal of delivering precision medicine to lung cancer patients. MONSTAR-SCREEN is evaluating genomic changes across all types of advanced solid tumors, expanding beyond gastrointestinal cancer, which was the focus of the second stage.

Nippon Shinyaku Signs a New agreement with Janssen for ZYTIGA® in Japan

Nippon Shinyaku Co., LTD, headquartered in Japan, has announced that pharmaceutical company Janssen K.K. And Nippon Shinyaku has entered into a new co-promotion agreement for prostate cancer care in Japan on ZYTIGA® (abiraterone acetate). This new agreement reinforces an already strong collaboration that will drive broader access to ZYTIGA ® in Japan and complements the existing ERLEADA® (apalutamide) co-promotion agreement with Nippon Shinyaku that has been in place since January 2019.

In addition to ERLEADA® in collaboration with Janssen, Nippon Shinyaku will contribute to the care of prostate cancer by supplying medical information to the medical facilities and collecting information on ZYTIGA®. Under the deal, from 2 March 2020, both firms will co-promote ZYTIGA ® to healthcare professionals in Japan with Janssen retaining commercial authorization for ZYTIGA®.

About Nippon Shinyaku

Nippon Shinyaku Co., LTD, established on October 1, 1919, is a Japanese company that manufactures pharmaceutical and health foods products. The Company’s products include drugs for organs, systems, analgesic, anti-inflammatory drugs as well as synthetic anti-bacterial agents.

Bukwang’s Dyskinesia Treatment Receives P2 Trial FDA Nod

JM-010, Bukwang Pharmaceutical’s dyskinesia treatment, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the phase 2 clinical trial, recently.

JM-010 is a candidate substance for a new drug developed by the bio-venture firm Contera Pharma, a Denmark-based subsidiary of Bugwang. JM-010 can relieve dyskinesia in more than nine out of 10 cases arising from the long-term use of Levodopa to treat Parkinson’s disease. Contera Pharma would conduct clinical trials in 190 patients in around 30 U.S. hospitals that reported side effects of dyskinesia induced by Levodopa intake to determine JM-010’s safety and efficacy.

Bukwang completed pre-clinical phase 2 trials to prove concepts in 2016 and phase 1 clinical in 2017 after acquiring Contera Pharma in 2014, and obtained European approval for clinical trials and enrolled the first patient in 2018.

Bukwang said the firm also consulted with the FDA on the design and dosage of clinical trials for pre-investigational new drug applications and designed a clinical trial protocol to fully reflect the guidance and strategy of FDA.

About BuKwang Pharmaceutical

Bukwang Pharm is a Korean company engaged mainly in the manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products. The Company produces and distributes pharmaceutical products including antidiabetic agents, anemic medicines, thyroid parathyroid hormone drugs, antihistamines, and others.

Frontiers in Structural Biology- a Thermo Fisher Scientific & Academia Sinica Collaborative Workshop

As there is a rise in the need of revealing the hidden machinery of chronic diseases, the Revolutionary cryo-EM is taking over structural biology.

According to Reports and Data and Grand View Research, the global market of structural biology and molecular modeling accounted for USD 2.52 billion in 2015, valued at USD 4 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 14.97 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 17.9% (or 18.2%).

The rising presence of contract research organizations, increasing healthcare IT spending, and unprecedented evolution of the healthcare infrastructure and standards, rise in the prevalence of chronic diseases are key factors contributing to high CAGR of structural biology and molecular modeling during the forecast period.

In 2016, Nature Methods named cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) as “Method of the Year”.[1] In 2017, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank, and Richard Henderson for “ Developing cryo-EM for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.” [2] [3]

On February 17th, Institute of Biological Chemistry (IBC), Academia Sinica and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. held a collaborative workshop, 2020 Integrative Structural Biology workshop (link).

Dr. Kay-Hooi Khoo, Distinguished Research Fellow at IBC, Academia Sinica, gave an opening remark, warmly welcoming the Thermo Fisher Scientific team to engage in, as well as to attend this gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rosa Viner, Ph.D., Program Manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific, unraveled The Company’s profile on the latest findings, and products related to Drug Discovery, inclusive of but not limited to Integrative Structural Biology, Protein Complex Dynamics, etc.

About Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with revenues of more than $24 billion and approximately 70,000 employees globally. The company helps customers accelerate the life sciences, solve complex analytical problems, improve patient care, bring drugs to market, and increase laboratory productivity.

About Academia Sinica

Academia Sinica, the renowned academic institution of Taiwan, was founded in China in 1928 to promote research in the sciences and humanities. Academia Sinica was re-established in Taipei in 1949 when the ROC government moved to Taiwan. Academia Sinica has faced many challenges and achieved its present level of success, transforming into a modern research institution with a proud heritage and worldwide repute. Today, Academia Sinica is making great strides in improving research conditions and outcomes to address a broad spectrum of challenges Taiwan is facing.



[1] Doerr, Allison (January 2017). “Cryo-electron tomography”. Nature Methods. 14 (1): 34. doi:10.1038/nmeth.4115. ISSN 1548-7091.

[2] Press Release: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017

[3] GeneOnline-Technology


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