Weekly in Asia｜Oct-1
20191006-1012 Weekly in Asia
BioJapan 2019 Boosts Japan’s New Bioeconomy Strategy
BioJapan 2019 was launched on October 10th at the Pacifico Yokohama convention plaza for three days, over 1,000 organizations from around 34 countries took part in the event. An anticipated 10,000 business meetings were held. Bioeconomy, digital, and healthcare are the three zones of this year’s exhibition. Among them, bioeconomy, a concept that uses both biotechnology and regenerative biological resources to achieve a sustainable society, is the essential of the “Bioeconomy Strategy” developed by the Japanese government. This strategy was adopted to redefine future biotechnology with the goal of achieving the world’s most advanced bio-economic society by 2030.
The keynote speaker Hiroto Izumi, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Director-General, Office of Healthcare Policy Cabinet Secretariat, stated that disruptive technologies such as low-cost DNA sequencing, gene editing, imaging resolution, synthetic biology, automation and AI have brought about a paradigm shift in the field of biotechnology. The new era of digitalization, big data and bioeconomy has come.
Agilent’s PD-L1 Companion Diagnostic Receives Approval in China
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. It is estimated that 9.6 million people died of cancer in 2018. Lung cancer accounts for 20% of all cancer deaths in China and has been the leading cause of cancer death.
KEYTRUDA, an anti-PD-1 therapy, blocks the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands, thereby activating T lymphocytes, leading to the enhancement of the body’s immune system in detecting and fighting tumor cells.
Agilent Technologies announced on October 2nd that the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has approved its PD-L1 IHC 22C3 pharmDx companion diagnostic assay for use in China. IHC 22C3 has been clinically validated to aid in the identification of NSCLC patients for treatment with KEYTRUDA.
About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc is a global leader in life sciences, diagnostics, and applied chemical markets. The Company offers solutions that improve the efficiency of the entire laboratory, from sample preparation to data interpretation and management.
I-Mab ‘s CD73 Antibody TJD5 Receives IND Approval in China
I-Mab Biopharma, a China and U.S.-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, announced on October 4th that its IND application for TJD5, a novel CD73 antibody, has been approved by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) to initiate clinical trials in patients with advanced solid tumors in China.
TJD5 is a differentiated monoclonal antibody against CD73, a surface enzyme on stromal cells and cancer cells responsible for the production of adenosine, which stimulates the immuno-suppressive tumor micro-environment and work in concert with other cancer therapies such as PD-1 and PD-L1 antibodies.
TJD5 is currently being investigated in a Phase 1 clinical trial in the US to assess the tolerability and preliminary efficacy both as a single agent and in combination with TECENTRIQ® (atezolizumab), a PD-L1 antibody, and Tuoyi (toripalimab), a PD-1 antibody, in patients with varying types of tumors.
I-Mab is a dynamic and fast-growing China-based biopharmaceutical company exclusively focused on developing first-in-class and/or best-in-class biologics in the areas of immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases through internal R&D capabilities and global partnerships.
AI Medical Service Raises USD $42.9 M Series B for AI-Based Software
Endoscopic treatment is a medical diagnostic field, the improvement of related technology promotes the accuracy of disease detection. According to estimations, the world market for endoscopy is growing by 10% every year.
AI Medical Service, a Tokyo-based AI company, develops AI technology to improve endoscopic specialists’ diagnosis of gastrointestinal issues in the esophagus, stomach and intestines. The company announced on October 4th that it has raised USD $42.9 million in Series B financing. Investors include Globis Capital Partners, World Innovation Lab and Sony Innovation Fund by IGV. The funding will be allocated for clinical trials of its software, product development and overseas expansion.
About AI Medical Service
Founded in 2017, AI Medical Service offers its endoscopic AI solution to solve analysis processing and a shortage of human resources, and partners with leading medical institutions to achieve strong results.
Medigen Collaborates with MEDINET to Expand Cell Therapy Market in Taiwan
On October 7th, Medigen announced that it has entered into exclusive license agreement with MEDINET Co., Ltd., a Japanese listed company, to obtain the exclusive authorization of MEDINET’s immune cell Gamma Delta T cells (GDT cells) in Taiwan. GDT cells will be used in the field of immune cell therapy in cooperation with medical institutions in accordance with the “Administrative Measures for the Implementation or Use of Specific Medical Technology and Inspection, Diagnostic or Medical Devices”.
The GDT cell developed by MEDINET has been provided to approximately 50 medical institutions throughout Japan since 2007, and thus gathered definite evidences for gastric cancer and bone metastasis patients. In addition, the technology has also been licensed to a Scottish Biotech company, where phase II/III clinical trials were conducted for the treatment of lung cancer and other types of cancer. In the future, Medigen will propose a cell therapy technology plan based on the special management method and produce GDT cells for use in patients in Medigen’s cell preparation site (CPU).
Established in late 1999, Taiwanese drugmaker Medigen Biotechnology Corp. focuses on the development of therapies for liver diseases and cancers in Taiwan. The company also develops human native mAbs for therapeutic applications related to infectious diseases; cell-based vaccine products; and nucleic acid testing products for diagnostics.
MEDINET was established in October 1995. In 1999, the company successfully commercialized immune cell therapy technology and became the first biotechnology company in Japan to provide full-service medical services.
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