2019-09-24| Asia-Pacific

Weekly in Asia | SEP-2

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20190909-0915 Weekly in Asia

Denka Deepens the Strategic Partnership with PlexBio Through Acquiring Over One-third of Its Stake

PlexBio Co.,Ltd., a Taipei, Taiwan-based clinical cancer diagnostics developer, and Denka Co., Ltd., Japanese chemical products firm has been in close collaboration since the signing of memorandum of understanding in 2015.

On September 19th 2019, PlexBio announced that Denka acquired one-third of its stake. Denka thus becomes the biggest shareholder of PlexBio. The two company’s held a ceremony in celebration of the deepened strategic partnership and plans to expand product portfolio, enter various diagnostics markets, and further extend into new areas. PlexBio’s proprietary cutting-edge multiplexing platform leverages patented Precision Image Code (πCode™) MicroDisc technology to provide rapid, cost-effective, streamline cancer diagnostics. Companion diagnostics, early detection, screening tests of diseases, prenatal diagnosis are its applications. IntelliPlex™ platform, a one-stop free-standing total automation system designed to facilitate clinical use and reduce labor and assay time, is applicable to a various field of biomedical research, and offers huge market opportunities. The partnership between PlexBio and Denka will be expected to achieve three overall goals: 1. Build a Taiwan-based ecosystem to support IVD products. 2. Develop multiplex applications. 3. Expand business into European Union, Japan and the emerging markets in Asia.


About Denka

Established in 2015, the Tokyo-based Denka manufactures and supplies chemical products globally across a wide range of fields, including bacteriology, virology, clinical chemistry, and immunochemistry. The company is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.


About PlexBio

Established in 2015, the Taipei, Taiwan-based PlexBio designs, develops and manufactures IVD products and instrumentations. Precision Image Code (πCode™) MicroDisc technology and IntelliPlex™ platform are two independent novel technologies developed by PlexBio and can be widely used in various clinical IVD diagnostics.


Astellas and iota Biosciences Enter into Collaborative Research and Development Agreement

In May 2018, Astellas Pharma, a Japan-based pharmaceutical company invested in iota, a California-based start-up company focused on bioelectronic medicine, through its U.S. subsidiary Astellas Venture Management LLC. Astellas Pharma Inc. and iota Biosciences, Inc. announced on September 13th a research and development collaboration agreement to explore new biosensing and treatment measures using ultra-small implantable medical devices.

Under this collaboration, the two companies will leverage iota’s proprietary technology, which uses ultrasound as a tool for power supply and wireless communication, and Astellas’s prescription drug (Rx) Rx+TM strategy, which integrates innovative medical technology with cutting-edge technology in different fields, to develop battery-free and wireless ultra-small implantable medical devices.


About Astellas

Astellas Pharma Inc., based in Tokyo, Japan, is a pharmaceutical company committed to the therapeutic fields of urology, immunology including transplantation and infectious diseases, oncology, neuroscience and DM complications and metabolic diseases. The Company researches, develops, manufactures, and promotes its prescription drugs through subsidiaries in the US, Europe, and Asia.


About iota Biosciences

Established in 2017, iota is a California-based start-up company focused on building a foundation for the future of bioelectronic medicine.


Eisai and Biogen to Discontinue Phase III Clinical Studies

Japan headquartered Eisai Co., Ltd. and US based Biogen Inc. announced on September 13th the decision to discontinue the Phase III clinical studies (MISSION AD1, AD2) on the investigational oral BACE (beta amyloid cleaving enzyme) inhibitor elenbecestat in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Both MISSION AD1 (Study 301) and MISSION AD2 (Study 302) are multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group Phase III clinical studies designed to assess the efficacy and safety of elenbecestat for treatment in a around 2,100 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or early AD with confirmed amyloid pathology in the brain. The decision was made based on the results of a safety review conducted by the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), which recommended the two companies to discontinue these trials since there is an unfavorable risk-benefit ratio. The details of these studies will be presented at future medical meetings.


About Eisai

Eisai Co., Ltd. is a leading global research and development-based pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan. The company positions oncology as a key therapeutic area and is aiming to discover revolutionary new medicines with the potential to cure cancer.


About Biogen

Biogen Inc. is an American multinational biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, specializing in the discovery, development, and delivery of therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative, hematologic, and autoimmune diseases to patients worldwide.


LIPAC and Huons Announce Exclusive Licensing Agreement for TSD-001 in Korea

LIPAC Oncology LLC and Huons Co., Ltd announced on September 16th that they have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement to develop, manufacture and commercialize TSD-001 for all indications in Korea. Huons is making an upfront payment and future milestone payments to LIPAC based on specific development, regulatory and commercial milestones. Huons will also make double-digit royalty payments based on sales. TSD-001 is LIPAC’s lead formulation, a proliposomal intravesical paclitaxel (PLIP) developed for intravesical administration for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). NMIBC is a common and highly recurrent disease that can often be difficult to treat. Once approved, TSD-001 would be the first chemotherapeutic agent approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this indication in almost two decades.


About LIPAC Oncology LLC

Created as a subsidiary of TesoRx Pharma LLC in 2016, LIPAC Oncology LLC is a pharmaceutical company developing a proliposomal delivery platform to enhance and reformulate proven cancer drugs into more effective treatments.


About Huons Co., Ltd

Huons Global Co., Ltd. manufactures pharmaceutical products. The company is a leader in the development, manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceutical products and medical devices.


DCB Expands Alliance to Develop New Drugs

In recent years, the Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB) has developed a number of small-molecule new drugs and antibody new drugs into clinical trials with the expertise in the fields of pre-clinical development and translational research. In addition, DCB has been actively expanding its role in coordinating resources among government, academia and private companies, to foster partnerships and collaborations.

DCB announced on September 15th the collaboration with Kaohsiung Medical University to jointly develop new translational drugs. The two sides will focus on hot areas such as bacterial-immunotherapy, cell therapy and regenerative medicine, to seek funding, form strategic alliances, and establish startups. It is worth noting that the field of bacterial-immunotherapy has been less inked in the biotechnology industry in Taiwan, and has become the focus of this joint development. It is expected that there will be concrete results within two years.


About The Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB)

The Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB) is a nonprofit organisation sponsored by the Technology Development Program of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs. DCB provides infrastructure, develops key technologies, and trains workforces in coordination with government, industry, and academic institutions, for the advancement of the medical biotechnology industry.


About The Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU)

Kaohsiung Medical University (originally known as Kaohsiung Medical College) is a private university located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, formally established in 1954. KMU is the leading medical institution in southern Taiwan.



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