2019-09-27| Asia-Pacific

Weekly in Asia|SEP

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20190916-0922 Weekly in Asia

CSCO 2019: AI Assists in Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment, China’s Smart Medical Care Takes a Big Step Forward

The innovation of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) not only changed the lives of human beings, but also promoted the advancement of medical technology. AI is now seen in basic research, clinical diagnosis, new drug development, and NGS. In recent years, China has been actively developing smart medical technology, especially through AI to solve problems in the field of cancer.

The 22th Annual Meeting of Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO) was held at Xiamen, China from September 18 to 22, under the theme of “Precision & Intelligence: Hope to conquer cancer”. The four-day topics and satellite conferences facilitated thought exchanges and cooperation between participants from China and people from all over the world. CSCO has encouraged and supported academic clinical researchs and industrial innovation. A total of 30,000 participants, including more than 600 speakers and paper presenters from home and abroad, and 275 Chinese manufacturers participated in the conference.


Eisai and Meiji Announce Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Equfina® TABLETS (Safinamide Mesilate) Approved in Japan

According to the estimation of Japanese Society of Neurology, there are approximately 200,000 patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease (PD) in Japan. The increasing number of patients was found to be linked to population ageing.

Levodopa is widely used to treat PD by replenishing the brain’s supply of dopamine. However, as the disease progresses, the duration of the drug decreases, and there are cases of “wearing-off” phenomenon, where PD symptoms recur again before the next dose was given. To prevent the “wearing-off” phenomenon, combination therapy with a drug that has a different mechanism of action to a drug containing levodopa is administered.

Eisai Co., Ltd. and Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd. have announced on September 20th the manufacturing and marketing approval in Japan for Equfina® TABLETS (safinamide) for the indication of improvement of wearing-off phenomenon in patients with PD under treatment with a drug containing levodopa.


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 Meiji Seika Pharma

Meiji Seika Pharma Co. Ltd. manufactures pharmaceuticals and chemicals. The Company researches, develops, manufactures, and sells ethical pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, and veterinary drugs. Meiji Seika Pharma markets its products all over the world.


Takeda and Lundbeck Announce Receiving the Approval of Trintellix® for the Treatment of Depression and Depressed Dtate of Major Depressive Disorder in Japan

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a complex mental health illness that affects approximately 160 million people globally, and is the leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. There are approximately three million patients with the disease in Japan, affecting 2.5% of the population.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and H. Lundbeck A/S jointly announced on September 20th that the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) of Japan approved Trintellix® (vortioxetine) for the treatment of depression and depressed state of MDD.

Phase III clinical trial in Japan with 493 adults with major depressive disorder show that the vortioxetine groups demonstrated statistically significant antidepressant efficacy compared to the placebo group.

In 2007 Lundbeck formed an agreement with Takeda on the co-development and potential co-commercialization in Japan of Lundbeck’s vortioxetine. As communicated in September 2018, Takeda and Lundbeck will co-commercialize Trintellix® in Japan following this approval.


About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan that focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: oncology, gastroenterology, rare diseases and neuroscience. The company also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines.


About H. Lundbeck A/S H.

Lundbeck A/S is a Danish international pharmaceutical company specialized in brain diseases. The Company researches, manufactures, and sells drugs for the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders such as mood disorders, dementia, anxiety, and sleep disorders.



Indian Biosimilar of Rituximab to Undergo Test in Korea

India’s largest generics drugmaker Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories announced on September 19th that it would develop DRL_RI, a biosimilar of rituximab, and plans to conduct a phase-III study on the biosimilar in Korea via clinical research service provider Parexel.

Rituximab is a treatment used to treat certain autoimmune diseases and many blood cancers, including common forms of lymphoma and leukemia. South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on September 18th approved the phase-III trial on DRL_RI, to treat certain autoimmune diseases and several types of cancer.

About Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories

Dr. Reddy’s is a multinational generics company based in India. The Company manufactures bulk drugs and formulations including verapamil and cephalexin. The Company also manufactures and exports molecules such as norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and varieties of semi-synthetic penicillin.


Genome Editing Biotech EdiGene Raises $11 Million in Series Pre-B2 Financing

Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matched or non-HLA matched patients are eligible to receive healthy donor allogeneic CAR-T cells, which are derived from patients’ previous haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) donor. This feature has brought allogeneic T-cell therapeutics a tremendous potential in the global market.

Genome Editing Biotech EdiGene has built an allogeneic CAR-T Platform to develop novel T-cell therapies and explore new allogeneic T-cell therapeutic approaches for cancer.

EdiGene announced on September 16th the successful completion of raising approximately $11 Million in a Series pre-B2 financing. EdiGene’s Series A lead investor IDG Capital and Series pre-B lead investor Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV) invested in this round.


About EdiGene Inc

EdiGene Inc was founded in 2015, and is now headquartered in Beijing, with operational subsidiaries in Guangzhou, China and Cambridge, USA. Edigene leverages proprietary platforms to develop gene-editing therapies for a wide range of diseases.





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