SK Bioland’s CEO Lee Geun-sik (left in the center) and KangStem Biotech CEO Lee Tae-hwa hold their agreement during a photo session held in Seoul on Monday. [Photo by SK Bioland]
SK Bioland, a subsidiary of South Korea’s SKC, said on Tuesday it has signed to license an umbilical cord blood-derived stem cell product for atopic dermatitis from Korean stem cell research firm KangStem Biotech.
Under the contract, SK Bioland will have exclusive marketing rights to the latter’s Furestem-AD across Korea, and have access to four patents and manufacturing know-how related to the world`s first stem cell drug to treat atopic dermatitis. The two will co-produce the therapy after the knowledge transfer is completed.
KangStem Biotech said in a regulatory filing that the transaction involves 15 billion won ($13.2 million) as an upfront payment. The agreement will ease the burden of huge capex investments on KangStem Biotech, allowing it to further focus on research.
KangStem Biotech had looked for a new partner for Furestem-AD since it dropped the drug from its previous partnership agreement with Daewoong Pharm on broad marketing rights and co-development of its cell therapy lineup.
SK Bioland and KangStem Biotech aim to complete the ongoing commercial development of Furestem-AD by next year. A phase III study of the drug is underway at 11 large hospitals across Korea.
By Kim Byung-ho and Minu Kim
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]