SK Bioland to co-develop stem cell-based atopy drug with KangStem Biotech

2019.03.26 15:24:23

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]이미지 확대

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

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