One CureGen inaugurated as Korea’s 1,000th research spinoff in July and bearing a bold ambition to develop the world’s first oral peptide cancer drug aims to ink global license deals worth over 100 billion won ($84.1 million) within five years, the company’s chief executive Chang Gwan-young said in a recent interview with Maeil Business Newspaper.
One CureGen is a joint venture of state-invested Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB) and private biotech firm iCureBNP. One CureGen draws attention for its attempt to develop an oral peptide to treat cancer.
The company picked up a novel peptide-based anticancer material from KRIBB and a drug delivery system for oral regimens from iCureBNP.
Peptides are substances linked to amino acids, which are protein constituents and have potentially fewer side effects than chemically synthetic drugs. Their production and quality processes are relatively easier than biopharma drugs, requiring a smaller financial input, according to Chang.
He said if developed, the candidate will be filed for the FDA’s fast-track review for an initial indication of pancreatic cancer.
The company has already secured a new biomarker that exists in various tumors and having a biomarker means that research on the mechanism of a specific cancer type has been completed.
The company aims to complete all clinical trials by 2024 and go into sales in 2025.
One CureGen holds another title – Korea’s 1,000th research spinoff. A research spinoff located in the Daedeok Special Research and Development Zone is designed to go commercial based on promising research outcomes from public research institutes. Total projected revenue of these research spinoffs reached 739.4 billion won last year, up 34 percent from a year ago. There are many successful research spinoffs born from the hotbed: Kolmar BNH, Syntekabio and Minds Lab to name a few.
By Lee Jong-hwa and Minu Kim
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