Korean biotech firms Voronoi, LegoChem win $1.7 bn licensing deals

2021.11.18 09:28:49 | 2021.11.18 09:29:21

[Source: each company]이미지 확대

[Source: each company]

Two South Korean biotechnology companies Voronoi and LegoChem Biosciences have won mega license deals worth over 2 trillion won ($1.7 billion) in total, bringing the country’s combined value of biopharmaceutical license agreements so far this year to already surpass last year’s 10.15 trillion won.

Korean biotech startup Voronoi Wednesday announced a deal to license out its novel monopolar spindle1 (MPS1) called VRN-08 to U.S. Pyramid Biosciences in a milestone-based deal worth up $846 million. The drug candidate has the potential to be highly effective in the treatment of breast and other solid tumors

Pyramid Biosciences is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a portfolio of precision therapies targeting a wide range of diseases.

Voronoi said the latest deal marks the fourth in its series of license deals signed to date and the third with a U.S. biotech firm. In October last year, Voronoi out-licensed an investigational non-small cell lung cancer drug to ORIC Pharmaceutical, a Nasdaq-listed U.S. company, for up to $621 million. In August, the startup won a $324 million deal to grant Brickell Biotech, another Nasdaq-listed U.S. company, access to a platform of inhibitors targeting autoimmune and neuroinflammatory diseases.

Pyramid Biosciences located in Boston is led by a management team of executives who have a track record of delivering innovative oncology solutions at global pharmas such as Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche and BMS.

[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]이미지 확대

[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]

Kosdaq-listed LegoChem Biosciences also said on Wednesday it entered an exclusive license and option agreement with SOTIO Biotech over its clinical-stage platform technology enabling antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) with an excellent therapeutic index. Under the multi-target agreement, LegoChem is eligible to receive upfront and potential milestones worth up to $1 billion, plus royalties on sales.

SOTIO is a subsidiary of the PPF Group, a multinational investment company that operates in 25 countries around the world. SOTIO will combine its antibodies with LegoChem’s ADC technology platform to deliver novel therapeutics for the treatment of solid tumors.

LegoChem has so far clinched a total of 10 licensing and option agreements, four of which were achieved this year, in the ADC field alone, and the cumulative contract amount exceeded 3 trillion won.

With the latest two deals, the value of out-licensing deals won by Korean biopharmaceutical companies are expected to top 11 trillion won this year after steadily growing from 5.37 trillion won (13 deals) in 2018, 8.52 trillion won (15 deals) in 2019 and 10.15 trillion won (14 deals) in 2020.

By Kim Si-gyun and Minu Kim

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