K-bio names making strides with promising clinical and review results in U.S. and Europe

2022.09.28 14:14:24 | 2022.09.28 14:14:54

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Korean pharmaceutical and biotech companies have been making notable strides in overseas clinical trials and equity acquisition deals to bring back investment attention to the K-bio field.

Daewoong Pharmaceutical recently said its botulinum toxin drug Nabota has demonstrated efficacy and safety in the treatment of patients with cervical dystonia in a phase 2 clinical trial conducted in the United States.

Oncology drug developer HLB was under limelight during the ESMO Congress held in Paris on Sept. 9-13. According to HLB, its liver cancer drug rivoceranib combined with camrelizumab demonstrated the world’s longest median overall survival (OS) in phase 3 clinical trials of liver cancer.

Genexine and Chong Kun Dang were other Korean names that grabbed attention at the ESMO Congress. Genexine’s investigational therapeutic DNA vaccine GX-188E GX-188E combined with Keytruda (pembrolizumab) showed an objective response rate of 31.7 percent in patients with HPV 16- and/or 18- positive advanced cervical cancer in a phase 1b/2 clinical study. The study provided a potential treatment option for patients suffering from the limited efficacy of existing immunotherapy regardless of their gene expression levels, said Genexine CEO Neil Warma.

Chong Kun Dang presented positive data from a phase 1 clinical trial of CKD-702, its investigational dual antibody cancer therapy, which is expected to be a solution for resistance to targeted cancer drugs.

Dong-A ST recently signed a global license deal with Nasdaq-listed NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals over its investigational diabetes drug and agreed to acquire an additional stake by investing $15 million to become the largest shareholder of the Boston-based biotech firm. Through the license deal, Dong-A ST will receive the company’s preferred stocks for $22 million in down payment and is eligible for development milestones worth up to $316 million.

Biosimilar giant Celltrion continues to expand its portfolio with new marketing approvals around the world.

Hype has been subdued as investors have seen many stagnation and flops despite successful clinical outcomes and licensing-out deals. Hanmi Pharmaceutical’s non-small cell lung cancer drug poziotinib, which was licensed out to U.S. partner Spectrum Pharmaceuticals is more likely to fail as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 9-4 that the current benefits of the drug did not outweigh its risks last week.

By Yoo Joo-yeon, Kim Si-gyun and Minu Kim

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