Cellusion and Celregen | September 12, 2022
Cellusion Inc. a Japanese regenerative medicine startup aiming to solve the global corneal transplant waiting list problem with a unique differentiation induction method from iPS cells to Corneal Endothelial Cell Substitute from iPS Cells for bullous keratopathy novel treatment and Hangzhou Celregen Therapeutics Ltd. a member of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and focus on regenerative medicine and cell therapy and incubated by New Drug Fund of Fosun Health Capital announced an exclusive license agreement in the Greater China region for Celregen to develop, manufacture and commercialize CLS001.
Under the Agreement, Celregen will have the exclusive right to develop, manufacture and commercialize CLS001 for bullous keratopathy in the Greater China region, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. On the other hand, Cellusion retains the rights of development, manufacturing and commercialization of CLS001 in other regions including Japan, the USA, and EU.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cellusion will potentially receive over 100 million US dollars including upfront payment, development milestones and sales milestones as well as tiered royalties.
“We are very enthusiastic about combining our knowledge of the underlying iPS cellular biology with Celregen and Fosun Pharma in the development and commercialization of innovative medicine in China. Together, we are committed to make best efforts on launching CLS001 for the patient suffering from bullous keratopathy due to the cornea donor shortage in the greater China region.”
Shin Hatou, M.D. Ph.D., CEO of Cellusion
“Today’s announcement with a global industry leader in iPS cells derived corneal endothelial regenerative therapy such as Cellusion, is an important and strategic step to build a long-term foundation for cell therapy in China,” said Cui Zhiping, the Chairman of Celregen, Fosun Global Partner, Chief Consultant of VC investment of Fosun Pharma and CEO of Fosun New Drug Fund. “This partnership, which leverages each company’s respective strengths, will help us bring novel regenerative medicine products to patients in greater China.”
According to reports, there are about millions of people in China who are blind due to corneal diseases, and this number is increasing at a rate of 100,000 per year. Most of the patients with corneal blindness need corneal transplantation to restore their sight, but only less than 20,000 corneal transplants are conducted due to severe donor cornea shortage issues.
Cellusion has already announced that the patient recruitment began for the First-in-Human Investigator-Initiated Study of CLS001 to initiate in 2022 at the Keio University Hospital and has been preparing to start Cellusion initiated clinical trial in Japan within a few years followed by global studies in the US and EU region.
Cellusion is developing CLS001, CECSi cells for Corneal Endothelial regeneration to cure Bullous Keratopathy which is applied to more than half of all cases of corneal transplantation. CLS001 is expected to replace the current supply limitations by combining “CECSi Cells made from iPS cells with excellent proliferative properties” and “a simple injection cell delivery procedure without needs of human expertise.”
Celregen, incubated by New Drug Fund of Fosun Health Capital, focuses on stem cell and transformed cellular regenerative medicine. This platform adopts a variety of modes of cooperation with leading biotech and scientists. It is expected to be a head biotech in regenerative medicine in China.
About Fosun Pharma
Founded in 1994, Fosun Pharma is a global innovation-driven pharmaceutical and healthcare industry group deep-rooted in China. Fosun Pharma directly operates businesses including pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical devices, medical diagnosis, and healthcare services. As a shareholder of Sinopharm Co., Ltd., Fosun Pharma expands its areas in the pharmaceutical distribution and retail business. Fosun Pharma is patient-centered and clinical needs-oriented. The company enriches its innovative product pipeline through diversified and multi-level cooperation models such as independent research and development, cooperative development, license-in, and in-depth incubation. Fosun Pharma has formed technological platforms for innovative small molecule drugs, antibody drugs, and cell therapy with a focus on key disease areas including oncology and immunomodulation, metabolism and digestive system, and central nervous system.
About Fosun New Drug Fund
New Drug Fund, under the management of Fosun Health Capital, is the first VC established by Fosun Pharma. The Fund focuses on innovative biopharmaceutical-based drug fields at the start-up and expansion stages, including gene therapy, cell therapy, bio-conjugate drugs, and medical aesthetics, etc. The Fund has committed to incubate cutting-edging science and revolutionary technologies from world top universities, research institutes and biotech, through which path we can establish and adopt a variety of models of cooperation.
LOVE Pharma | September 09, 2022
Love Pharma Inc. an international mental health and sexual wellness company, remains extremely active in shaping itself into a real competitor in the biotech/pharmaceutical space. The company’s growth and development plan took a major leap forward this week with the announcement that Love Pharma is establishing a “strategic alliance” with Starton Therapeutics a leading clinical-stage biotechnology company in the United States.
It’s a relationship that finds Starton ideally aligned with Love Pharma’s mission of improving “quality of life” for its customers. And the benefit to Love Pharma is that Starton is well on its way to transforming standard of care therapies with its proprietary dermal drug delivery technology that allows cancer patients to receive continuous treatment so they can live better, longer.
Love Pharma’s investment in Starton Therapeutics is primarily based upon “the company’s interest in innovative drug delivery technology, such as transdermal patches that can reduce side effects, transforming patient outcomes with established, approved medicines allowing for streamlined market entry with long-term IP protections.”
A partnership with Starton offers a host of advantages to Love Pharma and its shareholders, including a wealth of experience from industry leaders, proven clinical trials using its proprietary technology, and a “continuous drug delivery” platform that Love Pharma could exploit in the development of its own clinical portfolio—especially in the “addiction” space. The company’s strategic investment certainly makes a lot of sense for the future of this young global brand.
“This investment provides our shareholders with exposure to a rapidly developing therapeutics business, which just reported positive data from a phase 1 clinical trial evaluating the pharmacokinetics and safety of the company’s continuous delivery lenalidomide program. Starton is also entering a phase 2 trial, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already cleared an Investigational New Drug application for STAR-OLZ in Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV).
Love Pharma’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zachary Stadnyk, said of the relationship
“With this investment in Starton, we are building our relationship, forming an alliance, and look to Starton’s expert management team to reduce risk in our own portfolio of clinical pursuits and focus more on the addiction space.”
So, what made Starton Therapeutics an attractive investment now? Well, earlier this year, Love Pharma partnered with researchers at Johns Hopkins University. This research initiative aligns with key principles in Love Pharma’s strategy as it aims to develop innovative products that establish new consumer applications based upon science and efficacy. And to further its meticulous plan, the company likely sees a much smoother path forward by expanding its development strategy to include guidance from a vast selection of industry and clinical experts and a highly de-risked avenue into the clinic by way of this strategic alliance with Starton.
It's no secret that Love Pharma wants to develop its own clinical portfolio, and specifically, has its eye on developing therapeutic treatments for addiction. Pharmaceutical applications for addiction and recovery treatment are an unmet need and represent a growing market, including in the cannabis space where the Johns Hopkins research initiative is focused. With Starton’s mission of delivering meaningful patient outcomes by leveraging the untapped potential of continuous delivery and dermal technology, it’s obvious that Love Pharma sees this platform technology and its endless opportunities for expansion, as an ideal platform on which it can develop its own therapeutic treatment(s) for addiction.
The benefit to partnering with Starton and having access to its platform technology is that the “proof of concept” is complete, and the technology has proven it can address unmet medical needs using already FDA-approved drugs to transform patient outcomes. For Love Pharma and its shareholders, this means much of the hard work is already done.
Starton’s proprietary continuous delivery technology can increase efficacy of approved drugs, make them more tolerable, and expand their potential use. Starton uses three different delivery technologies to provide continuous, low-dose delivery as part of its strategic platform that provides a controlled, sustained release over multiple days. Starton uses proven transdermal and subcutaneous technologies to transform approved medicines–establishing superiority or new indications. It is the potential to establish a new indication/use for already approved drugs using the delivery technology, namely in the addiction space that is enticing to Love Pharma.
And Love Pharma isn’t stopping there. The company announced that “to further accelerate its planned strategic alliance with Starton, and to bolster the company’s own biotech initiatives in the area, Love Pharma is in discussions with TRPL Laboratory, the lab that develops and supports Starton’s transdermal drug delivery programs and is a global leader in transdermal delivery systems.”
Investors in Love Pharma couldn’t ask for a better way to reduce the risk associated with the company developing its own clinical portfolio than by surrounding itself with a plethora of industry and clinical leaders. That expertise begins with Pedro Lichtinger, the CEO and Chairman of the Board at Starton. Lichtinger has spent almost 40-years in the biotechnology arena, including 16 years at Pfizer as President of Global Primary Care and as Pfizer’s President of Europe.
Additionally, Love Pharma can draw from the experiences of the former Global Lead, Multiple Myeloma at Celgene, world-renowned scientific leaders in their field leading each program at Dana Farber/Harvard, Mayo Clinic, and Moffitt Cancer Center, and a breadth of operational expertise in regulatory, clinical development, manufacturing, and intellectual property.
The company stated that it is currently identifying and assessing disruptive opportunities within the transdermal biotechnology field, which it believes can be a superior delivery system in many cases for new and existing pharmaceutical therapeutic drugs. With its initial investment in Starton, the company believes it can leverage their expertise and proven success to credibly evaluate potential acquisitions in the transdermal field of advanced drug delivery systems. This news should be seen as extremely encouraging by the company’s investors as it could dramatically accelerate Love Pharma’s path to the clinic and the development of its own clinical portfolio. After all, it is these relationships in the biopharma industry that can lead to promising results and real shareholder value.
About Love Pharma Inc.
With a focus on the global sexual Health and Wellness markets, Love Pharma Inc. was founded in 2020, with a mission to bring to market innovative products that enhance sexual health and wellness while providing an improved quality of life. Love Pharma holds exclusive licenses to produce, market, package, sell, and distribute patent-protected therapeutic and pharmaceutical products throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, and North America.
About Starton Therapeutics
A clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on transforming standard of care therapies with proprietary dermal technology, so people with cancer can receive continuous treatment to live better, longer. Starton’s proprietary transdermal technology is intended to increase efficacy of approved drugs, to make them more tolerable and expand their potential use.
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UCB, Inc. | September 02, 2022
UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it will present 20 abstracts across its dermatology portfolio at the 31st European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in Milan, Italy, September 7-10. The abstracts, accepted for poster presentation, underscore UCB's commitment to delivering innovative solutions that aim to address the unmet needs of people living with dermatological diseases.
"We are proud to present new data from our expanding dermatology portfolio at the 31st EADV Congress. At UCB, our ambition is to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases such as psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and the strength of scientific data at this year's congress reaffirms our long-standing commitment to raising standards of care," said Emmanuel Caeymaex, Executive Vice President, Immunology Solutions and Head of U.S., UCB.
Key data to be presented on UCB's investigational product bimekizumab include new results from the BE BRIGHT open-label extension study evaluating maintenance of response with bimekizumab through three years in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who responded at week 16 during Phase 3 clinical studies. New analysis of pooled safety data from up to three years of treatment with bimekizumab in the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis across Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials will also be presented. Bimekizumab is an investigational product; its efficacy and safety have not been established for any indication in the U.S. and it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
For CIMZIA® (certolizumab pegol), data to be presented include three-year data from three Phase 3 trials evaluating the association of patient-reported outcomes (Dermatology Life Quality Index, DLQI 0/1) with relative skin clearance improvements (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index, PASI) in subgroups of adult patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With approximately 8,600 people in approximately 40 countries, the company generated revenue of €5.8 billion in 2021. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).
Everest Medicines | September 19, 2022
Everest Medicines a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing transformative pharmaceutical products to address critical unmet needs in Asia Pacific markets, announced that it has appointed Rogers Yongqing Luo as Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective immediately. Mr. Luo will also serve as an Executive Director on Everest's Board of Directors.
Mr. Luo brings to Everest more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry with an extensive leadership track record across clinical development, regulatory affairs and commercialization. Previously, Mr. Luo served as President and General Manager, Greater China at Brii Biosciences and CEO of TSB Therapeutics where he spearheaded the rapid registration approval, GMP certification and successful commercialization of the amubarvimab/romlusevimab combination, the first COVID-19 neutralizing antibody treatment in China. Prior to that, he was Global Vice President and China General Manager at Gilead Sciences where he led the clinical development, regulatory approval and successful commercial launch of eight innovative therapeutics, and efforts that rapidly expanded patient access across China. Mr. Luo previously oversaw the successful launch of several high-profile medicines. He managed sales, marketing, government affairs and market access functions for various leading multinational pharmaceutical companies including Roche and Novartis, and worked two years at Novartis headquarter in Switzerland.
"As Everest Medicines continues to evolve our business strategy and expand our novel product pipeline at a rapid pace, we are thrilled to have Rogers join the Company to lead Everest through its next phase of growth in becoming a fully-integrated biopharma company in China. With his robust background as a top executive at both biotech startup and large multinational pharma companies, Rogers brings to Everest a unique set of expertise including comprehensive scientific insight, proven outstanding leadership and excellent commercialization capabilities in patient access, and a demonstrated history of successfully advancing early- and late-stage innovative pipeline to commercial launch in Greater China. In particular, Rogers' leadership will strengthen Everest's new product development and commercial capabilities as we progress toward potential approvals of our late-stage anchor product candidates, including Nefecon, Xerava, etrasimod and mRNA vaccines. We look forward to leveraging Rogers' leadership and industry expertise to generate long-term growth and success across the business."
Mr. Wei Fu, Chairman of Everest Medicines and Chief Executive Officer of CBC Group
"I'm very excited to join Everest and I look forward to working with this talented, world-class team of scientists and industry professionals to further the Company's industry leadership. We will continue to advance our late-stage pipeline towards commercialization and with our strong balance sheet, we aim to execute synergistic business development deals to accelerate our path to become an integrated biopharma," said Rogers Yongqing Luo, Chief Executive Officer of Everest Medicines. "We will continue to invest into our discovery platform to build an innovative therapeutic pipeline for the benefit of patients with unmet needs in Greater China and other Asia Pacific markets, and to create sustained, long-term value for our shareholders."
About Everest Medicines
Everest Medicines is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing transformative pharmaceutical products that address critical unmet medical needs for patients in Asian markets. The management team of Everest Medicines has deep expertise and an extensive track record of high-quality clinical development, regulatory affairs, CMC, business development and operations both in China and with leading global pharmaceutical companies. Everest Medicines has built a portfolio of potentially global first-in-class or best-in-class molecules, many of which are in late-stage clinical development. The Company's therapeutic areas of interest include oncology, autoimmune disorders, cardio-renal diseases and infectious diseases.