The Preferred Biotech Resource in Asia-Pacific
Vol 19, No 07, July 2015
Biotech in China
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Eye on China


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TaiGen and TTY Biopharm jointly develop and commercialize a novel topoisomerase I inhibitor for cancer treatment
TaiGen Biotechnology Co., Ltd. and TTY Biopharm Co., Ltd. have announced the signing of an agreement to jointly develop and market a novel topoisomerase I inhibitor, DB67, for cancer treatment.

DB67, the lead compound of a series of topoisomerase I inhibitors, was discovered and patented by the researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) of Taiwan, through funding from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and with an aim to help accelerate new drug development by the local pharmaceutical industry, has licensed the Asian rights (including Japan) of DB67 and assigned them to TTY for development and commercialization. DB67 has shown potent activities in various preclinical tumor models and, due to its physical property, has a great potential to treat brain malignancy. The current MOEA funding will cover almost all the cost before phase I clinical trials. MOEA could also fund up to 40% for phase I and II trials and up to 25% for phase III trials for selected drug candidates.

Under the terms of the agreement, TaiGen and TTY will be responsible for conducting studies based on each party’s experience and expertise. TaiGen’s responsibilities will include areas of animal disease models, pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism, and toxicology. TTY’s responsibilities include formulation, GMP production of dosage forms, and organization of clinical trials. TaiGen and TTY have a plan in place to market the drug jointly in Asia. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Dr. Ming-Chu Hsu, President & CEO of TaiGen, said, “We are very pleased to partner with TTY Biopharma, a leading Taiwanese pharmaceutical company, for the development and commercialization of DB67, a promising drug candidate with proven mechanism of action. TaiGen and TTY clearly have complementary strengths that can accelerate drug development. The GLP toxicology studies are underway and filing of IND is planned for 4Q 2014. This agreement endorses the value of our drug discovery and development capabilities and enriches our pipeline that currently consists of several candidates in preclinical development. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration with TTY.”

TaiGen Biotechnology is a privately held pharmaceutical company based in Taiwan with a vision to become a fully integrated global pharmaceutical company. The company’s areas of therapeutic focus include oncology, chronic inflammation and viral infection. TaiGen has strong financial backing with series-A financing of US$ 37 millions US dollars in July, 2001, led by MPM Capital, the world largest biotech venture firm, along with the Taiwanese government and top-tier Taiwanese investors. The company is building an innovative product pipeline through in-house discovery programs and in-license of development candidates. TaiGen’s strategic partners include Arena Pharmaceuticals of USA — for the application of constitutively-activated receptor technology (CART) to selected G protein- coupled receptors (GPCRs), Chang Geng Memorial Hospital of Taiwan — for access to tumor and hepatitis tissues from 7,000 patients and discovery of novel drug targets, Fujisawa Pharmaceuticals of Japan — for out-licensing of a CART-GPCR target for discovery of drugs to treat inflammatory diseases, and BioXell of Italy — for collaboration in discovery of novel drug target and therapeutics to treat chronic inflammation. At present, TaiGen has 88 employees including 76 scientists recruited from the US, Europe, Canada and Taiwan. In addition to DB67, the company currently has several lead compounds in preclinical development to treat rheumatoid arthritis, transplant rejection, multiple sclerosis, cancer and stem cell mobilization.

TTY Biopharm, a public company, is one of the top five pharmaceutical companies in Taiwan. The company is focusing on oncology, CV, infection and GI therapeutics. The core strengths of TTY include late stage development (formulation and clinical studies) as well as brand marketing of new drugs.

TTY aims to be the best strategic partner of international biopharmaceutical companies for clinical studies and marketing in Asia. In the next five years, TTY plans to become a leader in anti-cancer drug development and have the most innovative formulation technology in Asia.

Source: TaiGen Biotechnology Co., Ltd.

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