BioGenetics said it has signed a deal with Singapore-based drugmaker Aslan Pharmaceuticals to supply Aslan’s varlitinib, an investigational treatment for biliary tract cancer, exclusively in Korea.
Under the deal clinched on Wednesday, BioGenetics gets an exclusive license on varlitinib in all indications, including colorectal cancer and breast cancer, in Korea.
|BioGenetics CEO Ahn Joo-hoon shakes hands with Aslan Pharmaceuticals CEO Carl Firth after signing a licensing agreement for experimental treatment varlitinib for biliary tract cancer in Seoul, Wednesday. (Credit: BioGenetics)
Established in 2010, Aslan is a clinical-stage oncology-focused biotech firm. It is listed on Nasdaq in the U.S. and the Taipei Exchange in Taiwan.
Varlitinib is a new anticancer drug that can inhibit the activity of human epidermal growth factor receptors HER1, HER2, and HER4 simultaneously.
The therapy targets such receptors that appear in various types of cancer by causing excessive proliferation and growth of tumors. One of the merits of varlitinib is that it can be taken orally.
Varlitinib is being tested in trials worldwide including Korea for biliary tract cancer.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration designated varlitinib as an orphan drug. The Korean government also granted the development-stage orphan drug designation for an urgent market release.
“A market release of varlitinib will bring a sea change to patients who have biliary tract cancer. We expect that varlitinib’s global sales will surpass 1 trillion won ($893.8 million) a year,” an official at BioGenetics said.
After acquiring condom manufacturer Unidus Corp. and entering the biopharmaceutical market, the company changed the name from Unidus to BioGenetics.
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