On 29 October 2016, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., Ltd. announced in its A-share announcement that Shanghai Henlius Biotech Inc. (“Henlius”), a holding subsidiary under its control, and AbClon Inc. (“AbClon”) from Korea entered into a license agreement for monoclonal antibody AC101.
AC101, an innovative monoclonal antibody developed by AbClon targeting gastric cancer and breast cancer, is currently under pre-clinical trial studies. Under the agreement, Henlius is granted the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize AC101 across the Great China region. This cooperation will put into play techniques and advantages of Henlius as an existing monoclonal antibody development platform of Fosun Pharma in further diversifying its product lines to enhance its competitiveness in the anti-tumor therapeutic area.
(The signing ceremony of the agreement between Henlius and AbClon)
AC101 is the first novel monoclonal antibody discovered using AbClon’s proprietary antibody development platform New Epitope Screening Technology (Nest). Currently there is no similar product in any market worldwide. According to statistics from Global Data, the gastric cancer treatment market is projected to reach US$4.4 billion globally by the year 2024, and the HER2-positive breast cancer treatment market to reach US$12.7 billion by the year 2023.
At present, AC101 is still under pre-clinical trial studies and it is uncertain that it will be able to start clinical trials. Any clinical trial, registration, manufacture and other matters in relation to it in the relevant region is subject to approval of relevant pharmaceutical authorities.
Dr. Scott Liu, President and CEO of Shanghai Henlius indicated that, “Shanghai Henlius’ mission is to provide high-quality, affordable and accessible healthcare products worldwide. We are very excited to add another promising antibody product to our expanding portfolio. We believe AC101 in combination with the proprietary recombinant humanized anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody injection (trastuzumab biosimilar) developed by Henlius will enhance the efficacy against gastric cancer and breast cancer.” Phase I clinical study for the proprietary recombinant humanized anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody (trastuzumab biosimilar) developed by Henlius has been completed and the results show that the new drug is safe and has the same efficacy as the corresponding proprietary drug Herceptin®. Phase III clinical trial for the new drug will commence within this year.
Dr. Jong-Seo Lee, CEO of AbClon, also expressed his delight in having a licensing deal with Henlius, one of the most prominent monoclonal antibody pharmaceutical companies in China, and he looked forward to more partnerships with premier biopharmaceutical companies such as Henlius.
AbClon Inc., based in Seoul, Korea, is dedicated to research and development of new antibody therapeutics. The company has developed two platforms: Novel Epitope Screening Technology (NEST) and novel multi-specific antibody platform, AffiMab to accelerate the discovery and development of innovative antibody therapeutics.