Worldwide Biotech/Biopharma Alliance (Apr. 1, 2013～Mar. 26, 2013)
On Apr. 1, 2013, Swiss specialty chemicals and life sciences group Lonza did the review evaluation on whether continue to invest in its joint venture with Teva in "biosimilar" drugs, its Chief Executive said. The expiry of patents on expensive biotech medicines to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases is opening up a new market for lower-cost copies known as "biosimilars" because they are not identical matches of branded medicines. But uncertainty over the regulatory framework for such drugs in the United States as well as the defense strategies from innovator companies have caused delays and prompted some developers to halt projects.
On Mar. 29, 2013, Retina Institute Japan K.K. (RIJ) and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd. (DSP) signed an agreement that DSP invests into RIJ to discuss alliance to put iPS cell technology to practical use. Under the Agreement, DSP has subscribed for 1.5 billion JPY of third party allocation of shares by RIJ. DSP will exclusively discuss with RIJ to collaborate in and outside Japan to use groundbreaking iPS cell technology to cure Age-related Macular Degeneration.
On Mar. 28, 2013, Edison Pharmaceuticals announced that it has entered into a research/development and commercialization agreement with Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd. (DSP) for the development of EPI-743 and EPI-589 in Japan. EPI-743 is an orally bioavailable small molecule being developed by Edison Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of inherited mitochondrial diseases. EPI-743 is a member of the para-benzoquinone class of drugs. It serves as a cofactor for the novel drug target NADPH quinone oxidase 1 (NQO1). Through a redox-based mechanism, EPI-743 augments endogenous glutathione biosynthesis essential for the control of oxidative stress. EPI-589 is a next-generation, reversible redox cofactor being developed for a variety of adult diseases
On Mar. 27, 2013, Medicyte signed a licensing agreement for the rights to use Lentiviral vector technology from Life Technologies to develop and market next generation, cell-based upcyte® cell products to the biopharma and academic research markets. Various data, already presented at academic meetings, indicates that Medicyte’s upcyte® hepatocytes combine the benefits of quantity (generation of up to 2000 vials per donor) with the quality of primary hepatocytes. The new generation of upcyte® hepatocytes show more comparable results to primary cells in in-vitro assays (such as CYP 3A4-Induction, genotoxicity or hepato- and cytotoxicity).
On Mar. 26, 2013, Oncodesign announced that it has signed a second research collaboration agreement with Sanofi. This second agreement aims to identify inhibitors of a kinase which plays a key role in tissue protection and repair. Oncodesign will use its Nanocyclix(R) technology to design and synthesize potent new selective inhibitors. Sanofi will have exclusive licensing rights to the molecules that result from the collaboration.