[THE INVESTOR] Korean drug maker Dong-A ST said on Jan. 12 that it has entered an agreement with UK-based AstraZeneca to develop immunotherapy candidates for cancer.
Dong-A ST Vice Chairman Kang Soo-hyung and Kumar Srinivasan, vice president of scientific partnering and alliances at AstraZeneca, signed the deal on the sidelines of the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference held in San Francisco.
Dong-A ST Vice Chairman Kang Soo-hyung (left) and AstraZeneca Vice President Kumar Srinivasan
Under the agreement, Dong-A ST will jointly study leading candidate substances of AstraZeneca’s three immunotherapy targets. The two companies will have joint ownership of intellectual property rights, such as patents.
“We expect the partnership between Dong-A and AstraZeneca based on their mutual experience in developing anticancer drugs, to have an excellent synergy effect,” said Yoon Tae-young, senior managing director of Dong-A ST.
Dong-A ST has been forging global partnerships for immuno-oncology treatments that enhance the immune system’s ability to fight tumors. In December 2016, the company inked a US$525-million deal with AbbVie Biotechnology to grant the UK firm exclusive rights outside Korea to a “c-Mer proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase inhibitor” that was in preclinical development for treating cancer.
Cancer immunotherapy drugs have captured nearly 50 percent of the world’s oncology drugs market, generating about US$54 billion in 2016 alone. Revenues are expected to surpass US$100 billion in 2022, according to a report from Research and Markets.
By Park Han-na (email@example.com)