[THE INVESTOR] Korean bio company Tium Bio announced on Jan. 11 that it has signed an exclusive license agreement with Chiesi Group, an international research-focused health care company.
Tium Bio sold off its rights to develop NCE401 compound that can target transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling pathway, which is expected to play a crucial role as a treatment for various fibrotic diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis that has high unmet medical need.
The Italian company will pay US$1 million to Tium Bio in advance as a contract fee, then give around US$73 million as milestone payments. Separate royalty fees will also be paid to the Korean firm once the drug is commercialized.
“We believe our TGF-beta inhibitor compounds have the potential to help patients suffering from significant unmet medical needs and limited treatment options,” Tium Bio CEO Kim Hun-taek said in a statement. “We are very excited about this partnership with Chiesi, a company with long tradition and expertise in the field of respiratory diseases.”
“This license agreement represents a perfect fit with Chiesi early stage pipeline,” said Chiesi Group CEO Ugo Di Francesco
The Korean company added that it plans to go public this year. It has already picked Kium Securities as its IPO manager and secured series B funds worth 23.5 billion won (US$21.04 million) in May last year ahead of a potential listing. It plans to apply for a preliminary IPO screening with the Korea Exchange in May.
Spun off from Korea chemical giant SK Chemical in 2016, Tium Bio is currently developing clinical and pre-clinical drug candidates in areas including immuno-oncology and fibrosis.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)