Hanmi partners with American biotech company to develop multiple bispecific antibodies.

By Lim Chang-won Posted : September 17, 2019, 13:13 Updated : September 17, 2019, 13:13

[Courtesy of Hanmi]

SEOUL -- Undaunted by a series of business setbacks, Hanmi Pharmaceutical, a major drugmaker in South Korea, embarked on a new project to introduce antibodies from Phanes Therapeutics, an American biotech company, for the development of multiple bispecific antibodies.

Hanmi said Tuesday that it would apply Phanes' antibodies to Pentambody, a next-generation, bispecific antibody platform developed by Beijing Hanmi Pharmaceutical, that allows an antibody to simultaneously bind two different targets for both immuno-oncology therapy and targeted therapy.

Phanes, based in San Diego, is known for strong innovative drug discovery and development programs in metabolic complications and oncology areas. Hanmi said Tuesday that it is in charge of research, development, production and commercialization of a new dual antibody. They would allocate profits according to future commercialization.

Hanmin has seen a series of failures in its new drug development. In October 2016, Boehringer Ingelheim walked away from its $730 million partnership with Hanmi over safety concerns of Olita (Olmutinib) during clinical trials. Hanmi stopped the development of Olita, which used to be touted as a "breakthrough therapy" for patients who have developed a tolerance to existing lung cancer treatments.

In January this year, Eli Lilly and Company, a U.S. pharmaceutical company, returned its right to develop and commercialize Hanmi's new drug candidate for the treatment of immune diseases because interim results showed a lack of efficacy. They had studied the effects of a Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor in patients with rheumatoid arthritis to see if it has an effect on prevalent autoimmune diseases.

In July, Janssen Pharmaceutica, a pharmaceutical company based in Belgium, gave up clinical research into a candidate substance developed by Hanmi for a new drug that helps diabetes patients lose weight and control blood sugar.
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