REGiMMUNE Limited (REGiMMUNE), a biotech company focused on creating innovative immunotherapies for immune disorders and cancer, and San Fu Biotech (SFB), a subsidiary of San Fu Chemical Co., Ltd. (4755.TW) have entered a licensing agreement to develop and commercialize RGI-2001 for the prophylaxis of acute Graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD) in major Asian countries.
RGI-2001, with the novel mechanism to improve existing treatments, is a potentially first-in-class small molecule drug candidate targeted for preventing aGvHD, a life-threatening complication resulting from allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). GvHD is a systemic disorder that occurs when the graft's immune cells recognize the host as foreign and attack the recipient’s body cells or organs, and leads to skin rash, liver problems, abdominal pain or cramps, diarrhea, and increased risk for infections. Patients undergoing allogeneic HSCT have a high-risk of developing aGVHD associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Despite the use of prophylactic immunosuppressive therapy, clinically significant aGvHD develops in 20%-40% of HLA-matched related and unrelated allogeneic HSCT and severe cases contribute to non-relapse mortality.
Under the terms of agreement, REGiMMUNE and SFB will collaborate closely to accelerate the development of RGI-2001 in major Asian countries and will conduct clinical trials to study the efficacy of the drug in aGvHD. Together, both parties intend to submit an Investigational New Drug Application to the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration to initiate clinical trials in Taiwan for the prophylaxis of aGvHD before the end of 2023. SFB will pay to REGiMMUNE development milestones and royalties on net profit upon successful commercialization of RGI-2001. SFB also retains the first rights of negotiation to develop and commercialize RGI-2001 for new indications in the authorized territories.
RGI-2001 of REGiMMUNE, awarded Orphan Drug Designation by the US FDA in GvHD in 2012, has completed the phase II clinical trial targeting at the prophylaxis of aGvHD in the US. The efficacy and safety results were positive. Furthermore, RGI-2001 was selected for oral presentation at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting in December 2022 and planned to submit phase III IND to US FDA in Q4 of 2023.
Kenzo Kosuda, Chief Executive Officer and President, REGiMMUNE Limited, said: “This agreement underscores our focus and commitment to improve the incumbent therapies of aGvHD prevention and treatment. The fast-growing patients with GvHD in Asia create a high unmet need for more effective treatments.”
“We are pleased to collaborate with SFB and San Fu Chemical Group which has a long history in Taiwan. The Group’s abundant biomedical resources, expertise and innovative strategy make San Fu a strong commercial partner for REGiMMUNE in Asia. Together, we look forward to expediting the development of RGI-2001 in this important market.”
Simon H.H. Wu, SFB & San Fu Chemical Group Chairman, emphasized: “We are excited to add RGI-2001 to our growing portfolio of innovative therapeutic agents. This enhances our autoimmune pipeline and aligns with our long-term research and development strategy. RGI-2001 has demonstrated promising results in phase II studies in the US and we look forward to working together with REGiMMUNE to deliver treatments that will benefit the lives of patients.”
RGI-2001 is a liposomal formulation of an alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GalCer) analog. Alpha-GalCer is a ligand for CD1d expressed on antigen presenting cells and invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT). Liposomal alpha-GalCer promotes tolerogenic immune cascades, resulting in the activation and expansion of regulatory T cells (Tregs).
RGI-2001 is REGiMMUNE’s lead drug candidate currently in Phase 3 planning for the prophylaxis of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD).
About REGiMMUNE Limited
REGiMMUNE is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on creating innovative immunotherapies by harnessing the power of regulatory T cells (Tregs). REGiMMUNE is creating a pipeline of novel product candidates that either enhance Treg activities for immune diseases or suppress Treg activities for cancer.
About San Fu Biotech
San Fu Biotech, a wholly-owned subsidiary of San Fu Chemical, develops first-in-class new drugs to address unmet medical needs, such as cancer tumors, autoimmune disease and ophthalmology, for benefiting patients around the world.
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