Japanese firm licenses local cancer technology

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Japanese firm licenses local cancer technology

JW Pharmaceutical announced yesterday it has entered a patent transfer agreement with Japanese pharmaceutical company Prism Pharma to license cancer drug production technology.

The agreement gives the Japanese biomedical company the rights to JW’s patented technology used for a drug that targets Wnt signaling pathways. The transduction pathways are made of proteins and activation of Wnt signaling is associated with cancer.

Prism Pharma specializes in developing treatments for cancer, fibrosis and related conditions. In 2011, Prism Pharma signed a licensing deal worth an estimated $300 million with a Japanese medical company to acquire technology for pancreatic cancer.

In return for transferring its technology, JW will receive royalties and performance-based milestone payments.

Licensing agreements have become popular in the pharmaceutical industry in recent years as companies seek new revenue streams.

As developing new medical technology and drugs becomes more challenging and expensive, leading pharmaceutical companies are moving to capitalize on existing expertise.

The agreement also appears to be in line with JW’s recent initiatives to make inroads abroad.

In June, JW Group, the owner of JW Pharmaceutical, signed a memorandum of understanding with a pharmaceutical company in Saudi Arabia to build a plant to produce intravenous solutions.

JW also is discussing another deal with Prism Pharma to license another drug called CWP291, currently undergoing clinical testing in cooperation with U.S. medical companies and research institutes.

If approved, CWP291 would be used for patients suffering from relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma in Korea and the United States.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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