Celltrion-led fund invests in British drug company

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Celltrion-led fund invests in British drug company

A Celltrion-led fund is investing $47 million in Iksuda Therapeutics to become the largest shareholder of the antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) developer, the pharmaceutical company said Monday.
With the investment, Celltrion will have direct access to the Iksuda’s ADC drug pipeline, according to the company. Half of the investment has already been made, and the remainder will be made immediately after pre-agreed development milestones are reached.
Investors in the fund, which is called Mirae Asset-Celltrion New Growth FundⅠ, include Celltrion, Mirae Asset Capital, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Mirae Asset Securities and Premier Partners.
After the final investment, the Celltrion-led fund will become the largest shareholder of Newcastle upon Tyne, Britain-based Iksuda Therapeutics, though specific details about the exact shareholding have not been disclosed.  
ADC technology is a class of biopharmaceutical drugs designed as a targeted therapy for treating cancers. It can leverage cytotoxic effects while reducing systemic toxicity. It also has the advantage of selectively delivering drugs to cancer tissue by utilizing the cancer antigen recognition ability of the antibody
It can achieve the maximum effect with a minimum dose, according to Celltrion.
The ADC technology market is valued at $5 billion and is expected to grow to $18 billion by 2025.
Celltrion already has various anticancer drugs, including Truxima, for blood cancer, and Herzuma, which targets stomach and breast cancers. It anticipates that the ADC technology will help the company develop more anticancer drugs in the future, it said.
“With the investment, Celltrion plans to maximize our pipeline by creating synergy with the antibody drugs that we already own, and developing next-generation anticancer drugs,” said a spokesperson for Celltrion on Monday. 
BY CHEA SARAH   [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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