Korean drugmakers aim to export technology during US cancer convention

Despite the protracted Covid-19 pandemic, many Korean biopharmaceutical companies plan to participate in the 2021 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), one of the biggest cancer-related conferences globally, industry sources said Tuesday.

Many Korean pharmaceutical companies plan to participate in the 2021 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) conference online from Friday to next Wednesday.
Many Korean pharmaceutical companies plan to participate in the 2021 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) conference online from Friday to next Wednesday.

The AACR will hold its program online from Friday to next Wednesday due to the Covid-19 outbreak. It is one of the world’s most prestigious cancer society meetings where global cancer experts and pharmaceutical executives gather to share innovative treatment technologies and R&D achievements. Last year, about 73,000 people from 127 countries participated in the event.

The conference serves as a big opportunity for Korean companies, as it provides them with the opportunity to conclude licensing-out or partnership agreements with global giants.

Medpacto, Genome & Company, Hanmi Pharmaceutical, Abclon, AptaBio, and PharmAbcine, will unveil their research plans during the event.

Medpacto will present the largest number of studies among Korean companies. The company plans to unveil TGF-β biomarker analysis results concerning desmoid tumors, a rare carcinoma. The company has confirmed that the use of TGF-β inhibitors for desmoid tumors can increase the clinical success rate and a high therapeutic effect.

Medpacto will also present the preclinical results of the combination therapy of Vactosertib and Onivyde for treating pancreatic cancer and the research results of BAG2 and DRAK1, the follow-up pipelines of Vactosertib.

Genome & Company will unveil the research results of GICP-104, a new target for immune anticancer discovered through its new drug development platform, GNOCLETM, and animal test results of GENA-104, a new target anticancer drug that suppresses GICP-104, for the first time.

Hanmi Pharmaceutical said that Spectrum, the company’s U.S. partner, will be presenting two poster presentations during the conference.

The two poster sessions present the safety and tolerability of twice-daily administered poziotinib in patients with EGFR or HER2 exon 20 mutations and a poster for the evaluation of same-day dosing of Rolontis in neutropenic rats and patients with early-stage breast cancer.

Hanmi also plans to present the preclinical and clinical results of five new synthetic drugs, including immunotherapies, currently under development independently of Spectrum during the conference.

Abclone will present the CAR-T cell therapy research results AT101 (blood cancer treatment) and AT501 (ovarian cancer treatment) along with a joint research group of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Seoul National University School of Medicine during the conference.

AT101 is a B cell-derived blood cancer treatment targeting the CD19 disease protein. The company developed the drug using a humanized antibody with a different site of action from the existing CD19 CAR-T cell treatment to minimize its immunogenicity. AT501 is an ovarian cancer treatment targeting the HER2 disease protein that applies its switchable CAR-T technology.

Aptabio will present the phase 1 clinical trial design for SJP1604 in treating patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is under joint research with Samjin Pharmaceutical. The company received approval to conduct the clinical trials from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in January.

PharmAbcine plans to announce the preclinical results of PMC-309, an immune anticancer candidate.

PMC-309 is a substance that acts on “VISTA,” a kind of immune checkpoint, and has a mechanism where immune cells attack cancer cells by attaching to VISTA expressed in bone marrow-derived suppressor cells that suppress T cells.

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