Kang Stem Biotech 강스템바이오텍 said Thursday that it has signed an agreement with Heraeus Medical, a German healthcare company, to co-develop a treatment for degenerative arthritis.
Under the accord, the two companies will proceed with nonclinical and phase 1/2a clinical trials to develop a degenerative arthritis treatment using the umbilical cord blood stem cell technology owned by Kang Stem Biotech.
The company also plans to license out the treatment to Heraeus Medical after the results of phase 1/2a clinical trials come out. They will then jointly advance into other Asian markets such as China.
The therapeutic agent for degenerative arthritis developed by the two companies is expected to exert superior effects than existing therapeutic agents by adding derivatives that promote the differentiation and regeneration of cartilage in stem cells.
“The osteoarthritis market is expanding rapidly due to population aging and Westernized lifestyles,” a Kang Stem Biotech official said. “With no fundamental treatment in the market by using cartilage regeneration treatment, we can develop a treatment that is easy to use without surgery.”
The agreement is the first case of a contract signed between a big European company and a domestic stem cell therapy firm, and marks a breakthrough to expand the existing immune-related diseases to various other conditions, the official said.
Kang Stem Biotech will continue its efforts to establish partnerships with global pharmaceutical companies as a therapeutic drug for existing immune diseases such as its flagship atopy treatment business, he added.