GC, Yuhan to cooperate for drug development

Lee Han-soo  Published 2018.06.19  16:07  Updated 2018.06.19 16:07

GC CEO Huh Eun-chul (left) and Yuhan Corp. CEO Lee Jung-hee hold the MOU after signing it at Yuhan’s research center in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, on Wednesday.

GC said Tuesday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Yuhan Corp. to co-develop a treatment for rare diseases.

Under the accord, the two companies plan to develop a next-generation oral Gaucher disease treatment jointly, which can improve convenience and efficacy in brain symptoms. Gaucher disease is a rare hereditary disease caused by an enzyme deficiency that causes liver and spleen enlargement, anemia, and platelet loss. There are only 70 patients in Korea and 6,500 globally.

The companies expect to expand the scope of cooperation from discovering candidate substance, non-clinical trials, and clinical development and expansion of indication.

“The cooperation agreement between the two companies is primarily aimed at finding a common value in improving the treatment environment for patients with rare diseases,” both companies said in a statement. Rare diseases only occur in a small number of patients and drugs are difficult to develop, which makes them shunned by pharmaceutical companies.”

Recently, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other licensing agencies have started to offer exceptional benefits to encourage development in such areas.

GC also believes that the collaboration between the two companies will raise the level of “open innovation.”

“As the two companies have different research and development characteristics, the cooperation effect will be great,” GC CEO Huh Eun-chul said.

Yuhan also expressed excitement toward the cooperative agreement.

“The cooperation between the two companies will serve as a good example of the future of the pharmaceutical business, which aims to make a society where everyone can be healthy,” Yuhan Corp. CEO Lee Jung-hee said.

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