Korean pharmaceuticals Handok and Genexine said they have jointly become the largest shareholder of Rezolute, a U.S. biopharmaceutical firm.
The two companies owned 54 percent stake in Rezolute as of Monday, by jointly investing $25 million in the U.S. firm. Established in 2010, Rezolute specializes in developing innovative drugs for metabolic and orphan diseases.
The U.S. biotech firm is soon to conduct a phase-2 trial to on a treatment for ultra-orphan indication of congenital hyperinsulinism in the U.S. and Europe. The drugmaker is also testing preclinical toxicity of plasma kallikrein inhibitors targeting diabetic macular edema, and a phase-1 study on once-weekly injectable basal insulin.
The latest investment by the two Korean firms is part of the U.S. company’s open innovation project. With the investment, Handok and Genexine will be able to acquire Rezolute’s experience of developing biopharmaceuticals and an opportunity to enter the U.S. market.
Rezolute’s experience of developing growth hormones will particularly help Handok and Genexine accelerate their work on GX-H9, a long-acting growth hormone, the two companies said.
“Rezolute is a biopharmaceutical company with significant growth potential, and there are many areas where it can cooperate with Handok and Genexine,” said Kim Young-jin, chairman and CEO of Handok. “Our investment will help accelerate the global phase-3 clinical trial of long-acting growth hormone (GX-H9). I also hope that Rezolute will play an important role in Handok’s entering the U.S. in the future.”