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GEN News Highlights : Jan 3, 2013

Cancer Drug Collaboration Spans Asia

Taiwan’s PharmaEngine is teaming up with China’s Guangzhou BeBetter Medicine Technology (BeBetter) to design, synthesize, and develop new drugs against predefined targets in oncology. PharmaEngine will hold the exclusive worldwide rights of manufacturing, development, and commercialization of new drug candidates with the exception of China, while BeBetter will keep the respective rights in China (including Hong Kong and Macau). BeBetter is responsible for discovering optimized compounds for IND-enabling studies, and PharmaEngine will be responsible for development and commercialization.

PharmaEngine is focused on developing cancer treatments, and has been forging other pacts in this space of late. In August, PharmaEngine obtained an exclusive Asia-Pacific license for French firm Nanobiotix’ lead radiotherapy enhancer NBTXR3 against soft-tissue sarcoma. That deal gave PharmaEngine exclusive rights to develop NBTXR3 in Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and other Asia-Pacific territories.

In 2011, PharmaEngine returned nearly full worldwide rights for the nanoliposomal irinotecan candidate MM-398 to Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. The firms agreed to continue collaborating on development of the drug for colorectal, gastric, and pancreatic cancers.