Pharma Focus Asia

Axis Therapeutics Announces Research Collaboration with PharmaEssentia for Development of TCR-T Cell Therapy in Taiwan

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Axis Therapeutics Limited, a joint venture between Athenex, Inc.  and Xiangxue Life Sciences Limited (“XLifeSc”), focused on the research, development, and commercialization of T cell immunotherapy, announced that it has entered into a research collaboration with PharmaEssentia Corporation . The collaboration involves the development of T Cell Receptor (TCR)-T therapy (based on the proprietary TAEST (T cell receptor Affinity Enhancing Specific T cell therapy) technology platform) in Taiwan.

Under the terms of the agreement, Axis Therapeutics and PharmaEssentia will collaborate to conduct an initial clinical study of Axis Therapeutics’ TCRT-ESO-A2 therapy, targeting solid tumors that are NY-ESO-1 positive in HLA-A*02:01 positive patients, and to manufacture the investigational products, in Taiwan. PharmaEssentia will be responsible for all activities relating to the clinical development in Taiwan.

Athenex recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the Investigational New Drug (IND) application for this same compound.

Dr. Johnson Lau, CEO of Athenex, and CEO of Axis Therapeutics, stated, “PharmaEssentia represents an important long-term partner of Athenex. We are excited to expand our relationship beyond the Orascovery and Src Kinase platforms to include a collaboration with Axis Therapeutics for the development of TCR-T therapy. We look forward to collaborating with PharmaEssentia on the development of this novel T-cell technology in Taiwan.”

Dr. Daniel Lang, President of Axis Therapeutics, added, “The agreement expands the longstanding relationship between Athenex and PharmaEssentia. We are excited to work with such a trusted partner to further advance our TCR-T therapy.”

Dr. Kochung Lin, CEO of PharmaEssentia, stated, “We have benefitted from our longstanding strategic relationship with Athenex through the development of Athenex’s Orascovery and Src Kinase platforms. We bring rich experience in clinical studies, as well as significant experience in regulatory approval and market access in Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. The expansion of our relationship to include Axis Therapeutics and its associated TCR-T therapy represents an opportunity to further our successful collaboration.”

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