Pharma Focus Asia
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OSR Holdings and SillaJen Collaborate to Develop New Therapies and Expand into the U.S. Market

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

OSR Holdings, a significant global healthcare holding company, has recently announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SillaJen, a biotech firm listed on Kosdaq and renowned for its pipeline of immuno-oncology drug candidates. This MOU signifies a commitment to mutual technological sharing and leveraging clinical development resources, initiating a strategic partnership between the two entities. The collaboration aims to explore synergies between their existing platform technologies and novel drug candidates.

Established in 2019 in South Korea, OSR Holdings operates on a "hub-and-spoke" business model, a trend increasingly observed in the biopharmaceutical sector over the past decade. This model allows for centralized management of drug development strategies, clinical plans, and resource allocation by the holding company. Subsidiaries under this model focus on advancing new drug assets and technological innovations, enhancing scalability and resource efficiency, particularly during the clinical phases of drug development.

OSR Holdings' portfolio includes Vaximm AG, a Swiss entity specializing in immuno-oncology therapeutics; Darnatein, a South Korean company developing osteoarthritis therapeutics; and RMC, a distributor of specialized medical devices. Notably, Vaximm AG has completed Phase 2a clinical trials for glioblastoma, while Darnatein, founded by Dr. Seung-Hyun Choi, is known for its robust platform for cartilage and bone regeneration, with ongoing development of new drugs for various disease indications.

SillaJen possesses a diverse pipeline of new drugs, such as the SJ-600 series and BAL0891, and is at the forefront of developing anti-cancer viruses based on its GEEV® platform. GEEV® is recognized for its immune-evasion capabilities, allowing anti-cancer viruses to efficiently target affected areas. The SJ-600 series is built upon this platform, while BAL0891, a mitotic checkpoint inhibitor, has progressed to Phase 1 clinical trials targeting solid tumors in the United States.

Sung Jae "Alex" Yu, COO of OSR Holdings, expressed enthusiasm about the MOU, stating that it marks the transition of the two companies into strategic partners in the global immuno-oncology market. He anticipates exploring various opportunities to strengthen the relationship and collaborations, particularly in the U.S., the largest pharmaceutical market worldwide.

A representative of SillaJen echoed this sentiment, anticipating synergies from the collaboration between their original anti-cancer drug development technology and OSR Holdings' global business expertise. They highlighted the opportunity to showcase SillaJen's pipeline in the U.S. market, alongside existing partnerships.



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