Taiwan’s Orient Europharma Co. Ltd. and Japan-based NanoCarrier Co. Ltd. concluded a licensing agreement Nov. 7 in Taipei City, paving the way for closer cooperation in pharmaceutical R&D between the two firms.
Under the pact, both companies will conduct registration trials for Nanoplatin—a new treatment for pancreatic cancer—in Taiwan next year, as well as extend collaboration to markets in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea.
The agreement also calls for NanoCarrier to make an equity investment in Orient’s new manufacturing subsidiary in Yunlin County, central Taiwan. Scheduled for completion in 2016, the NT$700 million (US$23.9 million) facility will produce Nanoplatin for the global market.
Orient President Peter Tsai said the companies began jointly developing the drug in 2008. After entering the second stage of clinical trials, the firms signed a memorandum of understanding last month covering development and marketing rights in Asia.
“This cooperation is a milestone in our partnership with NanoCarrier and will benefit cancer patients worldwide,” Tsai said. “We expect our collaborative model will encourage other Taiwan firms to follow suit and pursue more cross-border tie-ups.”
NanoCarrier President Ichiro Nakatomi said his company has been looking to expand its presence in Asia for some time. “This new agreement represents a central plank in our development strategy and will help both firms forge an even stronger alliance going forward.”
With no effective treatment for pancreatic cancer in the market, industry analysts estimate potential sales of Nanoplatin to hit US$500 million per year.