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GI Innovation transfers allergy treatment technology to Japanese pharmaceutical company

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : October 16, 2023, 18:06 Updated : October 24, 2023, 15:36
Courtesy of GI Innovation
[Courtesy of GI Innovation]
SEOUL -- South Korea's bio company GI Innovation has transferred technology for GI-301, an allergy treatment drug, to Maruho, a Japanese pharmaceutical firm specializing in skin diseases. The South Korean company received about 298 billion won ($219.7 million).
 
GI-301 is a fusion protein that can efficiently deal with allergic reactions with its Immunoglobulin E (IgE), a type of antibody that migrates to cells. IgE overreacts to an allergen, triggering the production of antibodies, and leading to severe allergic conditions like asthma and atopic dermatitis. According to GI Innovation CEO Rhee Byung-geon, GI-301 showed about 70 times higher IgE binding power than other competitive drugs and a significant reduction in blood IgE levels with just a single administration.
 
GI Innovation said GI-301 technology was transferred to Maruho. The Japanese company, specializing in treatments for dry skin, atopy, psoriasis, and acne, will oversee GI-301's clinical trials and commercialization in Japan. Maruho is required to provide GI Innovation with upfront payments, as well as fees for achieving various milestones related to clinical development, commercialization, and sales royalties. Maruho's payments cannot be refunded.

"We are pleased to announce that we have selected Maruho, Japan's leading clinical and commercial specialist in dermatological diseases, as our partner," GI Innovation's chief strategy officer Jang Myung-ho said in a statement on October 16. Yuhan, a pharmaceutical and chemical company in South Korea, signed a contract worth some 1.4 trillion won with GI Innovation in 2020 to co-develop and sell GI-301 in overseas markets except for Japan. 

"We look forward to strengthening our clinical collaboration with Maruho in Japan to help those who suffer from allergic diseases around the world," said GI Innovation CEO Rhee Byung-geon. GI Innovation was listed on KOSDAQ, the South Korean version of the U.S. stock market NASDAQ, in March 2023. It had 27 registered patents and completed 138 patent applications as of March 2023.

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