Handok Teams Up with SCM Lifescience for Stem Cell Therapy
On June 4, Handok and SCM Lifescience entered an agreement, at the former’s headquarters in Yeoksam-dong, Seoul, on an investment deal worth KRW 4 billion and licensing on a stem cell therapy solution. The partnership, struck as part of Handok’s efforts through its Open Innovation Program, gives the company exclusive rights to joint development and domestic marketization of the stem cell treatment SCM Lifescience is developing for severe atopic dermatitis.
In a treatment-oriented clinical trial in Korea, SCM Lifescience confirmed that its stem cell therapy for severe atopic dermatitis had a lasting treatment effect of six to 21 months. The company plans to launch Phase-1 and 2a clinical trials in Australia this year, to be followed by clinical trials in the United States. Handok, for its part, is planning to discuss further collaboration on stem cell products with SCM Lifescience for other diseases as well.
SCM Lifescience, founded in 2014, takes its name from the subfractionation culturing method, which the company employs to develop a wide range of stem cell products and enables the researcher to extract high-purity stem cells. It facilitates the development of customized treatments by allowing the researcher to identify biomarkers of the given disease and generate stem cells specifically tailored to those biomarkers. The company has patents in Korea, the United States, Europe, Japan, and China, and continues to develop products not only for severe atopic dermatitis, but also chronic graft-versus-host disease, acute pancreatitis, and liver cirrhosis.
SCM Lifescience recruited Lee Byeong-geon, who has held important positions in leading Korean pharmaceutical companies like GC Pharma and Chong Kun Dang, as its CEO last year. The company has taken a number of aggressive steps to accelerate its stem cell research, including acquiring Genexine and Argos Therapeutics (the latter based in the United States) and entering partnerships with the University of Utah and Allele Biotech (also in the United States). In 2018, SCM also received an investment totaling KRW 44.1 billion from Korean organizations and CCM Duo Pharma in Malaysia. Its plans for this year include an IPO on KOSDAQ.