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Biotech

Korea’s bio startup Voronoi inks $324 million deal with Brickell Biotech

With the second significant deal following one with ORIC Pharmaceutical, Voronoi eyes Kosdaq listing this year

By Sep 02, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Biotechnology is one of the fastest-growing sectors
Biotechnology is one of the fastest-growing sectors

Voronoi Inc., a South Korean biotechnology startup, has clinched a $324 million deal to grant Brickell Biotech, a US clinical-stage pharmaceutical firm, access to a platform of inhibitors targeting neuroinflammatory and other autoimmune diseases.

Under the deal, Brickell is acquiring the worldwide rights to Voronoi’s therapeutics generated from a proprietary DYRK1A inhibitor platform, which includes a phase 1-ready asset slated to enter the clinic next year, the companies said on Thursday.

The DYRK1A inhibitors aim to restore immune balance in patients whose immune system has become dysregulated, thus offering potential across a wide array of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, they said.

The Boulder, Colorado-based biotech company’s payment includes $5 million in an advance fee and $2.5 million worth of Brickell’s common stocks.

Brickell is now responsible for all development activities and expenses for the platform.

Voronoi, a Korean biotech startup
Voronoi, a Korean biotech startup

KOSDAQ LISTING PLANNED THIS YEAR

Located in the Bio-Cluster in Incheon, the Korean drug discovery company has strengths in the field of precision medicine targeted treatments.

Voronoi has 11 pipelines and is currently negotiating out-licensing arrangements with a number of domestic and overseas pharmaceutical companies regarding these core pipelines, of which the Brickell deal is one such priority.

In October last year, Voronoi out-licensed an innovative non-small cell lung cancer investigational treatment to ORIC Pharmaceutical, a Nasdaq-listed US company for 700 billion won ($603 million).

Voronoi, which plans to go public on Korea’s tech-heavy Kosdaq this year, has applied for its initial public offering review request with the Korea Exchange last month.

Write to Ju-Hyun Lee at deep@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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