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Biotech

JW Bioscience in pancreatic cancer biomarker deal with Immunovia

With its patents registered in 25 countries, the biotech firm aims to grow bigger in the global in-vitro diagnostic market

By Sep 15, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

JW Bioscience CEO Hahm Eun-kyung (left) signs a licensing deal with Immunovia CEO Patrik Dahlen
JW Bioscience CEO Hahm Eun-kyung (left) signs a licensing deal with Immunovia CEO Patrik Dahlen

JW Bioscience Co., a subsidiary of South Korea’s JW Life Science Co., has signed a non-exclusive agreement to transfer its patented technology of detecting early-stage pancreatic cancer to Sweden’s Immunovia AB.

Under the deal, the Swedish diagnostic company will have the right to commercialize products using JW Bioscience’s complement factor b (CFB) and carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) biomarkers.

The agreement marks the first time that a Korean biotech company has exported a biomarker technology, according to JW Bioscience on Tuesday.

The diagnostic technology can detect pancreatic cancer in an early stage by simultaneously utilizing CFB, which mainly responds to early pancreatic cancer patients, and CA19-9, which triggers responses from late-stage pancreatic cancer patients, it said.

The company said a clinical test of the biomarkers on 185 patients it jointly conducted with Severance Hospital showed over 90% diagnostic accuracy, and the accuracy of telling pancreatic cancer from other types of cancer reached 98%.

JW Bioscience said it registered related patents in Korea, the US, China, Japan and 21 European countries.

JW Bioscience CEO Hahm Eun-kyung
JW Bioscience CEO Hahm Eun-kyung

EXPAND IN GLOBAL IN-VITRO MARKET

With the latest deal, the Korean company said it expects to have an advanced position in the global in-vitro diagnostic market.

Since the contract with Immunovia is non-exclusive, JW Bioscience can also license out the technology to other diagnostic companies.

JW Bioscience said it is also developing its own diagnostic kit using CFB and CA19-9 biomarkers for detecting early-stage pancreatic cancer, and aims to obtain product approval from the Korean authorities.

“The licensing agreement with Immunovia is an important milestone for our intellectual property position and the recognition of our superior technology in the global market,” said JW Bioscience Chief Executive Hahm Eun-kyung.

JW Group established JW Bioscience in 2016 to enter the global in-vitro diagnostic market.

According to MarketsAndMarkets Research, the global in-vitro diagnostic market is forecast to grow to $87.9 billion by 2023 from $68.1 billion in 2018.

Write to Sang-Hun Oh at ohyeah@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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