BUFFALO, N.Y., May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Kinex Pharmaceuticals and Zenith Technology Corporation, through its affiliate ZenRx, announced today the execution of a collaborative licensing agreement granting Zenith Technology commercial rights to Oraxol and Oratecan in New Zealand and Australia. ZenRx will provide an upfront payment, milestones and royalties. Importantly, Zenith Technology Corporation will commit a significant amount of resources to the Oraxol and Oratecan global development programs, providing Kinex and its Asian partner, Hanmi Pharmaceuticals (Seoul, South Korea) additional clinical programs, supporting global registrations in a non-dilutive fashion.
In December 2011, Kinex Pharmaceuticals licensed the global rights in certain territories outside of Korea, China, India, and Japan, to develop and commercialize the Orascovery program from Hanmi Pharmaceutical Company. The program is based on an important platform technology developed by Hanmi Pharmaceuticals, compound HM30181A, a potent and selective P-glycoprotein (PGP) pump inhibitor. Suppression of the PGP pump allows certain clinically important compounds (such as Paclitaxel and Irinotecan, among others) which would normally be effluxed back into the gastrointestinal tract and excreted, to enter the bloodstream and be bioavailable through oral administration. Importantly, HM30181A is a very effective PGP inhibitor that is not systemically absorbed.
The Orascovery technology has led to the initiation of trials being conducted with both an oral formulation of paclitaxel (Oraxol), currently in Phase II clinical trials in Korea, and an oral formulation of Irinotecan (Oratecan), which has completed a Phase I clinical trial in Korea. Additional trials are being planned in both Korea and the USA.
Zenith Technology Corporation (Dunedin, New Zealand) is a very successful clinical contract research organization that also offers analytical and clinical laboratory services. Through its affiliate ZenRx, the company plans to expand the scope of their business.
"Zenith Technology has a very strong reputation as a Clinical Contract Research Organization. Their capabilities will be extremely helpful in advancing our global development programs for Oraxol and Oratecan. I look forward to working closely with the Zenith team in conjunction with Hanmi Pharmaceuticals as we progress in our global development programs," said Rudolf Kwan, Chief Medical Officer of Kinex.
Johnson Lau, CEO of Kinex Pharmaceuticals added, "The commitment of Zenith Technology to work closely with Kinex and our partner Hanmi Pharmaceuticals in the development of Oraxol and Oratecan is a critical element of our global development strategy. We are very pleased to be working with the experienced Zenith team to move our clinical programs to the next stage."
Dr. Jeewoong Son, Senior VP and Head of Innovation R&D at Hanmi, added "Hanmi warmly welcomes Zenith Technology Corporation to join our global development effort for our Oraxol and Oratecan programs. We have had a great collaboration with Kinex Pharmaceuticals and we welcome the expansion of this team to achieve our global development objectives."
Dr. Cheung-Tak Hung, Executive Director of Zenith Technology concluded, "We are very impressed with the current clinical data for Oraxol and Oratecan. These compounds, when combined with the quality and experience of the Kinex and Hanmi management teams, afford Zenith an exceptional opportunity. We look forward to working closely with both Kinex and Hanmi to drive the global product development strategy."
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SOURCE Kinex Pharmaceuticals