Global Roundup: eTheRNA Establishes Hong Kong Office


Belgium’s eTheRNA Immunotherapies established a new toehold in Asia. The company, which developed mRNA-based immunotherapies for cancer and infectious diseases, opened an office in Hong Kong under the banner of a new subsidiary, eTheRNA Asia Limited.

The company launched its new subsidiary due to the ever-growing importance of the Asia-Pacific region. The new subsidiary will become an extension of the company as it conducts new business in the area. Particularly, eTheRNA Asia will support business and investor relations in China. The company said the subsidiary will have a particular focus on advancing the relationship between eTheRNA and its strategic partner, China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Holdings Ltd. eTheRNA and CGP have a joint business called Nanjing AuroRNA Biotechnology Company Limited, which serves to advance their goals in the region, particularly in support of Healthy China 2030.

The strategic aim under the Healthy China 2030 plan is to improve cancer care and develop truly innovative oncology drugs in China itself. Through our Chinese investors and partners we have developed strong links with the region and look forward to increasing our activities and contributing to help fulfill this ambition,” eTheRNA Chief Executive Officer Steven Powell said in a statement.

Elsewhere around the globe:

Synthace – London’s Synthace, a life sciences software company, announced the first life sciences R&D cloud. The cloud includes a no-code software platform that addresses barriers to innovation that R&D life scientists currently face, the company said. The platform provides end-to-end management of the experimental lifecycle, from design through execution to data visualization and knowledge transfer.

BioMed X – Germany’s BioMed X has two ongoing research projects with Janssen. The company initiated the projects this week, which represents a major milestone in the collaboration. The German company formed two research groups to address each collaboration, PTA (Protective Tissue Factors in Autoimmune Diseases) and TMI (Translocation of Complex Macromolecules Across the Intestinal Epithelial Barrier). The aim of PTA is to identify protective factors in the tissue microenvironment of patients with auto-inflammatory diseases in order to validate novel drug targets. For TMI, the aim is to discover novel transport mechanisms in the human intestinal tract that could be used for oral delivery of various macromolar therapeutic modalities.

Ipsen – France-based Ipsen signed a collaboration agreement with Exicure Inc. to research, develop, and commercialize novel Spherical Nucleic Acids (SNAs) as potential investigational treatments for Huntington’s disease and Angelman syndrome. In preclinical models, SNAs have been shown to enhance the cell penetration, biodistribution and organ persistence properties of oligonucleotides, which may potentially enhance drug delivery to previously inaccessible target tissues, including deep brain regions.

Marie Stopes Kenya – Africa’s Marie Stopes Kenya partnered with Medicines360 and MSI Reproductive Choices of London to support the launch of Avibela (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 52 mg in Kenya. This is the third launch of Medicines360’s hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) in Africa, following Madagascar and Zambia. Kenya is among the leading nations in family planning in Africa, with the first official nationwide family planning program in sub-Saharan Africa. The Kenyan government aims to increase the contraceptive prevalence rate to 66% by 2030. It reached 61% in 2018.

VinBioCare – Vietnam’s VinBioCare, a member of Vingroup, and Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings entered into an agreement to establish a manufacturing facility in Vietnam for the manufacture of Arcturus’ mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate for sales and use in that country. The site has a planned capacity to produce up to 200 million doses per year. The first batches are expected to be produced in early 2022. VinBioCare’s vaccine factory is located inside VinSmart’s electronic equipment complex in Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park. Vingroup intends to invest $200 million into the new site.

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