Cartherics grants Shunxi licence to CAR-T cell therapy for ovarian cancer in China

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Australian company Cartherics has announced that it has granted Shunxi Holding Group a licence to develop, manufacture and commercialise its’ autologous CAR-T cell product, CTH-004, for the treatment of multiple solid tumours in Greater China.

Cartherics said CTH-004 had demonstrated promising results in animal models of ovarian cancer and will be evaluated in a clinical trial under a research and development collaboration with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, announced earlier this year.

Globally, approximately 314,000 new ovarian cancer cases and 207,000 deaths occurred in 2020. In China, a recent study revealed that the burden of ovarian cancer had shown an obvious upward trend in the past 30 years, and the increase rate accelerated significantly in recent five years.

Cartherics CEO, Alan Trounson AO, said, “We are pleased to see this potentially effective therapy for ovarian cancer being adopted and trialled in China where there are many women suffering the heavy burden of ovarian cancer. We hope that women worldwide will benefit from this therapy.”

Chairman of Shunxi Holding Group, Mr Xia Jie, believes that this CAR-T cell product co-developed by Cartherics and Shunxi will explore a new path for treating recurrent ovarian cancer since ovarian cancer has high rates of recurrence.

This agreement provides Shunxi Holding Group a licence to develop, manufacture and commercialise CTH-004 for Greater China (Including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan), as well as an option to negotiate rights to other CAR-T products that incorporate the licenced IP. The structure of the agreement involves a licence fee, milestone payments and royalties. 

Dr Shu Runzhe, Cartherics’ deputy chief scientific officer, will join Shunxi to lead the pre-clinical and clinical development of CTH-004 in China. Cartherics and Shunxi will share CTH-004 pre-clinical and clinical data in future. Cartherics retains all development and commercialisation rights for CTH-004 outside Greater China.