pSivida has signed a licensing agreement with Beijing's Med-Pharm, in a move that will facilitate distribution of BrachySil in China - the world's fastest growing market for pharmaceuticals.
BrachySil (32-P BioSilicon) is a potential new treatment for primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma; HCC) and will soon enter a Phase IIb dose-profiling study.
China has the highest incidence of HCC in the world, with over 345,000 estimated new cases per annum, representing 55 per cent of total worldwide cases.
"BrachySil is a product that addresses a significant and increasing patient population in China," said Martyn Greenacre, chairman of Beijing Med-Pharm.
The Beijing Med-Pharm deal will provide pSivida with an excellent platform for gaining entry into the potentially highly lucrative Chinese market.
"We hope to be able to deliver this product to a large and growing market throughout China," said Greenacre.
pSivida has been active in expanding its market potential of late, entering another deal earlier this month, valued at $104 million (€85.6 million), to buy US Control Delivery Systems (CDS), allowing it tap into the biotechnology hub around Boston on the US east coast.
pSivida had already attracted considerable attention with its BioSilicon drug delivery platform, but the acquisition of CDS added two commercialised products, another candidate in late-stage clinical testing and a raft of other delivery technologies, as well as two commercial partnerships with eyecare companies Bausch & Lomb and Alimera Sciences.
Under the terms of the latest license agreement, pSivida will manufacture BrachySil and Beijing Med-Pharm will be responsible for clinical development, securing regulatory approval, marketing, and distribution in China.
License includes upfront and milestone payments in excess of $2 million and royalties ranging up to 30 per cent, depending upon level of sales, payable to pSivida by Beijing Med-Pharm.
Given the clinical proof of principle already established for BrachySil, programs are also being prepared to apply it in other significant cancer indications, including inoperable pancreatic and secondary liver disease.
In 2004, US-based Beijing Med-Pharm initiated the first-ever purchase by a foreign entity of a Chinese pharmaceutical distribution company when it signed an agreement to purchase a 100 per cent equity interest in Beijing Wanwei Pharmaceutical, a pharmaceutical distributor covering the bulk of Beijing's hospitals.
In an historic event, the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China approved this purchase on October 18, 2005.
As a result, Beijing Med-Pharm can now assist Western pharmaceutical companies, such as pSivida, that wish to sell their products in the difficult Chinese marketplace.
pSivida is a global nanotechnology company, based in Australia. Its focus is the development and commercialisation of a new biomaterial, nanostructured porous silicon, for potential drug delivery applications in healthcare.