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Hikma, Junshi Biosciences sign exclusive licencing agreement for cancer treatment drug toripalimab

By JT - Dec 26,2022 - Last updated at Dec 26,2022

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AMMAN — Hikma Pharmaceuticals, the multinational pharmaceutical company, on Monday announced a new exclusive licencing and commercialisation agreement with Junshi Biosciences, an innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company for toripalimab, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). 

Under the terms of the agreement, Hikma has an exclusive licence to develop and commercialise toripalimab injection in all its MENA markets, according to a statement from Hikma.

In addition, Hikma has the right of first negotiation for the future commercialisation of three under development drugs in MENA.

Toripalimab is an innovative anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody approved for marketing in China for six indications to date. Over 30 toripalimab clinical studies covering more than 15 indications have been conducted globally, including in China, the US, Southeast Asia, and Europe, the statement said.

Ongoing or completed pivotal clinical studies evaluating the safety and efficacy of toripalimab cover a broad range of tumor types including cancers of the lung, nasopharynx, esophagus, stomach, bladder, breast, liver, kidney and skin,among others, according to the statement. 

“As the third largest pharmaceutical company in MENA, with a history of more than 40 years, Hikma is well established and respected and offers deep-rooted expertise, with unparalleled local knowledge. The company has also demonstrated strong commercial capabilities, particularly in areas such as oncology and biotechnology,” said Ning LI, CEO of Junshi Biosciences. “We anticipate that toripalimabcould be the first marketed Chinese anti-PD-1 antibody in MENA. We look forward to working closely with Hikma to establish toripalimab’s position in the MENA markets in order to provide patients with high-quality innovative care,” Ning added.

Mazen Darwazeh, Hikma’s executive vice chairman and president of MENA, said: “Anti-PD-1s have changed the way cancer is treated over the past few years but, unfortunately, patient access to these treatments in the region has been sub-optimal. Toripalimab has a compelling clinical profile with impressive efficacy and safety data, and we are thrilled to be collaborating with Junshi Biosciences to equip doctors and patients in MENA with this innovative treatment.” 

“This agreement strengthens our biotech and oncology portfolio and enables us to increase patients’ access to PD-1s, an important milestone in delivering on our purpose of putting better health, within reach, every day,” Darwazeh added.

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