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ABVC BioPharma inks licensing agreement with OncoX; expecting aggregate income of $13.75 mn and royalties of up to $12.50 mn

Fremont, California
Friday, April 19, 2024, 14:00 Hrs  [IST]

ABVC BioPharma, Inc, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutic solutions in ophthalmology, CNS (central nervous systems), and oncology/hematology, has announced that the company, together with its affiliate Rgene Corporation entered into a comprehensive licensing agreement with OncoX, a private company registered in the British Virgin Islands that specializes in dietary supplements for oncology. We are hopeful that this agreement will facilitate the advancement of treatments for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) since it covers the license for the clinical trial, registration, manufacturing, supply, and distribution rights of ABVC's single-herb botanical drug extract from the dry fruit body of Maitake Mushroom (Grifola Frondosa) for treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. ABVC and its affiliate are set to receive an aggregate license fee of $12,500,000 in the form of cash or shares of OncoX securities within 30 days of executing the agreement, with an additional milestone payment of $1,250,000 in cash after OncoX's next round of fundraising, of which there can be no guarantee; ABVC and its affiliate are also entitled to royalties of 5% of net sales, up to $12,500,000, after the launch of the licensed product.

The US FDA has approved four INDs: ABV-1501 (IND 129575) for Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC), ABV-1519 (IND 161602) for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), ABV-1702 (IND 131300) for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and ABV-1703 (IND 136309) for pancreatic cancer therapy. The Investigational New Drug (IND) application for ABV-1519 proposed the clinical investigation of BLEX 404 as a combination therapy drug with chemotherapy. The active ingredient of BLEX 404 is the ß-glucan extracted from Grifola frondosa (maitake mushrooms), an edible fungus with high medical and commercial values in Asia; it contains various bioactive constituents such as polysaccharides, pyrrole alkaloids, ergosterol, etc., and has been widely served as functional foods for a long time in daily life.

Under the terms of the agreement, ABVC grants OncoX exclusive rights for one of ABVC's four products in its oncology pipeline to develop, manufacture, and commercialize BLEX 404, a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of NSCLC. We believe that this collaboration leverages the respective strengths of both companies to accelerate the availability of this vital treatment to patients worldwide.

"We are thrilled to finalize this licensing agreement with OncoX, an emerging frontrunner in the healthcare industry," said Dr. Uttam Patil, ABVC's CEO. "This collaboration represents a significant step forward in our mission to combat NSCLC and underscores our commitment to delivering innovative therapies to needy patients. "He added that ABVC brings its cutting-edge research and development capabilities. With a deep understanding of NSCLC and a commitment to improving patient outcomes, ABVC will spearhead the development of BLEX 404, which has demonstrated promising results in clinical studies."

"OncoX is well-positioned to bring BLEX 404 to the market efficiently and effectively. Through this partnership, patients suffering from NSCLC will gain access to a treatment option that has the potential to transform their lives. This licensing agreement exemplifies ABVC and OncoX's shared dedication to advancing medical science and improving patient care. Both companies are committed to working closely to ensure the successful development and commercialization of BLEX 404," said Wen-Pin Yen, CEO of OncoX.

NSCLC often develops resistance to single-agent therapies. Thus, combining different drug classes, such as chemotherapy with targeted therapy or immunotherapy, can help overcome resistance mechanisms and improve treatment outcomes. We believe combination therapy often leads to higher response rates than monotherapy, particularly in aggressive or advanced NSCLC, where a robust initial response is crucial for patient outcomes. Synergistic effects have been shown when ß-glucan is used alongside chemotherapy in cancer patients. Studies of patients being treated with combination therapy show an increase in the overall survival rate for lung cancer. Combination Therapy represents a promising approach to address the unmet demands in NSCLC treatment by improving efficacy, overcoming resistance, and providing patients with more personalized and targeted therapeutic options. MSKCC, a prominent research institute in the USA, has conducted two clinical trials to evaluate the safety of BLEX 404.

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