HanAll Biopharma, a subsidiary of Daewoong Pharmaceutical, invested 5.6 billion won ($4.76 million) in Switzerland-based biotech startup Roivant Sciences’ subsidiary Immunovant Sciences, according to industry sources on July 19.
In return, the Korean company gained a stake in Immunovant Sciences.
Industry sources viewed the move as a strategic investment, as HanAll’s drug candidate HL161, licensed out to Roivant, has been showing progress in development.
HanAll recently received $10 million in milestone payment from the Switzerland-based biotech startup, as it entered the phase 2 clinical trial. HL161 works to block pathogenic antibody recycling that causes autoimmune disease.
In 2017, HanAll Biopharma signed a contract with Roivant Sciences to license out the drug candidate for a total of $452.5 million, with Roivant Sciences paying the Korean firm $30 million upfront.
Immunovant Sciences is a subsidiary of Roivant Sciences, which was established to co-develop HL161 with the Korean company. Currently, the Swiss company has exclusive rights to develop, produce and commercialize HL161 in North America, Latin America, the EU, Middle East and North Africa.
Founded in 1973, HanAll Biopharma was acquired by Daewoong Pharmaceutical in 2015 for 104.6 billion won. Daewoong is currently the biggest shareholder of HanAll Biopharma with a 30 percent stake.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)