CellenGene Co., Ltd. (CEO Ahn Jae-hyung), a Korean drug development company, received approval for the US patent on “Receptor and use of chimeric antigen containing anti-mesothelin scFv” on August 23 (US local time).
This is the fifth foreign patent granted to CellenGene after Australia, China, Japan and Canada. The approval of the US patent demonstrates that CellenGene’s mini-antibody technology is superior to the existing scFv technology targeting mesothelin. It also recognizes CellenGene’s technological strength in the development of CAR-T therapies worldwide.
CAR-T therapy is a next-generation immunotherapy that has shown high therapeutic efficacy in blood cancers. According to a recent report by Precedence Research, the global CAR-T therapy market will be worth $3.82 billion (KRW 5.08 trillion) in 2022. The market is also expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 29.8% from 2023 to 2032, reaching $88.52 billion (KRW 117.7 trillion) in 2032.
To date, a total of six types of products have been launched by global pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis’ Kymriah, which received the first FDA approval in 2017, Gilead Sciences, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), and Johnson & Johnson, but there is still no CAR-T therapy for solid tumors that has been commercialized globally.
Mesothelin is a protein that is specifically expressed in solid tumors such as pancreatic and ovarian cancers. It has been difficult to use this protein in the development of new drugs due to its low anticancer activity. However, in an animal test for pancreatic cancer, CellenGene’s mesothelin mini-antibody CAR-T therapy showed the effect of disappearing tumors in all test animals within one month after just one administration.
A CellenGene official said, “By obtaining the US patent, we believe we can commercialize our therapy targeting pancreatic and ovarian cancers, which have not been easy to treat”. He continued, “We aim to develop new drugs that will generate annual sales of more than 1 trillion won by 2030.”
CellenGene is a biotechnology company located at the Institut Pasteur in Pangyo Techno Valley, Gyeonggi-do. CellenGene was selected as one of the “Baby Unicorn 200” by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups in 2023.
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