PANGYO, South Korea & MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SK Biopharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company focused on disorders of
central nervous system and cancer, and twoXAR, Inc., an artificial
intelligence (AI)-driven biopharmaceutical company, today announced an
agreement to discover and develop first-in-class therapeutics for
non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Under the agreement, twoXAR will use its AI discovery technology to
identify a set of initial candidates with the potential to treat lung
cancer through novel biological mechanisms of action. After screening,
SK Biopharmaceuticals plans to use its internal AI Drug Design
technology to optimize a lead candidate and then conduct IND-enabling
studies. SK Biopharmaceuticals will retain exclusive worldwide rights to
develop and commercialize the drug candidate. twoXAR will receive an
upfront payment and will be eligible for development and commercial
milestone payments in addition to royalties.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths globally with a 5-year
survival rate of less than 18%1. The two main types of lung
cancer are small cell and non-small cell, accounting for 10-15% and 85%
of all lung cancers, respectively. Treatment is based on the lung cancer
stage and subtype, and generally consists of surgery, chemotherapy,
radiation therapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of these
treatments. However, the disease is known to become resistant to current
lines of therapy. It is estimated that there were 2 million new lung
cancer cases diagnosed worldwide in 20182.
“AI-powered approaches are pioneering new, more efficient ways to find
promising new drug candidates and are enabling SK Biopharmaceuticals to
build the next-generation pharmaceutical company,” said Cheol-Young
Maeng, PhD, Vice President of Cancer Research at SK Biopharmaceuticals.
“We are excited to combine twoXAR’s and SK Biopharmaceuticals’
technologies because of the potential to progress drug candidates from
hypotheses to IND-enabling studies faster than ever before.”
“SK Biopharmaceuticals’ focus on powering end-to-end drug discovery and
development by adopting new technologies to foster efficiencies makes
them an ideal partner for twoXAR,” said Andrew A. Radin, Co-Founder and
CEO of twoXAR. “As the leading cause of cancer death, lung cancer is a
serious disease with high unmet need. We are pleased to be working with
SK Biopharmaceuticals, who’s achieved remarkable success from discovery
to filing for FDA approval, to combine our complementary platforms with
a shared commitment to rapidly identify, validate, and develop novel
treatments for lung cancer patients in need.”
About SK Biopharmaceuticals
SK Biopharmaceuticals is focused on research and development of
treatments for disorders of central nervous system (CNS) and cancer.
Currently, SK Biopharmaceuticals is conducting research for the
development of innovative new drugs at its research center in Pangyo,
Gyeonggi Province, Korea. Further, the company is pursuing global
clinical development and direct marketing through its U.S. subsidiary,
SK Life Science, Inc., in Paramus, New Jersey, USA.
SK Biopharmaceuticals has a pipeline of eight compounds in development
for the treatment of CNS disorders including epilepsy, sleep disorder
and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, among others. The first
product the company is planning to commercialize, cenobamate (YKP3089),
is an investigational compound for the potential treatment of
partial-onset seizures in adult patients. The NDA for cenobamate for the
potential treatment of partial-onset seizures in adult patients is
currently under review by the FDA. For more information, visit SK
Biopharmaceuticals’ website at www.skbp.com/eng.
twoXAR is an artificial intelligence-driven biopharmaceutical company
that leverages its computational platform to identify promising drug
candidates, de-risk the opportunities through preclinical studies, and
progress drug product candidates into the clinic through industry
partnerships. Based in Mountain View, California, the twoXAR team
includes experts in drug discovery and development, biomedical
informatics, computational biology, data science and software
development. Investors in twoXAR include SoftBank Ventures, the
Andreessen Horowitz Bio Fund, OS Fund, CLI Ventures, and the
Stanford-StartX Fund. For more information, please visit www.twoXAR.com.
1 American Lung Association website. Lung Cancer Fact Sheet.
Accessed April 5, 2019 at https://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/resource-library/lung-cancer-fact-sheet.html.
2 World Cancer Research Fund website. Lung Cancer Statistics.
Accessed April 5, 2019 at https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/cancer-trends/lung-cancer-statistics.
Andrew M. Radin
For SK Biopharmaceuticals