Shanghai, China, and Oslo, Norway, Jan 26, 2021 – Asieris Pharmaceuticals announced today that the company has entered into a license agreement with Photocure ASA (Photocure, PHO: OSE) to exclusively register and commercialize Hexvix®in Mainland China and Taiwan. Hexvix® is a drug that preferentially accumulates in bladder cancer cells, making them glow bright pink during Blue Light Cystoscopy (BLC®). It is expected to meet a strong unmet need in the diagnosis and resection of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) in Mainland China and Taiwan.
Hexvix® is indicated for the cystoscopic detection of bladder cancer, including papillary tumors and carcinoma in situ (CIS). When used with BLC®, the fluorescence from tumor tissue appears bright pink, whereas the background normal tissue appears dark blue. It has been approved in the US and many countries throughout Europe, but is not yet available in Mainland China and Taiwan. The use of Hexvix® with BLC® is recommended in the global expert consensus guidelines for the management of NMIBC.
“Expanding our business geographically is a strategic priority at Photocure, and we are very pleased to partner with Asieris to commercialize Hexvix® in both Mainland China and Taiwan,” said Dan Schneider, President and CEO of Photocure. “This marks our second strategic agreement with Asieris, a well-run and well-capitalized company that is executing ahead of plan on the clinical development of Cevira®, which we licensed to them in July 2019. Asieris solely focuses on the development and commercialization of innovative products in the field of genitourinary diseases, and we look forward to collaborating with them to bring the important benefits of Hexvix® to patients suffering from bladder cancer in Mainland China and Taiwan.”
“Photocure is a global leader in bladder cancer management, and we are very excited to add a second product from Photocure to our pipeline. We want to make this breakthrough technology available to physicians and patients in China as soon as possible.” said Kevin Pan Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Asieris. “Hexvix® adds a great deal of synergy to Asieris’ strategic focus on genitourinary cancers and other diseases. Together with our drug candidates for NMIBC treatment in the clinical development, Asieris is building up a combination of potentially the most advanced technologies in order to provide the best care for NMIBC patients in China.”
About Photocure ASA
Photocure: The Bladder Cancer Company delivers transformative solutions to improve the lives of bladder cancer patients. Our unique technology, which makes cancer cells glow bright pink, has led to better health outcomes for patients worldwide. Photocure is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE: PHO). For more information, please visit us at www.photocure.com, www.hexvix.com or www.cysview.com
Asieris strives to become a leading pharmaceutical company focusing on genitourinary tumors and related diseases. Asieris adheres to a growth strategy driven by in-house research and development, supplemented by in-licensing, to rapidly establish a leadership position in the field of focus. Asieris currently has multiple products under late-stage clinical development and owns proprietary platforms for the discovery of new antitumor and antimicrobial drugs. Asieris has offices and operations in Shanghai, Beijing, and Taizhou City of Jiangsu Province in Mainland China, Philadelphia in the US. For more information, please visit us at www.asieris.com.
About Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC)
According to Globalcan (2018), bladder cancer is the tenth most common type of cancer worldwide, with an estimated 549,000 new cases and 200,000 deaths every year. Among them, 75% – 85% is non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Currently, the common diagnosis and treatment of NMIBC are white light cystoscopy followed by Trans-Urethral Resection of Bladder Tumors (TURBT). Because of high tumor recurrence after TURBT, intravesical chemo- or immuno-therapies are required after the procedure.