HLB said its US subsidiary Elevar Therapeutics began marketing Apealea, an ovarian cancer treatment, in Germany after listing the drug on Gelbe List, a German drug distribution website.
Elevar acquired worldwide rights to the drug from Vivesto, the original developers, in March 2020. Elevar paid an upfront fee of $20 million and will pay royalties based on sales of Apealea to Vivesto.
Apealea is the third-generation drug paclitaxel, which received approval for the treatment of ovarian cancer in Europe in January.
Founded in Sweden in 1999, Vivesto developed the drug as the first product that does not use cremophore, a solubilizer contained in existing paclitaxel, using XR17, a platform formulation technology.
According to Elevar, the drug requires no pre-treatment before injection of cancer drugs and has a short injection time, which increases user convenience and minimizes side effects.
The company plans to market the drug in other EU countries, such as the UK and Switzerland.
Over the past few years, HLB has expanded its portfolio of innovative cancer drugs, including riboceranib and Apealea, cell therapy vaccines (ITI-1000) and CAR-T therapy (SynKIR-110), through its platform of open innovation.
HLB pointed out that after years of dedication to clinical trials and development, it has finally seriously entered the phase of applying for and selling new drugs.
Along with sales of Apealea, HLB will receive royalties from China’s Hansoh Pharmaceutical, which sells riboceranib as a second-line treatment for end-stage gastric and liver cancer.
The company’s first-quarter sales increased more than 10-fold thanks to the progress of the healthcare division, which sells in vitro diagnostic medical devices, establishing a solid revenue base and external growth.
“The start of sales of Apealea is a magnificent achievement achieved between HLB, its subsidiaries Elevar and related companies, such as Vivesto, Inceptua, through the HLB Bio ecosystem,” said a company official. “This is the first signal that the is taking off as a global cancer drug company.”
The official added that although share prices have recently fallen due to inflation and unstable international conditions, the company is confident that its value will be reassessed once new drug demands and sales for various types of cancer will start in earnest.