South Korean drugmaker Celltrion announced on Wednesday that it has increased its stake in British biotechnology firm Iksuda Therapeutics to 47.05 percent through direct investment and a fund formed with Mirae Asset Capital.
This decision has made Celltrion and the Mirae Asset Celltrion New Growth Fund the largest shareholders of Iksuda, which specializes in the development of a new generation of antibody drug conjugates, or ADCs. Celltrion declined to disclose its original shareholding percentage.
Celltrion expects to diversify its anti-cancer treatments by additionally applying ADC technology to its biosimilar products Truxima and Herzuma.
“We are working with and investing in various biotechnologies with promising platforms. We will be taking versatile measures to increase our influence in the growing ADC field,” Celltrion said in a statement.
The investment was carried out under the terms of a contract previously signed by Celltrion and Mirae Asset Capital in which they agreed to invest a total of $47 million (58 billion won) during their participation in Iksuda's Series A financing round in June 2021.
Half of the investment was carried out at the time of the contract signing, and the rest of the investment was recently completed in accordance with contract conditions that stated that a specific development milestone must be achieved first.
Iksuda Therapeutics recently expanded its clinical pipeline through a licensing agreement with South Korean biopharmaceutical company LegoChem Biosciences, which grants Iksuda rights to the HER-2 ADC program for cancer-fighting drugs.