Yuhan Corporation’s licensed-out non-alcoholic steatohepatitis drug to start phase 1 clinical trial in Europe

Expected to receive 10 million USD as a milestone payment

Yuhan Corporation (000100. KS) announced on the 17th of November that the new drug candidate (YH25724) for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which was licensed-out to Boehringer Ingelheim, has entered a phase 1 clinical trial in Europe.

The two companies plan to evaluate safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics after one subcutaneous administration of YH25724 to about 80 healthy overweight male subjects. The phase 1 clinical trial is expected to be completed by June, 2022.

With the start of the phase 1 clinical trial, Yuhan will receive 10 million USD from Boehringer Ingelheim. This is part of the $870 million USD licensing deal. At the time of the contract in 2019, Yuhan had received a non-refundable upfront payment of 40 million USD.

YH25724 is a fusion protein developed by combining South Korean biotech company Genexine’s Hybrid Fc (Hy Fc) antibody fusion protein platform technology and Yuhan’s own protein engineering technology. In preclinical studies, it has been shown to relieve steatohepatitis and have anti-fibrotic effects, preventing hepatocellular damage and reducing liver inflammation.

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis is a condition in which liver damage progresses from non-alcoholic fat liver disease (NAFLD) that refers to more than 5% of fat accumulating in the liver even though little to no alcohol is consumed. It is a chronic, progressive disease that greatly hinders liver functionality by causing damage or fibrosis.

Link to original article (Korean): https://m.mk.co.kr/news/it/view/2021/11/1078112/

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