SK Biopharmaceuticals aims to promote open innovation and increase global competitiveness through venture capital partnerships
PANGYO, GYEONGGI PROVINCE, Korea, Nov. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — SK Biopharmaceuticals, Co., Ltd., a global innovative pharmaceutical company, announced today the company has signed an agreement with the global life science venture capital firm LifeSci Venture Partners to collaborate on open innovation through a fund1.
The fund will invest primarily in private healthcare companies developing novel therapies and innovative technologies.
"As a strategic investor in the fund, SK Biopharmaceuticals plans to enhance its global competitiveness by expanding its partnerships with promising ventures for further growth," said Changho Yu, Chief Strategy Officer of SK Biopharmaceuticals. "This partnership for open innovation is an important step forward that builds on our nearly three decades of research and development expertise."
Paul Yook, Partner & Chief Investment Officer of LifeSci Venture Partners, added, "We are pleased to start this new collaboration with SK Biopharmaceuticals, a company that shares our passion and commitment to bringing innovative solutions to the healthcare system. By combining our expertise and connections in the life sciences industry and beyond, we aim to help promising early ventures accelerate scientific breakthroughs and technological innovations."
SK Biopharmaceuticals discovered and developed two innovative and approved medicines — cenobamate and solriamfetol. Cenobamate was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), launching in May of 2020, and is being commercialized in the U.S. by the company’s subsidiary SK life science. The company also discovered and licensed-out solriamfetol, a treatment approved by the FDA and the European Medicines Agency. SK Biopharmaceuticals maintains the rights to develop and commercialize solriamfetol in 12 countries in Asia.
About SK Biopharmaceuticals Co., Ltd.
SK Biopharmaceuticals and its U.S. subsidiary SK life science are global pharmaceutical companies focused on the research, development and commercialization of treatments for disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). The companies have a pipeline of eight compounds in development for the treatment of CNS disorders, including epilepsy. Additionally, SK Biopharmaceuticals is focused on early research in oncology. For more information, visit SK Biopharmaceuticals’ website at www.skbp.com/eng and SK life science’s website at www.SKLifeScienceInc.com.
Both SK Biopharmaceuticals and SK life science are part of SK Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Korea. SK Holdings, the parent company of SK Biopharmaceuticals, continues to enhance its portfolio value by executing long-term investments with a number of competitive subsidiaries in various business areas, including pharmaceuticals and life science, energy and chemicals, information and telecommunication, and semiconductors. In addition, SK Holdings is focused on reinforcing its growth foundations through profitable and practical management based on financial stability, while raising its enterprise value by investing in new future growth businesses. For more information, please visit http://hc.sk.co.kr/en/.
About LifeSci Venture Partners
Formed in 2017, LifeSci Venture Partners is the early stage investing arm of LifeSci Partners, a unique life sciences and healthcare consultancy formed in 2010. It focuses on pre-public institutional rounds of transformational healthcare companies managed by exceptional founder/entrepreneurs. Its most recent fund, LifeSci Venture Partners II, LP (the "Fund") was launched in 2020 and has made private investments in numerous companies with novel oncology and CNS expertise including Erasca, Athira Pharma, Allievex Corporation, Science 37 and Senti Bio. ELA Partners, LLC acted as exclusive placement agent for the Fund’s capital raise. For further information, please visit the company’s website at https://www.lifesciventure.com/.
Cenobamate was discovered and developed by SK Biopharmaceuticals and SK life science. While the precise mechanism by which cenobamate exerts its therapeutic effect is unknown, it is believed to reduce repetitive neuronal firing by inhibiting voltage-gated sodium currents. It is also a positive allosteric modulator of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) ion channel.
Cenobamate is approved in the United States as an anti-seizure medication (ASM) for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in adults, and is available under the brand name XCOPRI® (cenobamate tablets) CV. SK Biopharmaceuticals has an exclusive licensing agreement with Arvelle Therapeutics GmbH to develop and commercialize cenobamate in Europe and an exclusive licensing agreement with Ono Pharmaceutical to develop and commercialize cenobamate in Japan.
XCOPRI® is a registered trademark of SK Biopharmaceuticals Co., Ltd.
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1 LifeSci Venture Partners II, LP
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