NEW YORK – GC Cell and Rivaara Immune on Monday announced they have inked a licensing agreement for commercializing the autologous liver cancer cell therapy, Immuncell-LC, in India.
South Korea-based GC Cell has granted Rivaara the rights to develop and commercialize the treatment in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. In exchange, GC Cell — formerly Green Cross Cell — will receive an undisclosed upfront payment as well as commercial milestone payments, royalties on potential sales, and a partial stake of Mumbai-based Rivaara Immune. GC Cell will also remain the exclusive supplier of the media needed to produce Immuncell-LC.
The autologous cell therapy has been approved as a treatment for liver cancer in Korea since 2007, and more recently received orphan drug designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for liver, brain, and pancreatic cancer patients. The therapy consists of autologous, genetically modified cytokine-induced killer cells, which are reinfused into patients after a two-week incubation period.
Beyond the India-based licensing agreement, GC Cell CEO Dae-woo Park said in a statement that the firm is in close discussions with partners in China and the Middle East to expand access to the treatment. According to Park, GC Cell's efforts to grow Immuncell-LC's footprint overseas is rooted in the therapy's success within Korea, where it is the highest-selling anti-cancer immune cell therapy.