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Hanmi’s once returned pipeline finds new partner in US

(Hanmi Pharmaceutical)
(Hanmi Pharmaceutical)
Hanmi Pharmaceutical licensed out HM12525A to American firm MSD on Tuesday as a nonalcoholic fatty liver treatment candidate -- a promising turn of events after the pipeline was returned by Janssen last year.

HM12525A, variably known as “LAPSGLP/Glucagon receptor dual agonist” and “efinopegdutide,” was first licensed out to Belgium’s Janssen in 2015 as a potential treatment for obesity and diabetes. Janssen later determined in 2019 to cease the research and return the partnership rights to Hanmi.

“We hope this new contract with MSD becomes an exemplary case of renewed innovation in the biopharmaceuticals industry, where the line between success and failure means little,” Hanmi said in the press release.

Instead of pursuing HM12525A as an obesity and diabetes drug, Hanmi and MSD will develop it as a once-a-week fatty liver treatment.

LAPSGLP/Glucagon receptor dual agonist is a pipeline that combines GLP-1, which helps to control insulin release and appetite, and Glucagon, which increases energy metabolism.

Hanmi has applied its original Lapscovery platform technology to this pipeline to enhance the drug efficacy duration.

Through this contract, MSD has exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize HM12525A in every country excluding Korea.

Hanmi will be paid $10 million by MSD, with up to $860 million in future milestone royalties. Should the pipeline complete all stages of research and development and successfully launch in the market, Hanmi will receive a two-digit percentage of sales royalties.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (