Drugmaker Taiwan Liposome Co (TLC, 台灣微脂體) yesterday said that its new drug for liver cancer is about to enter phase two clinical trials in Taiwan and China.
The company has submitted an application for Lipotecan to be put under expedited review in China, and the company is set to start phase two trials after it receives approval, Taiwan Liposome president George Yeh (葉志鴻) said.
The company plans to launch the drug first in China and Taiwan. It is designed to be used as the second-line drug prescribed by doctors after patients have developed resistance to the first-line liver cancer medicine Nexavar, Yeh said.
Taiwan Liposome expects the drug to complete the first stage of phase two clinical studies by early next year, when it plans to license the drug to other companies or invite new partners to conduct further studies, Yeh said.
The company plans to recruit 62 patients for the trials, according to Yeh. He did not disclose the amount of money the company plans to spend on the trials.
Taiwan Liposome was in talks with China to conduct phase two trials for Lipotecan to replace FOLFOX, a chemotherapy medicine most commonly used in China as the first-line drug to treat liver cancer, Yeh said.
Only 2 to 3 percent of liver cancer patients in China take Nexavar because the drug costs US$30,000 to US$40,000 for treatment, while FOLFOX is more affordable, Yeh said.
According to Yeh, sales of Nexavar in China are about US$100 million to US$150 million a year.
Taiwan Liposome estimated that a new cancer drug like Lipotecan could generate sales of around US$150 million to US$200 million a year.
Commenting on the recent correction in share-prices for new domestic drugmakers, Yeh said the company’s primary concern was to live up to its promises for the next two to three years.
If we are not planning to raise money in the capital market, declining shares will have less of an effect on our business,” Yeh said, adding that the company currently has NT$3.2 billion (US$106.67 million) of cash at hand.
“We estimate that Taiwan Liposome will swing back into the black after we launch the new drug for a full year in one region which could be China, Europe, the US or Japan,” Yeh said.
Last quarter, the company reported losses of NT$129.72 million, or NT$2.37 per share, compared with losses of NT$6.09 million, or NT$0.14 per share, a year ago, but the company forecast losses would be lower in the upcoming quarters.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
‘SWARM TECH’: Joint venture FARobot is to develop autonomous mobile robots that would first be deployed in Hon Hai’s factories to optimize production efficiency Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Adlink Technology Inc (凌華科技) have formed a robotic venture that aims to use “swarm technology” to create robots that can communicate with one another on the factory floor to optimize production efficiency. Hon Hai is Apple Inc’s leading iPhone assembler and the world’s largest contract electronics maker, while Adlink supplies industrial computers and Internet of Things solutions. Through a subsidiary, Hyield Venture Capital Co (鴻揚創投), Hon Hai holds a 51 percent stake in autonomous mobile robot (AMR) developer FARobot (法博智能移動), while Adlink owns the remaining 49 percent. Together, the two companies put up NT$200