Hao Tian Development Group Limited (HKEX Stock Code: 0474, “Hao Tian Development” or “the Group”) a diversified investment holding company, through its subsidiary Aceso Life Sciences Holding Limited (“Aceso”), and Promethera Biosciences S.A./N.V. (“Promethera”) today announced that the companies have entered into an agreement to form a joint venture (“Joint Venture Company”).
Aceso and Promethera hold 60% and 40% of the equity in the Joint Venture Company, respectively. The Joint Venture Company is vested with the exclusive right to develop, register, distribute and commercialise Promethera’s therapeutic products in China and Southeast Asia. Indications in which the products will be deployed include; Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure (ACLF), Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), Urea Cycle Disorder (UCD), liver cirrhosis and various autoimmune diseases and cancers. Promethera will manufacture and supply the therapeutic products, and provide ongoing technical support during development and commercialisation. The Joint Venture Company will investigate opportunities for cooperation with Itochu Corporation.
The Asia-Pacific region is home to some of the world’s highest liver disease incidence and mortality rates. The number of deaths from liver cirrhosis reached 1.32 million globally in 2017, with China contributing 100,000 deaths and 7 million new patients annually. In addition, in 2018 there were 390,000 new cases of liver cancer in China, along with 370,000 liver cancer deaths, accounting for 47% of global liver cancer deaths. Hao Tian Development has been actively seeking opportunities to expand into the Life Science industry. The formation of the Joint Venture Company and the subsequent introduction of leading global cell therapy and antibody assets for the treatment of a wide variety of diseases in China and Southeast Asia marks a major milestone for the Group
About Promethera Biosciences S.A./N.V.
Promethera Biosciences S.A./N.V. was jointly founded in 2009 by Etienne Sokal, a member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine and a professor at Universite catholique de Louvain (Belgium), and Sopartec S.A., the technology transfer and investment company of Universite catholique de Louvain. Promethera is an innovative biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on developing liver disease cell therapies with the potential to reduce the need for liver transplantation. Promethera’s lead product candidate is HepaStem, a patented cell technology with immunomodulatory and anti-fibrotic properties. In addition to cell therapies (HepaStem and H2Stem), Promethera is actively developing an array of antibody-based therapeutics to provide patients with a complete suite of treatments for inflammatory disease and liver disease.
HepaStem is a stem cell biopharmaceutical, derived from healthy, ethically donated livers. The active ingredients of HepaStem are isolated and expanded at Promethera’s current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) manufacturing plant. HepaStem’s lead indications are Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure (ACLF), Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) and Urea Cycle Disorder (UCD). In 2019, HepaStem completed a European Phase 2a trial for use in ACLF, which was selected as a breakthrough discovery at the 2019 European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). HepaStem is currently being assessed in a potentially pivotal European Phase 2b trial for use in ACLF. Additionally, Promethera is preparing to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application in order to initiate European clinical trials assessing HepaStem’s efficacy in Covid-19 associated Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
Promethera’s other assets include; (1) H2Stem, a next-generation regenerative medicine derived from hepatobiliary mesenchymal progenitor cells, (2) Novotarg, a pre-clinical stage CD95/CD20 bispecific antibody for the treatment of cancer, and (3) Atrosimab, a pre-clinical stage TNF Receptor 1 monovalent antagonist antibody which will be deployed for the treatment of inflammatory disease and liver disease.
About Aceso Life Science Holding Limited
Aceso Life Science Holding Limited is a joint venture company established by Hao Tian Development Group Limited and Co-High Investment Management Company Limited, who hold 51% and 49% of the joint venture equity, respectively. Aceso Life Science’s primary business goal is to introduce leading global life science assets to Greater China and Southeast Asia by acquiring intellectual property and undertaking R&D, distribution and commercialisation.