Mesoblast Expands Partnership With Japan’s JCR Pharmaceuticals

Dually listed on Australian Securities Exchange and Nasdaq, Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB) has announced the partnership extension with Japan based JCR Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. for the treatment of skin disease.

Under the expanded license agreement, Mesoblast has given access of its broad patent portfolio for the use of mesenchymal stem cells in wound healing of patients with Epidermolysis Bullosa in Japan. While improving the long-term relationship with JCR, Mesoblast has secured the royalties to be earned on TEMCELL product sales for EB along with the access to essential data required for the development of MSC product candidate in the United States. 

Biotech company Mesoblast Limited told that under this extended partnership agreement, it has received the right to use safety and efficacy data generated by JCR in Japan in support of development and commercialization of its MSC product candidate remestemcel-L for EB and other non-healing wound indications in the United States and other major healthcare markets.

Now, Japan’s JCR Pharmaceuticals has received the orphan designation in the treatment of rare skin disease, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). It is due to the license to use allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) product TEMCELL HS Inj in the treatment of EB. Further, JCR intends to seek label extension for TEMCELL in Japan, based on investigator-initiated trial in the region. If extended it would mark the notable progress beyond the JCR’s existing approval for the treatment of acute graft versus host disease.

Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a skin disease that has several genetic and symptomatic variants. All these variants share the common symptom of fragile skin that blisters and tears from minor friction or trauma. It can widely affect the internal organs and bodily system as well. Over the period of time a greater number of people have been identified with the Epidermolysis Bullosa. As per the report of international branch of the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association (DEBRA International), there were approximately 25,000 cases within the United States as of April 2011.

Tracking down to the recent progress of the company, Mesoblast’s partnership with China’s Tasly Pharmaceuticals has been the major highlight. Just few days back in October Mesoblast has announced the US$40 million transaction with Tasly Pharmaceuticals that has acquired the right to develop, manufacture and commercialize Mesoblast’s cardiovascular cell therapies in China, including Mesoblast’s Mesenchymal Precursor Cell (MPC) candidates MPC-25-IC and MPC-150-IM. These products candidates are used for the prevention and treatment of severe heart diseases like heart attacks and heart failure.

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It marks the strategic investment and long-term partnership with China’s one of the largest pharmaceutical company Tasly Pharmaceutical Group. The transaction will provide upfront technology fees of US$20 million to Mesoblast while remaining US$20 million be received through investment in its equities.

Investors got bullish on Mesoblast as the company agreed to expand its partnership with Japan’s JCR. The stock price of Mesoblast rebounded from recent collapse to shoot as much as 2.439% high, closing at $1.890 on 24 October 2018. Whereas, in the past 12 months, the stock has witnessed a decent performance change of +9.82%.


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