GI Innovation Obtains Patent in Japan for Drug Candidate GI-301 for the Treatment of Allergies

[Courtesy of GI Innovation]

SEOUL — A material patent for GI-301, a drug candidate for treating allergies developed by South Korean bio-venture company GI Innovation, has been filed in Japan, where pollen-allergic diseases are prevalent. The company is reportedly trying to speed up technology transfer to Japanese pharmaceutical companies.

GI-301 is a biological product for the treatment of allergic diseases, including atopic and chronic idiopathic dermatitis. Yuhan, a pharmaceutical and chemical company from South Korea, signed a contract worth about 20 billion won ($15 million) in 2020 to co-develop and sell GI-301 in overseas markets, except for Japan.

“Starting with the patent registration of GI-301 in Japan, we will do our best to achieve further technology transfer to Japan,” GI Innovation CEO Rhee Byung-geon said in a statement on the 18th. August, describing Japan as Asia’s largest allergy market. “More than one in four people suffer from pollen allergy symptoms caused by (Japanese) cedars.”

GI-301 is in Phase 1 clinical trials for healthy people with atopic dermatitis or subjects with mild allergic conditions. Preliminary results are expected by the end of 2022. “We are preparing to start clinical trials in Japan for various allergic indications next year,” said GI Innovation founder Jang Myoung-ho, in charge of the clinical development of new drugs.

The immune system overreacts to an allergen by producing antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE), a type of antibody that travels to cells. Allergic diseases are caused by histamine secretion when IgE is associated with fat cells or porcupines. GI-301 is a fusion protein that binds to IgE and prevents it from combining with obese cells.

In preclinical trials, GI-301 showed superior inhibitory effects to omalizumab sold under the trade name Xolair, which has been used to control severe allergic asthma, which does not respond to high doses of corticosteroids and less largely for chronic spontaneous urticaria.

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