Hikma and Rakuten Medical sign exclusive licensing agreement for AlluminoxTM platform cancer treatment for the Middle East and North Africa

London, UK, 10 August 2023 – Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (Hikma), the multinational pharmaceutical company, today announces an exclusive licensing and commercialisation agreement with Rakuten Medical, Inc. (Rakuten Medical), a global biotechnology company developing and commercialising precision, cell targeting therapies based on its proprietary Alluminox™ platform.

Press Release Business Development 10 August 2023

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Under the terms of the agreement, Hikma has an exclusive license to commercialise products in Rakuten Medical’s pipeline using its photoimmunotherapy technology platform, Alluminox™, in all its MENA markets.

Commenting on the agreement, Mazen Darwazah, Hikma’s Executive Vice Chairman and President of MENA, said: “This agreement allows us to work with an excellent global partner to strengthen our growing portfolio in oncology and biotechnology. Most importantly, this allows us to bring a potentially transformative technology to cancer patients in MENA, helping to put better health within reach, everyday.”

Mickey Mikitani, Co-CEO of Rakuten Medical, added: “We are already developing Alluminox™ treatment in several countries and regions, including the United States, Japan, Taiwan, and India, and this agreement further accelerates our global expansion. With Hikma's strong regional footprint and medical expertise, we expect the Alluminox™ platform to make significant progress in MENA.”

About Alluminox™ platform[1] 

The Alluminox™ platform is an investigational technology platform based on a cancer therapy called photoimmunotherapy, which was developed by Dr. Hisataka Kobayashi and team from the National Cancer Institute in the United States. Rakuten Medical is developing the Alluminox™ platform as a technology consisting of a drug, device, and other related components. The drug component of the platform consists of a targeting moiety conjugated with one or more dyes leading to selective cell surface binding. The device component consists of a light source that locally illuminates the targeted cells with light to transiently activate the drug. Pre-clinical data have shown that this activation elicits rapid and selective necrosis of targeted cells through a biophysical process that compromises the membrane integrity of the targeted cells. Therapies developed on the Alluminox™ platform may also result in local and systemic innate and adaptive immune activation due to immunogenic cell death of the targeted cancer cells and/or the removal of targeted immunosuppressive cells within the tumor microenvironment. Outside of Japan, Alluminox therapies have not yet been approved by any regulatory authority.

[1] Rakuten Medical’s therapies based on Alluminox™ platform are investigational outside of Japan, and are not approved in MENA for investigational or commercial use

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