Surprise Boehringer Decision Turns Hanmi Investors’ Hopes To Despair
Hanmi shares have gone on a wild roller coaster ride as bad news came after good. A day after it announced a huge licensing agreement with Genentech, the South Korean firm unveiled that Boehringer Ingelheim had decided to return rights to olmutinib, the EGFR inhibitor it licensed from Hanmi last July.
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Hanmi is set to focus on other assets in its innovative drug pipeline after it ends development of novel lung cancer drug olmutinib amid ZAI Lab’s recent cancellation of a licensing agreement with the South Korean pharma.
Hanmi Pharmaceutical shares fell sharply on the news Lilly has halted Phase II trials of the South Korean firm’s BTK inhibitor for rheumatoid arthritis. But Hanmi says its license contract remains intact and that the two firms are discussing the potential development of the molecule for other indications.
Strong global advances in biosimilars and progress in new drug development as well as clampdowns on illegal rebate payments have dominated headlines in South Korea in 2017.