Source: ALK Abello
ALK has announced a partnership with China’s Rellergen Biotech Inc., which grants ALK exclusive promotional rights to market Rellergen’s Bio-IC microfluidic allergen diagnosis technology to more than 190 hospitals across China.
Bio-IC microfluidic allergen diagnosis technology is also referred to as a ‘laboratory on a chip’ because it offers fast, convenient and inexpensive diagnosis of specific allergen sensitivities using a blood sample in a disposable cartridge which allows screening against up to 20 different allergens at a time, including food allergies. The Bio-IC system also includes compact screening and analysis apparatus, allowing patients a swift diagnosis of their allergen sensitivities.
Jacob Glenting, Vice President, International Markets, says: “The Bio-IC technology represents an important advance in a market where allergy diagnosis is a DKK 300 million a year business. It also allows ALK to broaden its product offering for allergists, while signaling our ability to identify key products and technologies that advance our strategy of expanding into adjacent business areas.”
ALK has been present in China since 2007 and is the market’s second largest allergy immunotherapy (AIT) company. The market potential in China is considerable given the large number of house dust mite (HDM) allergy sufferers, but access to AIT is currently restricted due to a lack of allergy diagnosis and treatment infrastructure.
Andrew Hui, General Manager, China, says: "This partnership opens new and complementary opportunities for ALK beyond China’s DKK 400 million AIT market. Bio-IC technology offers a major improvement in the allergy diagnosis process for patients in China because existing diagnostic methods either lack accuracy, are prohibitively expensive, or are unsuitable for use in typical clinics, meaning that test samples have to be sent away for screening – a process that can take weeks and drawing revenue away from the allergy clinics themselves."
The technology was originally developed by Taiwan-based Agnitio Biotech Inc., and is being com-mercialised in China by its sister company Rellergen, which is in the process of setting up a local manufacturing facility. Bio-IC was approved as an in vitro device by authorities in China in 2015. Expanding the partnership into other markets is currently being discussed.
While the AIT market pre-dominantly is a sublingual HDM market, ALK’s sales in China are centred around its subcutaneous treatment for HDM allergy, Alutard® HDM, as well as skin prick diagnostic tests. However, in 2018, ALK successfully completed a Phase I trial in China with ACARIZAX®, its sublingual HDM allergy tablet. Work continues with the aim of securing a future registration for ACARIZAX® in China, where the AIT market is expected to keep growing at a fast pace.
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ALK is a research-driven global pharmaceutical company focusing on allergy prevention, diagnosis and treatment. ALK is a world leader in allergy immunotherapy – a treatment of the underlying cause of allergy. The company has approximately 2,300 employees, with subsidiaries, production facilities and distributors worldwide. ALK has entered into partnership agreements with Torii, Abbott, and Seqirus to commercialise sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablets in Japan, Russia, and South-East Asia, and Australia and New Zealand, respectively. The company is headquartered in Hørsholm, Denmark, and listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen. Find more information at www.alk.net.
About Rellergen Biotech Inc.
Rellergen Biotech Inc., is registered in Jiangsu, China, and headquartered in China Medical City, Taizhou National Medical High-tech Development Zone. Its technology comes from its sister company, the Taiwan-based Agnitio Biotech Inc., which first registered the Bio-IC automated microfluidic allergen diagnosis technology in Taiwan in 2008.