Cartherics grants Shunxi Licence for CAR-T Cell Therapy for Ovarian Cancer in Greater China

Melbourne, Australia, 28 April 2023 –  Cartherics Pty Ltd (“Cartherics”), a biotechnology company developing immune cell therapies for the treatment of cancer, announced today that it has granted Shunxi Holding Group Co Ltd (“Shunxi”) a licence to develop, manufacture and commercialise Cartherics’ autologous CAR-T cell product, CTH-004, for the treatment of multiple solid tumours including ovarian cancer in Greater China.

CTH-004 has shown promising results in animal models of ovarian cancer and will be evaluated in a clinical trial under a research and development collaboration with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, announced earlier this year.

Globally, approximately 314,000 new ovarian cancer cases and 207,000 deaths occurred in 2020.[1] In China, a recent study revealed that the burden of ovarian cancer has shown an obvious upward trend in the past 30 years, and the increase rate accelerated significantly in recent 5 years. In the next decade, ovarian cancer burden in China will continue to rise at a higher rate than the global level.[2]

There is a significant clinical need for new treatment options for patients with ovarian cancer. Cartherics CEO, Alan Trounson AO, commented: “We are pleased to see this potentially effective therapy for ovarian cancer being adopted and trialled in China where there are many women suffering the heavy burden of ovarian cancer. We hope that women worldwide will benefit from this therapy.”

Chairman of Shunxi Holding Group, Mr Xia Jie, believes that this CAR-T cell product co-developed by Cartherics and Shunxi will explore a new path for treating recurrent ovarian cancer since ovarian cancer has high rates of recurrence.

This agreement provides Shunxi Holding Group a licence to develop, manufacture and commercialise CTH-004 for Greater China (Including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan), as well as an option to negotiate rights to other CAR-T products that incorporate the licenced IP. The structure of the agreement involves a licence fee, milestone payments and royalties.

Dr. Shu Runzhe, Cartherics’ deputy CSO, will join Shunxi to lead the pre-clinical and clinical development of CTH-004 in China. Cartherics and Shunxi will share CTH-004 pre-clinical and clinical data in future. Cartherics retains all development and commercialisation rights for CTH-004 outside Greater China.




About Cartherics

Cartherics is a privately held biotechnology company based in Melbourne, Australia that is rearming the body’s immune system to fight cancer.  It is developing cell-based immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, with a portfolio of CAR-T and CAR-NK cell products.  The Company’s allogeneic (“off-the-shelf”) cell platform is based upon induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated from donated cord blood that can be differentiated into NK cells, T cells and other cells of the immune system.  The iPSCs are genetically engineered to provide enhanced function for the derived NK and other immune cells.


The Company is also developing autologous CAR-T cell therapies. These use the patient’s own immune system T cells, which are modified to be effective against the patient’s cancer cells.  CTH-004 is created by genetically modifying patient T cells to insert a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) to target a marker (TAG-72) on ovarian cancer cells and delete genes that are involved in suppression of T cell function.



About Shunxi Holding Group

Shunxi Holding Group is a group company headquartered in Shanghai, China, specializing in medical services and innovative drug development, committed to improving the quality of life for every Chinese person. The Regenerative Medicine sector under the Group is the operator of “Yunnan Stem Cell Bank” and “Yunnan Ethnic Minority Biological Sample Bank”. It has built the largest stem cell bank in southwest China, and leads the industry in the field of mesenchymal stem cell clinical translation research in China. The Medical Service sector invested by the group includes health examinations and third-party medical testing, providing high-quality and efficient medical services to tens of millions of Chinese people every year.


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