China Sky One Medical (NSDQ: CSKI) has begun a $10 million cooperative effort with Taiwan Golden Biotechnology Corporation to develop a novel cancer drug, Antroquinonol. The drug is a stronger version of a TCM used in Taiwan; it will be tested as a treatment for liver and lung cancer. The two companies will develop the drug jointly, though China Sky One will have exclusive sales rights for mainland China.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Golden Biotechnology explained that Antroquinonol is an extract from Antrodia Cinnamomea Chang & Chou, a rare medicinal fungus that grows naturally inside the Cinnamonum kanehirae tree trunk. The tree is native to Taiwan. As a TCM, it has been used to eliminate toxins, protect the liver, improve the immune system, fight allergies, and reduce blood fat.
Golden Biotechnology discovered the use of Antroquinonol as an anti-cancer agent by accident. The effects were not apparent previously because the usual formulation of the TCM is too weak to be effective as a cancer-fighting tool. Using a more sophisticated extraction technique, Golden Biotechnology isolated pure Antroquinonol, which it has patented in 60 countries. The company added that it has completed pre-clinical work on Antroquinonol in the US, the UK and mainland China. The FDA has given its go-ahead to start clinical trials in the US.
China Sky One Medical will be Golden Biotechnology Corporation’s exclusive partner, helping with the drug application process. In the press release, it sounds as though the two companies will seek to sell rights to the drug in other markets, while China Sky One intends to sell the drug in mainland China. China Sky One said it expects SFDA approval within three years.
Although much of China Sky One Medical’s portfolio is comprised of OTC products and diagnostic tools, it paid $1.5 million to buy a breast lesion drug from Harbin Medical University last year. And, in a separate collaboration with Harbin Medical University, it developed a cancer drug, Endothelin-1, which is currently in development.