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HKSTP Biotechnology Companies Sanomics and Arbele Enter into a Strategic Partnership to Accelerate Cancer Treatment Development


04 Dec 2020


HKSTP biotechnology companies Sanomics and Arbele formed a strategic collaboration to accelerate cancer treatment development.  (From left to right)  Mr Stanley Sy, CEO at Sanomics Professor W. John Kao, Head of the Biomedical Technology Cluster at HKSTP Dr John Luk, Founder and President at Arbele

HKSTP biotechnology companies Sanomics and Arbele formed a strategic collaboration to accelerate cancer treatment development. 

(From left to right) 

  • Mr Stanley Sy, CEO at Sanomics
  • Professor W. John Kao, Head of the Biomedical Technology Cluster at HKSTP
  • Dr John Luk, Founder and President at Arbele 

Biomedical technology is one of the strategic focuses for HKSTP. There are approximately 150 biotech companies at the Hong Kong Science Park, a number which has grown significantly over the past few years.

Biomedical technology is one of the strategic focuses for HKSTP. There are approximately 150 biotech companies at the Hong Kong Science Park, a number which has grown significantly over the past few years. 

(Hong Kong, 4 December 2020) Biomedical technology companies Sanomics Limited (Sanomics) and Arbele Limited (Arbele), have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a strategic collaboration to accelerate cancer treatment development. The two companies based at the Hong Kong Science Park will work together to improve treatment options for patients with gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. 

The partnership will see the two Hong Kong companies join forces to develop companion diagnostic tests to readily identify CDH17-positive patients for ARB202 treatment. The goal is to deliver tests that will be available for clinical studies and commercial use, and ultimately covered by regulatory approvals in Hong Kong and the Mainland, to offer new treatment option for GI cancers.  

Sanomics develops and deploys innovative genetic and genomic technologies. It aims to provide safe and reliable liquid/ tissue-based genomic diagnostic tests for personalised cancer treatment solutions for patients across Asia. The company has extensive expertise and capability in researching, developing, manufacturing, and marketing companion diagnostics. Companion diagnostics are tests co-developed with drugs to aid in selecting or excluding patient groups for treatment for that drug, based on their biological characteristics to determine their responsiveness to therapy.  

Arbele is a biotech and biopharmaceutical company focused on inventing proprietary immunotherapeutic platforms to accelerate the development of antibody-based biologics to treat GI cancers and solid tumours. Arbele’s lead antibody, ARB202, binds to the CDH17 gene and the T-cell receptor antigen CD3, to effect cancer immunotherapy at tumour sites.  

Through Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) manufacturing and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) pre-clinical safety trials, ARB202 is an investigational new drug (IND) ready asset, promising to be a “first-in-class” innovative medicine for clinical trials to treat GI cancer patients in Hong Kong, China, and beyond

Professor W. John Kao, Head of the Biomedical Technology Cluster at Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), said “It’s fantastic to witness two local pioneers, Sanomics and Arbele, join forces to create a new paradigm in cancer treatment. We strive to accelerate the translation of promising biomedical research into revolutionary treatment that makes a real impact on healthcare. The partnership between Sanomics and Arbele is a great example to demonstrate the synergy created within our ecosystem. We will be launching a new open innovation platform MedICon to facilitate even more collaborations.” 

Mr Stanley Sy, CEO at Sanomics, said, “We’re delighted to be collaborating with Arbele, putting our expertise and resources together, to advance a new drug which can provide healthcare professionals with new treatment options, and hope to millions of people around the world. Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. By this motto, and the effort from HKSTP and all the talented companies in its ecosystem, I do believe we can drive Hong Kong biotech into a new chapter.” 

Dr John Luk, Founder and President at Arbele, said, “Leveraging the expertise and resources from Sanomics, this partnership established on the Science Park campus will certainly advance our CDH17 companion diagnostics regulatory approval and commercialisation from Hong Kong to Greater China markets. We’ll be together punching above our weight, to accelerate the development of treatment options for GI cancers, that have a high mortality rate and limited treatment options.” 

HKSTP is host to a dynamic innovation and technology ecosystem with a thriving cluster of biomedical technology companies. It offers world-class shared facilities across the city as well as initiatives to support the R&D of biotech startups and companies. Biomedical technology is one of the strategic focuses for HKSTP. There are approximately 150 biotech companies at the Park, which have grown significantly over the past few years.  

Sanomics is a member of HKSTP’s ELITE programme, an initiative which offers funding for high-potential tech companies with strong R&D capabilities from local and around the world, to set up operations at Hong Kong Science Park. Arbele is a graduate from HKSTP’s Incu-Bio, a four year incubation programme which provides comprehensive support, from connecting stakeholders in investment and regulatory processes to developing business plan as well as financial support and equipment to help biomedical startups develop and commercialise their innovations. 

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