"Can­cer is an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant health is­sue in APAC re­gion" Dr Shin­taro Nishimura, Pres­i­dente & Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer of Telix Ja­pan

BioSpectrum (Asia) - - Front Page - Aish­warya Venkatesh aish­warya.venkatesh@mmac­tiv.com

Aus­tralia’s Telix Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals is de­vel­op­ing an ad­vanced port­fo­lio of ra­dio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals prod­ucts that ad­dress sig­nif­i­cant un­met med­i­cal need in re­nal, prostate and brain (glioblas­toma) can­cer. Re­cently

Telix an­nounced the es­tab­lish­ment of its Ja­panese sub­sidiary and the ap­point­ment of the first two mem­bers of the Ja­panese lead­er­ship team. Speak­ing to BioSpec­trum Asia Mag­a­zine, Dr Shin­taro Nishimura, Pres­i­dent and Chief Op­er­at­ing

Of­fi­cer of Telix Ja­pan, elab­o­rated on APAC’s on­col­ogy mar­ket as well as op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges in the Ja­panese mar­ket for ra­dio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts.

Why was Ja­pan cho­sen as a des­ti­na­tion for ex­pan­sion?

Telix chose Ja­pan as a des­ti­na­tion for ex­pan­sion be­cause it is po­ten­tially a sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket for Telix’s prod­ucts.

His­tor­i­cally, Ja­pan has been slow to adopt ad­vanced nu­clear medicine due to re­stric­tions on im­port­ing nu­clear ma­te­rial, how­ever, re­cent health­care pol­icy de­vel­op­ments in the coun­try has rec­og­nized the cost- ef­fec­tive­ness of molec­u­larly-tar­geted ra­di­a­tion (MTR) tech­nol­ogy. As such, there is sig­nif­i­cant mo­men­tum to de­velop do­mes­tic ca­pac­ity to ad­dress the on­col­ogy needs of Ja­pan’s rapidly age­ing pa­tient pop­u­la­tion.

In light of th­ese macro fac­tors, there is sig­nif­i­cant com­mer­cial op­por­tu­nity for Telix in Ja­pan, and con­sid­er­able in­ter­est in our on­col­ogy pipe­line from lead­ing nu­clear medicine clin­ics. As such, the com­pany es­tab­lished a Ja­panese sub­sidiary in Jan­uary 2018, and we hope to use this high level of clin­i­cal en­gage­ment to ob­tain the ad­di­tional data re­quired to sup­port prod­uct ap­proval in Ja­pan in the fu­ture.

What ac­cord­ing to you are the ma­jor op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges for Telix prod­ucts in the Ja­panese mar­ket?

Ja­pan is the prospec­tively the sec­ond largest mar­ket for Telix’s prod­ucts after the United States due to its grow­ing can­cer pa­tient pop­u­la­tion. How­ever, one ob­sta­cle faced by ra­dio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies is the dif­fi­culty of im­port­ing ra­dioac­tive iso­topes into the coun­try. As such, there is sig­nif­i­cant clin­i­cal in­ter­est in the prospect of do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion of new med­i­cal iso­topes and, con­se­quently, novel imag­ing and ther­a­peu­tic ra­dio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts, es­pe­cially in on­col­ogy.

To ad­dress this is­sue, we were pleased to an­nounce that Telix signed a man­u­fac­tur­ing part­ner­ship with JFE En­gi­neer­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (JFE), an en­gi­neer­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany with ex­ten­sive ex­per­tise in ra­dio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing, in De­cem­ber 2017. This part­ner­ship will see the pro­duc­tion of 89Zr (Zir­co­nium) in mid-2018 - the first com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion of this iso­tope in Ja­pan. The Zir­co­nium iso­tope is crit­i­cal to Telix’s di­ag­nos­tic imag­ing port­fo­lio - par­tic­u­larly for TLX-250, our lead pro­gram for imag­ing for re­nal can­cer.

Please throw some light on Telix’s fur­ther ex­pan­sion plans

The com­pany’s growth strat­egy in­volves com­mer­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion and part­ner­ing with lead­ing ra­di­a­tion on­col­ogy and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies that have an ac­tive in­ter­est in Telix and the ra­di­a­tion on­col­ogy space gen­er­ally. Clin­i­cal and aca­demic col­lab­o­ra­tions are also im­por­tant; hence our re­cent an­nounce­ment with Memo­rial Sloan Ket­ter­ing Can­cer Cen­tre, one of the world’s lead­ing can­cer hos­pi­tals. We are also

se­lec­tively ex­pand­ing our port­fo­lio through se­lec­tive ac­qui­si­tions or ad­di­tional part­ner­ships, while also in­ves­ti­gat­ing in­di­ca­tion ex­pan­sion op­por­tu­ni­ties for as­sets within our ex­ist­ing port­fo­lio.

Please give us an over­view of Telix’s prod­uct pipe­line

Telix is an Aus­tralian bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany fo­cused on the de­vel­op­ment of di­ag­nos­tic and ther­a­peu­tic prod­ucts based on tar­geted ra­dio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals or molec­u­larly-tar­geted ra­di­a­tion (MTR). The com­pany is de­vel­op­ing an ad­vanced port­fo­lio of on­col­ogy prod­ucts that ad­dress sig­nif­i­cant un­met med­i­cal need in re­nal, prostate and brain (glioblas­toma) can­cer. The com­pany is listed on the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change as “TLX”.

The com­pany’s port­fo­lio of clin­i­cal pro­grams in­clude:

● TLX-250: for the di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment of re­nal (kid­ney) can­cer, which is the Com­pany’s lead pro­gram and cur­rently in Phase III and Phase II ● TLX-591: for the treat­ment of prostate can­cer, cur­rently in Phase II

● TLX-101: for the treat­ment of brain (glioblas­toma) can­cer, cur­rently in Phase I

How is the APAC mar­ket for on­col­ogy prod­ucts?

Can­cer is an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant health is­sue in the APAC re­gion given the age­ing pop­u­la­tion and changes to life­styles as­so­ci­ated with grow­ing eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and epi­demi­o­logic tran­si­tion, and this is es­pe­cially the case in Ja­pan. Ja­pan needs cost-ef­fec­tive ther­a­peu­tic tools and ra­dio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals have a very fa­vor­able cost­ben­e­fit equa­tion. Gen­er­ally speak­ing the global phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try has rec­og­nized the growth op­por­tu­nity for both di­ag­nos­tic and ther­a­peu­tic medicine in Asia’s health­care mar­ket. Asia re­mains price-sen­si­tive but the mar­ket is also un­der-served. In par­tic­u­lar, for Telix’s lead pro­gram TLX-250, the re­gion is es­ti­mated to have the fastest growth rate for the kid­ney can­cer drugs mar­ket – over 6% - due to the in­creas­ing pa­tient base and grow­ing dis­ease aware­ness. Prostate can­cer is also on the rise and part of our clin­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties in Ja­pan is bet­ter un­der­stand­ing the dif­fer­ences in prostate can­cer bi­ol­ogy be­tween “western” and Ja­panese men.

In gen­eral, Asian coun­tries have lower rates of kid­ney can­cer com­pared to North Amer­i­can and Euro­pean coun­tries, but Ja­pan shows higher in­ci­dences of the dis­ease – and most other can­cers – than other Asian coun­tries.

Dr Shin­taro Nishimura, Pres­i­dent and Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer of Telix Ja­pan

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