LivTech Inc: Dr. Koji Nakamura & Dr. Toru Kanke on the Origins and Technology of LivTech




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Video title: LivTech Inc: Dr. Koji Nakamura & Dr. Toru Kanke on the Origins and Technology of LivTech
Released on: November 24, 2010. © PharmaTelevision Ltd
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  • Summary
  • Transcript
  • Participants
  • Company
In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, Fintan Walton talks to Dr. Koji Nakamura and Dr. Toru Kanke from LivTech. They discuss:

• Clinical projects and Functions of LIV2008

• Licensing agreement with Kyowa Hakko Kirin

• Business model and future partnering strategies
Origins and technology of LivTech
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here at the Japan Biotech Forum here at The Royal Society in London. On this show I have Koji Nakamura , who is the CEO of a company called LivTech and with him is his colleague Toru Kanke, who is the Senior Research and Development Manager, welcome to the show both of you.
Koji Nakamura:
Nice to meet you.
Toru Kanke:
Thank you for your invitation.
Fintan Walton:
So the first question I'd like to ask you Koji is that what is the origin of LivTech?
Koji Nakamura:
Yes so LivTech is relied on the academic and the public institute in Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan, we studied I was a research scientist in the Public Research Institute in Kanagawa named KAST (Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology), we studied about the liver, development and regeneration of tissue stem cells in the liver.
Fintan Walton:
So that is the basis for LivTech the understanding of stem cells and in particular the identification of antigens within the stem cells which have potential for therapeutic target?
Koji Nakamura:
Prospective target for the cancer therapy, we now have technology to purify the liver stem cells in the development developing liver and regenerating the liver and we examined research genes the potential target for the cancerstem cells from the normal tissue that protect our cells.
Clinical projects and Functions of LIV2008
Fintan Walton:
Could you tell us Toru Kanke little bit more about this the clinical development and the particular products that you are taking to the clinical research?
Toru Kanke:
Now we have pretty much exciting anti-pancreatic cancerantibody project, and our research code name is LIV2008 and we are focusing on as Dr Nakamura mentioned we are targeting potential cancerstem cells target molecules and LIV2008 case with anti OCDF1 antibody OCDF1 is our internal designated name for the molecule. The molecule itself is a well known molecule for more than 10 years, but we rediscovered it's functional potential function in cancerstem cellregulation and therefore we developed functional antibodies which can not only bind to the target molecules actually regulating its function, so we believe our antibody is very potential for the treatment for difficult pancreatic cancer treatment.
Fintan Walton:
So how does it actually regulate the function? Does it act as an antagonist it blocks it's function?
Toru Kanke:
It's very difficult question to answer at this point, but we have specific epitopes of our antibodies and which is likely regulating its molecular function, but at this point we can't say it is pure antagonist or may bind to inhibit association with some other molecules, it's too exciting to examined.
Fintan Walton:
Okay, so you know it's modulating the function in some way?
Toru Kanke:
Yes especially for in (indiscernable) activities we have very strong and inhibition with the naked antibody so it indicate our antibody is functionally inhibiting.
Licensing agreement with Kyowa Hakko Kirin
Fintan Walton:
And Dr Koji Nakamura, you've also got another molecule which I think you're very excited about, because you've now set up a licensing agreement with the Japanese pharma company could you tell me about that?
Koji Nakamura:
That project name is LIV1205, this is a humanized antibody for liver cancer and originally the target molecule named Dlk-1 it identified the cell surface marker of (indiscernable) progenitor cells, we licensed this drug candidate to Kyowa Hakko Kirin in 2008, we are expecting this antibody as a could be a could become a first-in-class drug candidate for the liver cancer.
Business model and future partnering strategies
Fintan Walton:
How do you see your company going forward, it's obviously successful in taking some products to preclinical, I assume that's your strategy is to take to preclinical and then partner with the companies is that correct?
Koji Nakamura:
Basically our specialty is identify the novel target from the stem cells and we are focusing on the target identifications through that generation of lead antibody drug candidate, our business model is license out at early stage.
Fintan Walton:
And so how do you see LivTech going forward in the next two or three-years, you're going to continue the research, look for more partners?
Koji Nakamura:
At present we are very small startup company, but I am going to expand those specialty identifications and novel unique target and then the regulation cancerstem cells and generate more our drug candidate that thereby we like to lead our company with international presence in the near future.
Fintan Walton:
Thank you very much indeed for both of you coming on the show. Thank you very much indeed.
Koji Nakamura:
Thank you very much.
Toru Kanke:
Thank you.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Koji Nakamura
President
Koji Nakamura Ph.D. is founder and chief scientist of LivTech Inc and has been leading the company from its start-up to one of the most promising biotechnology companies in Japan. Under his leadership and management, LivTech has to date brought in a generation of therapeutic lead antibodies with strong anti-tumor activities. He played a pivotal role in licensing out LivTech's first-in-class anti-tumor antibody, LIV 1205, to Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co Ltd. Prior to establishing LivTech in March 2004, Dr. Koji Nakamura conducted research under the Stem Cell Regulation Project at KAST (Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology) for five years, which forms the foundation of LivTech's research activities. This work followed on from his work on liver development at the Laboratory of Cellular biosynthesis, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at the University of Tokyo under the supervision of Professor Miyajima. His research career started at the Discovery Research Laboratories of Hoechst Marion Roussel Ltd. where he took on the role of a research scientist from 1995 to 1998. Dr. Koji Nakamura was awarded his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, following M.S. and B.S. studies in Biology at Kyushu University.
Toru Kanke
Lab Manager
Dr. Toru Kanke is an experienced scientist in pharmaceutical research. He worked in drug development projects as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and also as Manager and chief lab researcher of New Drug Research Laboratories, Molecular Biology Group at Kowa Company Ltd. He also conducted clinical development of medical devices as a Deputy General Manager of Regulatory & Quality Department in a biotech start-up company. Dr. Toru Kanke graduated from the University of Tokyo in Agricultural Biology (B.S. and M.S.) and was awarded his Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology from Strathclyde University in the U.K. where he worked and studied as a visiting scientist.
PharmaVentures
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
LivTech Inc
LivTech is a privately owned biotech company based in Kanagawa, Japan. LivTech was founded in 2004 in order to translate cutting-edge cancerstem cells research at KAST (Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology) into the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies targeting malignant tumors. It has developed a unique research platform that generates antibodies against target molecules involved in carcinogenesis and has patented a number of lead candidates that have been shown to have significant anti-cancer activity. LivTech has licensed one of its lead antibodies to Kyowa Hakko Kirin in 2008 and is currently seeking partnerships for assets in its pipeline. LivTech is committed to delivering new therapeutic antibodies to contribute to the global fight against -cancer.
LivTech Inc
LivTech is a privately owned biotech company based in Kanagawa, Japan. LivTech was founded in 2004 in order to translate cutting-edge cancerstem cells research at KAST (Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology) into the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies targeting malignant tumors. It has developed a unique research platform that generates antibodies against target molecules involved in carcinogenesis and has patented a number of lead candidates that have been shown to have significant anti-cancer activity. LivTech has licensed one of its lead antibodies to Kyowa Hakko Kirin in 2008 and is currently seeking partnerships for assets in its pipeline. LivTech is committed to delivering new therapeutic antibodies to contribute to the global fight against cancer.