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June 18, 2014
Source: Press release
SOTIO, a biotechnology company belonging to the PPF Group, today in a special ceremony opened its second laboratory facility for the production of active cellular immunotherapy against cancer diseases. After the Prague’s Holešovice, where in 2010 the company opened its first laboratories, this is the second locality in the world where SOTIO has developed so called cleanroom laboratories which meet international standards of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). In the initial stage, SOTIO will be producing in China therapeutical products for patients diagnosed with prostate and lung cancer. The gala opening took place at the presence of the Czech minister of health, Svatopluk Němeček.
Ladislav Bartoníček, the SOTIO CEO and a PPF shareholder, said: “I am glad that our modern technologies and know-how, based on many years of research conducted by Czech scientists in the field of immunotherapy, will contribute towards tackling the serious problem of the ever growing numbers of cancer diseases which afflict not only China, but the entire world.”
“The growing cooperation between China and the Czech Republic in the medical industry has brought new opportunities for a number of Czech companies. I hope that SOTIO will become a role model also for other Czech companies from outside of the biotechnology industry”, added Svatopluk Němeček, the Czech Republic’s health minister.
According to available statistics, the Chinese population is threatened mainly by the cancer of lungs, stomach and liver. More than a third of all newly diagnosed patients with lung cancer come from China, and it is predicted that by 2030, their numbers will grow further by 80%. Although unlike in Europe and North America, prostate cancer does not pose such a serious problem for the Chinese population, however its occurrence will more than double over the next 15 years. “Our lung cancer immunotherapy together with immunotherapy against prostate cancer will reach the first Chinese patients already this year as part of the cooperation programme with leading Chinese hospitals. We also hope that, in collaboration with our sister company, OriBase Pharma, we will launch a new method of treating liver cancer on the Chinese market in future,” added Ladislav Bartoníček.
The SOTIO laboratories in the Chinese capital of Beijing and their back-office facilities occupy area of more than 3500 square metres. So called cleanrooms, which meet the requirements of the highest cleanliness categories A and B, are situated in an area excessing 1000 square metres. The remaining premises, including training and quality control laboratories, occupy area of 2500 square metres. Seventy Chinese employees are now ensuring proper operation of the laboratories. Their number is expected to increase with full operational capacity to 200.
In May this year, SOTIO announced initiation of the VIABLE phase III international clinical trial focused on evaluation of active cellular immunotherapy with DCVAC/PCa in patients diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was for the first time in the modern history that a Czech company participated in late phase of the clinical drug development. Into this clinical trial, SOTIO plans to enrol around 1170 prostate cancer patients in 20 countries.