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PharmaCyte Biotech, Hai Kang Life Ink Deal for Coronavirus Dx Technology

NEW YORK — PharmaCyte Biotech said on Wednesday that it has licensed the rights to SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic technology from Hong Kong-based Hai Kang Life.

According to PharmaCyte, which develops cellular therapies for cancer and diabetes, the deal gives it the right to develop, use, and commercialize kits based on the technology in North America, the UK, and certain undisclosed European markets.

Hai Kang Life said it has developed an enhanced RT-PCR-based method for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid, which it offers at no cost to non-profit health organizations globally.

As part of its deal with the company , Laguna Hills, California-based PharmaCyte will pay Hai Kang Life a $6,000 monthly fee, which increases to $50,000 once the first kit receives regulatory clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration. PharmaCyte will also pay quarterly royalties equal to 10 percent of net product sales. PharmaCyte is also prohibited from selling a competing SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic during the term of the deal.

PharmaCyte will be responsible for development, regulatory, and commercialization activities, but said that it expects it will require a partner to validate the licensed technology. Hai Kang Life will handle product manufacturing and supply.

Additional terms were not disclosed.