Oncology drug development company Celsion and Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Company have signed a memorandum of understanding for future development of ThermoDox, a heat-activated liposomal encapsulation of doxorubicin, and other liposomal formulations.

The companies will pursue ongoing collaborations for ThermoDox, including technology development and commercial supply agreements for the product in the Greater China Territory.

Celsion president and chief executive officer Michael Tardugno said Hisun serves multiple strategic purposes towards successful ThermoDox drug development and eventual product launch in the China market.

"Hisun represents an ideal strategic partner due to their regulatory and manufacturing expertise," Tardugno said.

"We will work very closely with Hisun to accelerate our drug development programme in China for ThermoDox in primary liver cancer and other indications."

"We will work very closely with Hisun to accelerate our drug development programme in China for ThermoDox in primary liver cancer and other indications."

Under the collaboration, Celsion will be provided with non-dilutive financing and the required investment to complete the technology transfer of proprietary manufacturing process and the production of registration batches for China from Hisun.

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Both the companies will collaborate on the clinical and regulatory approval activities for ThermoDox, in addition to other liposomal formations with the China state Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).

In addition, Hisun will obtain a right of first offer for a commercial license to sell and distribute ThermoDox in the territory.

Hisun CEO and chairman Hua Bai said: "This joint effort will not only focus on ThermoDox for HCC and other indications but will also facilitate the local manufacturing and potential product launch in China, providing physicians with more options for better care and prolonging the survival of patients."

In June 2012, both the companies signed a long-term commercial supply agreement for the production of ThermoDox, while a technology development agreement was inked in January this year.