Biocure CEO: Our CAR-T Biosimilar Technology is Helping Terminal Leukemia Patients Recover

Biocure Technology CEO Dr. Sang Mok Lee believes the products Biocure is developing for the healthcare industry further the company’s goal of bettering humanity.

Biocure Technology (CSE:CURE,OTCQB:BICTF) CEO Dr. Sang Mok Lee believes that the products that Biocure is developing for the healthcare industry further the company’s goal of bettering humanity.

In the interview below, Lee outlined the company’s biosimilar technology products as well as their CAR-T product, which is being tested for its efficacy in treating terminal leukemia patients. He also discussed his company’s plans to ensure that low income countries and families have access to the technology.

Below is a transcript of our interview with Biocure Technology CEO Dr. Sang Mok Lee. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Investing News Network: Please give our investor audience an overview of Biocure Technology and the work that it’s doing.

Biocure CEO Dr. Sang Mok Lee: Biocure is a Korean biopharmaceutical company that was established in 2005 and is focused on developing their proprietary technology and biosimilar products. In the past 13 years, Biocure has developed biosimilars, CAR-T cell therapy, growth factors and candidate material for cancer drugs. Among these products, the CAR-T cell therapy and our biosimilar product interferon Beta-1b are both expected to be introduced to the market between 2021 and 2022.

INN: What are biosimilars and what does the market for them look like? What benefits do they bring to the healthcare industry?

SML: In order to produce a biosimilar medicine, you must have your own technology for strain construction, cultivation and purification before you can conduct clinical trials. Proving the biosimilar identity is the same as the original biologics in efficacy and toxicity makes biosimilars quite different from generic chemical drugs. The technology and process can be an entry barrier for newcomers, but it can lead to higher profitability and steady revenue sales once they enter the market.

Unlike generic drugs, biosimilars contain a higher content of the original bio-transfer material that is similar to all of the referent biologics. They also have to undergo clinical trials, which creates a difference in the safety, potency and use of the drug in treatment. As a result, the biosimilar can have a lower price when compared to the original drug, which can be helpful for those who cannot afford the drugs typically associated with treating the disease.

INN: What biosimilar products is Biocure developing and what segment of the healthcare industry do these serve?

SML: We have three biosimilar products we have been developing that fall under the immuno-therapy and anti-cancer categories. Our first product, Interferon Beta 1b, is used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The second product, Ranibizumab, is used to treat macular degeneration. Finally, our third product, PEGfilgrastim, is used as a cancer combine therapy.

INN: Please explain CAR-T Cell therapy and the role of Biocure is playing in this market.

SML: CAR-T cell therapy is a chimeric antigen receptor treatment that rewires a patient’s T-cells so they will detect and attack cancer cell. The T-cells are taken from a patient’s bloodstream and are combined with the chimeric antigen receptor in the lab. After the T-cells and the receptor are combined, the patient receives the CAR-T cell therapy in an infusion. We’re currently looking at the effects our technology has in treating some types of cancer. We expect to start our clinical trials by the end of this year and we’ll be launching our product by 2022.

Even though our studies indicate that CAR-T cell therapy has a high cure rate for terminal stage leukemia patients, the treatment costs US$450,000. We’re hoping to lower our production costs so terminal stage leukemia patients can receive treatments at a lower cost. This plan coincides with our corporate philosophy, which values the contribution and dedication for the betterment of humanity.

INN: What is next for Biocure and how does that fit into the company’s long term plans?

SML: In the R&D sector, Biocure plans to go into market by getting our CAR-T cell therapy approved as an acute leukemia medicine and then develop this technology as a solid cancer treatment, Scientists who have witnessed the CAR-T cell therapy’s efficacy as a treatment for leukemia are using the technology for studying solid cancers, such as ovarian and colon cancer. Based on CAR-T cell technology, Biocure will continue to research and develop a treatment for stomach and lung cancer.

In the business sector, we will build production facilities to manufacture our biomedicine world-wide. Emerging countries would be our first priority. It has been a long-term goal to collaborate with local partners to build biomedicine production facilities on each continent, as most countries don’t have the technology needed to make biopharmaceuticals. We’d also like to supply biomedicine at an affordable price so more people can benefit from it.

CEO interviews are part of investor education campaigns for clients advertising on the Investing News Network. Important news is contextualized by CEOs, and the resulting interviews are disseminated to the Investing News Network audience because they have value to market watchers.

The Investing News Network interviews a CEO for an understanding of their perspective on the company, the investment potential of the company and market news related to the company. The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities.

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Cigar Lake was the largest producer of uranium in 2020. But what are the other top uranium mines? Find out here.

In 2020, world uranium mine production came to 56,287 tonnes of U3O8. Kazakhstan was the top-producing country by far at 19,477 tonnes, followed by Australia and Namibia.

Together, those three nations accounted for over two-thirds of uranium mining, with Kazakhstan taking a 41 percent share. Additionally, a wide variety of uranium-mining companies contribute to the world's production.

But where in the world are the top uranium mines? While many of them are located in Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia, that's not the case for all of the largest uranium mines.


To give investors a better idea of where the top uranium mines are located and where the nuclear fuel comes from, the Investing News Network has put together a list of the 10 biggest uranium mines in the world, based on the latest statistics and information from the World Nuclear Association. Read on to learn more about uranium miners, plus uranium reserves and uranium exploration.

1. Cigar Lake

2020 production: 3,885 tonnes

Northern Saskatchewan-based Cigar Lake is number one on this list of the world's top uranium mines. It is known for being the highest-grade uranium mine, with an average grade of 14.69 percent U3O8.

Uranium miner Cameco (TSX:CCO,NYSE:CCJ) owns 50 percent of Cigar Lake and is the mine's operator. Ore from the underground mining property is processed at Orano's McClean Lake mill, located 70 kilometers from the mine.

Throughout 2020, operations were halted and started only to be halted again by a series of coronavirus outbreaks. Cameco restarted uranium production in April 2021 only to have to again close up shop temporarily in July 2021 as fires in the region led to evacuations.

Cigar Lake was commissioned in 2014 and began commercial uranium production in May 2015. It accounted for 8 percent of global uranium output in 2020. Orano (37.1 percent), Idemitsu Uranium Exploration Canada (7.875 percent) and TEPCO Resources (5 percent) also hold stakes in the mine.

2. Husab

2020 production: 3,302 tonnes

The Husab open-pit uranium mine in Namibia is owned by Swakop Uranium, a partnership between China and Namibia. Epangelo Mining Company, a Namibian state-owned entity, owns 10 percent of Swakop, while Taurus Minerals holds the other 90 percent; Taurus itself is owned by China General Nuclear Power Group and the China Africa Development Fund.

According to the Namibia Uranium Association, Husab represents China's single largest investment in Africa. Husab was discovered in 2008, and produced its first drum of uranium oxide for export in December 2016. As of 2020, the operation accounted for 7 percent of global uranium production.

3. Olympic Dam

2020 production: 3,062 tonnes

Next up on this list of top uranium mines is the Olympic Dam mine, which is owned by BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BHP). The mine produces copper, along with uranium, gold and silver. Olympic Dam, which has underground and surface operations, plus a fully integrated processing facility, has been in action since 1988, and in 2020 its output accounted for 6 percent of the world's uranium production.

Australia has the largest uranium reserves in the world, and holds about 30 percent of potential global supply. As mentioned, in 2020 the country was the world's second largest producer behind Kazakhstan.

4. Inkai, sites 1 to 3

2020 production: 2,693 tonnes

The in situ recovery Inkai uranium mine is a joint venture between Cameco (40 percent) and uranium miner Kazatomprom (LSE:KAP) (60 percent). Inkai accounted for 6 percent of the world's uranium output in 2020.

Kazatomprom's operations have been impacted by COVID-19, with the company announcing in early April 2020 that it would be reducing operational activities at all of its mines in Kazakhstan for several months. In August, the company resumed operations, but said its planned production levels through 2022 would decrease by 20 percent.

5. Karatua (Budenovskoye 2)

2020 production: 2,460 tonnes

The in situ recovery Budenovskoye 2 operation, located in Kazakhstan at the Karatau mine, produced 5 percent of the world's uranium in 2020. The Karatau mine is owned by the Karatau joint venture, a Kazakh-registered limited liability partnership that is held by uranium producer Kazatomprom and Uranium One.

Uranium One is a subsidiary of ROSATOM, Russia's state-owned nuclear energy company. Uranium One takes care of ROSATOM's uranium output outside Russia.

Karatau started producing in 2009, and the joint venture has the right to carry on exploration, mining and sales operations at Budenovskoye 2 under a long-term subsoil use contract with Kazakhstan.

6. Rö​ssing

2020 production: 2,111 tonnes

The Namibia-based Rössing uranium mine was responsible for 4 percent of the world's production in 2020. The open pit has operated since 1976 and was the country's first commercial uranium mine.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) was the company that brought Rössing into production, but it is no longer involved in the mine. In November 2018, Rio Tinto announced that it would be selling its majority stake of 68.62 percent, and it completed the sale in July 2019. Rio Tinto sold its share of Rössing to China National Uranium.

Aside from China National Uranium, a number of companies have interests in Rössing. The Namibian government has 3 percent, the Iranian Foreign Investment Company has 15 percent, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa owns 10 percent and individual shareholders own the rest.

7. SOMAIR

2020 production: 1,879 tonnes

SOMAIR is a subsidiary of uranium producer Orano that operates in Niger; it is 63.4 percent owned by Orano and 36.66 percent owned by Sopamin, the state agency that manages mining in Niger. SOMAIR is responsible for a large uranium mine, as is Cominak, another nearby Orano subsidiary in Niger. SOMAIR began production in 1971.

Uranium mining will begin at a third site near SOMAIR and Cominak when market conditions are more favorable. SOMAIR produced 4 percent of the world's production for uranium in 2020.

8. Four Mile

2020 production: 1,806 tonnes

Quasar Resources' Four Mile in situ leach operation is the second top uranium mine in Australia. The high-grade, roll-front deposit was discovered in 2005 about 8 kilometers from the formerly producing Beverly uranium mine. Construction of the mine began in December 2013, followed by commercial production in June 2014.

Four Mile produced 4 percent of the world's production for uranium in 2020. The deposit is also prospective for iron-oxide copper-gold mineralization.

9. South Inkai (Block 4)

2020 production: 1,509 tonnes

The South Inkai in situ mine is another property held jointly by Uranium One (indirect 70 percent) and Kazatomprom (30 percent). Production began at South Inkai in 2009 and it accounted for 3 percent of the world's uranium production in 2020.

10. Kharasan 1

2020 production: 1,455 tonnes

Kharasan is an in situ leach operation in the Syr Darya basin of the Kyzylorda region in Kazakhstan. The uranium mine is owned by Kazatomprom (33.98 percent) and Uranium One (30 percent). A consortium of Japanese utilities and a trading company hold the remainder.

Commercial production at Kharasan began in 2013, and in 2020 the operation accounted for 3 percent of the world's uranium production.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

The investigation of psychedelic drugs for their medical benefits is attracting investors. How does the leading US drug agency feel?

The development of the psychedelics industry depends on myriad factors, but one of the most critical is its relationship with a principal medical authority.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the leading authority for drug approvals in the US. This federal body determines whether medical products will ultimately reach the hands of patients.

The FDA reviews the clinical data created by established medical studies evaluating the feasibility of drug compounds or products as treatments for specific ailments.


As a federal agency, the FDA has to adhere to federal policy for drugs in the US. The country's national drug-scheduling system provides data on all kinds of drugs and the regulations they must follow.

Several psychedelic compounds currently find themselves in the Schedule I category, which receives the heaviest scrutiny in the eyes of federal authorities. Cannabis is also listed in this segment.

If this is the case, then why are companies in the psychedelic drug development space pursuing clinical studies and looking for FDA approval? Interestingly, despite the legal status of these drugs, the FDA isn't so closed off that it won't examine their potential.

During the first Prohibition Partners LIVE online event, Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), told the audience he sees the FDA as an engaged partner in conversations surrounding the construction of clinical trials with psychedelic agents.

Doblin added that he perceives the FDA as a regulatory agency willing to put science over politics when it comes to the medical benefits of psychedelics. MAPS is investigating the use of MDMA as a method of psychotherapy for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.

In 2017, this psychedelics-based method was granted "breakthrough therapy" designation by the FDA in a move that represented a change in the drug authority's perspective.

In October 2021, Doblin said MAPS expects to finish its second Phase 3 trial of MDMA in October 2022.

MAPS is a non-profit organization that is not looking to change its status anytime soon. While the group does take donations, investors looking to play the market are interested largely in public companies.

In late 2020, the psychedelics investment market saw excitement when Compass Pathways (NASDAQ:CMPS) listed directly onto a senior US stock exchange.

Similar to MAPS' method, the work done by Compass Pathways has also received support from the FDA. In 2018, the company confirmed the receipt of "breakthrough therapy" designation from the FDA for its study of treatment-resistant depression (TRD) using psilocybin. In November 2021, Compass Pathways reported positive topline data from a completed Phase IIb clinical trial of psilocybin therapy for TRD. The company also announced that it is beginning a Phase II psilocybin therapy trial for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Significance of changing mentality on psychedelics

A report by Psychedelic Support highlights the fact that the FDA and National Institutes of Health have commented on the medical benefits associated with psychedelics-based treatments.

"The message was clear. The FDA will evaluate risk-benefit profile of psychedelic substances in the same way as other investigational drugs," the report indicates.

According to the report, the agency's requirements for clinical trial designs highlight the following specifications:

  • How psychedelics work in a particular setting.
  • Timing of administration.
  • Structured approach or will multiple approaches work?
  • How fast does symptom reduction occur and how long are symptoms decreased?
  • Do people relapse, and if so can the drug retrieve them from relapse?

Investor takeaway

From the information currently available, it's clear that one of the biggest drug authorities in the world appears to be slowly but surely increasing its support of psychedelics.

What's more, the medical indications show a promising market that is already garnering support among investors. The psychedelics space looks set to continue developing as more companies come to market.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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