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South Korean Pharmaceutical Companies Expand Tech Exports of New Drug
Drugs Everywhere
South Korean Pharmaceutical Companies Expand Tech Exports of New Drug
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • July 6, 2015, 06:00
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As domestic pharmaceutical companies have started gaining recognition of their new drug development capabilities overseas, they are expanding technology exports. As products newly-released abroad through technology exports are receiving a positive consumer response not only in emerging countries, including Latin American and Southeast Asia, but also in advanced countries, including the U.S., the companies are expecting to receive royalties in earnest.

According to industry sources on July 5, new Korean medicines, including Dong-A ST’s Sivextro and Boryung Pharmaceutical Company’s Kanarb, are selling well in newly-entered global markets.

The sales of Sivextro, an antibiotic targeting super-bacteria developed by Dong-A ST and technically exported to multinational pharmaceutical companies, are continuously increasing since it hit the U.S. market in June last year. The amount of prescription of the product in the U.S. has increased from US$880,000 (988.68 million won) in the third quarter last year right after the release to US$1.84 million (2.07 billion won) in the first quarter this year. The figure is steadily reaching a record high, recording US$768,000 (862.85 million won) in May alone.

Compared with its competitors, Sivextro is very effective and easy to take. Also, huge multinational pharmaceutical companies like MSD and Bayer have sales rights, so the sales of the product are expected to continuously increase. In March, the company was licensed to sell the product in Europe, too. Also, the product is currently undergoing phase three clinical trials in China.

Boryung Pharmaceutical’s hypertension pill Kanarb has been approved for sale in Mexico in Sept. and Ecuador in Dec. last year, in Honduras in April and Costa Rica in June this year. Within this year, the company is planning to receive approval and start sales in the remaining countries in Latin America.

Until now, Boryung Pharmaceutical has signed contracts worth nearly US$320 million (359.52 billion won) with 30 countries around the world to export Kanarb technology. The company has been focusing on emerging countries until now, such as Latin America and Southeast Asia, but will start tapping into advanced markets, including Japan and Europe, from the second half of the year.

LG Life Sciences' diabetes treatment Zemiglo, which will be selling in 120 countries through multinational pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and Stendhal International, is also expected to receive royalties in earnest from next year. Also, other domestic pharmaceutical companies that signed large export contracts with international pharmaceutical companies including Hanmi Pharmaceutical (novel targeted agents against cancer and autoimmune disorders), SK Chemical (next-generation pneumonia vaccine), Daewoong Pharmaceuticals (new botulinum toxin formula Nabota) and JW Holdings (three-chamber nutrient infusion), are expected to make profits from royalties in the global markets.