In March of this year Dong-A Pharmaceutical Company separated its research center into two parts: Dong-A Socio Holdings Research Center and Dong-A ST Research Center. It also established a new research laboratory for revolutionary medicine in the research center of a shareholding company, all in order to boost the development of new medicines. Since then, the shareholding company has been in charge of developing new revolutionary medicines and new biopharmaceuticals, while Dong-A ST Research Center has been in charge of testing and releasing the medicine developed in this way.
The establishment of a research center for revolutionary medicine represents a transformation from a Fast Follower into a Fast Mover. Through this transformation, the company looks forward to closing the innovation gap between itself and pharmaceutical companies of advanced nations, while becoming more competitive in the global market. In order to achieve this, Dong-A Socio Holdings recruited Doctor Yoon Tae-young, who previously worked at the world’s 2nd best transnational pharmaceutical company Novartis Research Center. A medication chemistry research team and a molecular pharmacology research team were formed with about twenty researchers.
The research center plans on expanding its size to over 50 researchers and to begin international joint research projects to export technologies by creating and licensing at least one global revolutionary medicine by 2015. By 2020, it will invest in new revolutionary medicine continuously to license 8 revolutionary substances, three of which will be developed directly by the research center. The center is also focusing on researching cures for Alzheimer’s disease, anti-cancer drugs, and pain relievers.
Dong-A Socio Group’s efforts to create a new medicine started in 1977 with the foundation of the research laboratory and continued in 1994 with the development of a cure for multiple myeloma called Interferon Alfa. In 1999 it released Leucostim as an adjuvant chemotherapy, and Growtropin as a 2nd generation growth hormone. In 2002, the first new medicine to cure gastritis, called Stillen, was released. By 2005, the Group released a second new medicine, Zydena as an erectile dysfunction treatment. Stillen and Zydena were deemed successful, combining both marketability and medicinal effects. Zydena, Korea’s first erectile-dysfunction cure, shows especially high potential to become the next global medicine. It recently passed its third clinical trial with Warner Chilcott Company in the US and is preparing for an item grant application with the US FDA. In August 2011, Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group, the largest pharmaceutical company in China, signed an exclusive sales contract for this medicine. In December, Meiji Seika Pharma of Japan signed a licensing contract for the medicine as a cure for prostatism.
After the success of Stillen and Zydena, Dong-A released its third new medicine, Motilitone, to cure functional dyspepsia. Motilitone is made of morning glory seeds with a natural substance extracted from a corydaline tuber, and has no side effects. This drug clearly improves gastric emptying while reducing internal hypersensitivity reactions.
The super bacteria antibiotic DA-7218 technology exported to Trius Therapeutics of the US, a company specialized in developing antibiotics, also successfully passed its third clinical trial and is preparing for an item grant application with the US FDA. This antibiotic needs to be taken only once a day and cures symptoms in 5 to 7 days. It is expected to be more convenient and more affordable for patients. The goal is to release the 2014 super bacteria antibiotic worldwide.
Dong-A Socio Group is also picking up on its development of biopharmaceuticals. It has founded a bio-industrial complex, and in September 2011 cooperated with Meiji Seika Pharma of Japan to develop biosimilars, then formed a business promotion bureau to increase professionalism, all to expand its biopharmaceutical development. Through animal cell culture technology constructed by developing Eporon (EPO), Growtropin (hGH), Leucostim (G-CSF), and Gonadopin (FSH), Dong-A is developing Interferon-Beta, hemophilia cures, and more. Sustained release agents (hGH, G-CSF) converted into a once a week injection type is undergoing clinical trials. It is also spurring the development of DNA cures, antibody cures as the next generation, new technology products. A recombinant protein medicine is in its third clinical trial phase as a cure for anovulation and infertility. A multiple sclerosis medicine and a DNA medicine cure for brain cancer are undergoing first clinical trial phases. Cures for gaucher disease, hemophilia, and anemia are undergoing pre-clinical trials.