Dong-A ST Co. are stepping up efforts to develop new drugs.
The company has developed four new homegrown treatments and has been investing 10 percent of its sales in research and development (R&D) every year to achieve its goal to become a leading company with globally sold new medicines.
The company is pushing into the global market with its diabetes drug, Suganon. The drug was approved by the Korea health authorities as the 26th domestically made drug in 2015. Sales of Suganon came to 2.30 billion won (US$1.95 million) in the first half of this year, up 26.3 percent from a year ago. Dong-A ST has signed export contracts with 18 Latin American countries, including India, Nepal and Brazil, as well as Russia and Ukraine. It launched Suganon under the name of Valera in India in April. Dong-A ST set up a joint venture with TY Bio to develop Suganon as a treatment for calcific aortic valve disease.
The company is making progress in conducting clinical trials for major drug candidates in its pipeline. The phase 1 clinical trial for DA-1241, a diabetes treatment, is underway in the United States, while the phase 2 clinical trial for DA-9805, a treatment for Parkinson's disease, is also underway in the U.S. Dong-A ST is also running the phase 2 clinical trial for DA-8010, an oversensitive bladder treatment, in South Korea.
The company has completed the global phase 3 clinical study for antibacterial drug Sivextro on pneumonia. Earlier it licensed out the drug candidate to global pharmaceutical firm Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. (MSD). It also said that Japanese chemical research institute SKK has filed with the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare an application to manufacture and sell DA-3880, a biosimilar of a persistent red blood cell hematopoietic stimulant, last year.
Starting with a technology export of DA-4501, an immuno-oncology target therapy, to U.S.-based AbbVie Inc. in 2016, Dong-A ST has been focusing on development of new anti-cancer drugs. The company signed deals to develop three anti-cancer treatments last year alone, reinforcing its anti-cancer drug pipelines.
Dong-A ST has also signed an agreement with Japanese bio firm Takara Bio Inc. to develop and sell in Korea C-REV, an anti-cancer drug candidate, which Takara Bio is developing in Japan and the United States.
In addition, the company has signed an agreement with ABL Bio, a domestic biotech research company, to jointly develop an immunotherapeutic dual antibody anti-cancer drug, while it has signed a deal with Astrazeneca PLC to jointly research an immuno-oncology target therapy.