LG Life Sciences Ltd. (LGLS) ranks top in exports among Korean pharmaceutical companies. In 2008, the company received the US$100 million (107.81 billion won) Export Tower Award. It was also the first domestic pharmaceutical company to pass this milestone. Last year, LGLS exported about 150 billion won (US$139.13 million) of its medicine to 70 countries around the world. Its overseas sales account for more than 40 percent of its total sales and the company is planning to raise the figure to 45 percent this year.
The company has recently established a global business sector and included overseas business and business development, accelerating to enter overseas markets. With the company strengthening direct management in the existing foreign subsidiaries in India, China and the Middle East, LGLS is in the process of establishing foreign subsidiaries in major hub nations, including Thailand, with emerging markets as the center.
The LG Group established LG Life Sciences in 2002. Based on a lavish investment of 20 percent of its sales every year, the company succeeded in the first commercialization of a number of biopharmaceuticals in the domestic market. Also, its synthetic medicines were the first in Korea to have been approved by the FDA in the U.S., establishing a foothold to enter global markets in earnest.
LGLS’ best-known export product is Euvax B, a hepatitis B vaccine. This product makes up 50 percent of U.N. relief aid in the hepatitis vaccine sector. Until now, the company has exported to about 70 countries in the world, and the accumulated exports have reached about US$200 million (215.62 billion won).
Factive, a quinolone antibiotic product, is the first new drug developed in Korea to receive approval from the FDA in the U.S. With a partnership with Oscient Pharmaceuticals in the U.S., its safety is guaranteed with more than 2 million prescriptions in the U.S. Factive is currently licensed to sell in 23 countries in the world, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Russia, China, Brazil, and Turkey. Along with 13 top pharmaceutical companies in the area, such as Pfizer (Mexico), Abbott (Canada), Menarini (Europe), Livzon (China), and Rigen (Japan), LGLS is in the process of commercializing the product in 50 countries around the world. The product ranks top in sales of quinolone antibiotic products in Jordan, and its sales are showing a remarkable increase in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico.
Also, LGLS’ DTP-HepB-Hib is the first pentavalent mixed vaccine developed in Korea. The product received a quality certification from the World Health Organization last year, so the company can bid and supply to international agencies run by UNICEF and PAHO, the affiliated organizations of the United Nations. Therefore, overseas sales of the product will begin from this year.
In particular, the KFDA has recently approved the manufacture and distribution of LGLS’ diabetes treatment, Zemiglo, the main substance of which is gemigliptin. This product is the first diabetes treatment developed solely by the company. Zemiglo is on sale from this year. Also, LGLS succeeded in the development and commercialization of Euhib, a vaccine for encephalomeningitis, for the first time in Korea.
Partnering with Sanofi-Aventis, which has the global marketing capabilities and sales networks in the emerging markets and diabetes treatments, LGLS is expecting to see an increase in overseas sales and profits of Zemiglo in earnest. While LGLS is providing Zemiglo as well as materials and finished composite goods, Sanofi is in charge of getting licenses to sell and sales in 79 countries around the world, including Russia, the Middle East, India, and Africa. Therefore, Zemiglo is expected to enter the global diabetes market soon.
The company also created the first commercialized vaccine for encephalomeningitis, Euhib, and signed a comprehensive cooperation contract for the supply of complete products, development in China, sales, and licensing with Tianjin Pharmaceuticals Group in China last year.
LGLS is planning to boost its sales of vaccines drastically with its superior technology recognized as Korea’s largest vaccine exporting company, production facilities that meet WHO approval, and global quality standards. It will supply encephalomeningitis vaccines and pentavalent mixed vaccines, which are the first vaccines developed and commercialized in Korea, to overseas markets.