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Amgen, Chong Kun Dang to sell osteoporosis drug in Korea
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2017.09.13 18:33
  • Updated 2017.09.13 18:33
  • comments 0

Amgen Korea said it signed a joint promotion agreement with Korean pharmaceutical Chong Kun Dang to sell its osteoporosis biologic drug Prolia.

Related : Amgen’s extended trial for osteoporosis treatment brings good results

"This partnership is aimed at realizing Amgen's value to provide better, more innovative medicines to Korean patients, and will serve a significant milestone in future movements,” said Amgen Korea암젠코리아 CEO Noh Sang-kyung노상경. “We are pleased to cooperate with our first domestic partner Chong Kun Dang종근당, which has an excellent sales force and position in the local market."

Chong Kun Dang CEO Kim Young-joo (left) and Amgen Korea CEO Noh Sang-kyung commemorate the signing of the joint promotion agreement for Prolia in Seoul Wednesday.

The agreement comes as the first joint contract made between a multinational company and a Korean firm for a biologic osteoporosis treatment in Korea.

Amgen will sell and market Prolia in large hospitals while Chong Kun Dang will do so for small- to medium-sized ones and neighborhood clinics starting Wednesday, Amgen said.

Chong Kun Dang’s CEO Kim Young-joo김영주 also stated that the company would “strengthen its position in the domestic musculoskeletal market by including the new, innovative osteoporosis treatment into its product line.”

Chong Kun Dang has been steadily increasing its market share in the musculoskeletal drug market with products such as Imotun, an anti-osteoarthritis drug, and Coxbito, an anti-inflammatory analgesic, the company’s CEO said.

Prolia (ingredient: denosumab) is the first and only biologic injection to gain the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety's approval, in November. The hypodermic injection is administered once every six months to postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

The drug is currently going through a review process for insurance coverage, according to a Chong Kun Dang official, which, if successful, “will allow patients to get the drug at a low price.” The drug is currently uninsured.

Related : New osteoporosis therapy causes curiosity about drug price

The innovative drug targets Receptor Activator of Nuclear factor Kappa-B Ligand (RANKL) proteins which are essential for forming, activating, and prolonging osteoclasts, a type of bone cell that breaks down bone tissue.

Due to the rapid population aging, people over 65 are projected to reach 35.6 percent by 2045, increasing the prevalence of osteoporosis and increasing socioeconomic costs. Because the characteristics of osteoporosis do not have apparent symptoms until fracture, diagnosis rate is lower than other chronic diseases, making preventive fracture treatments essential, the company said.

“We expect this joint venture to produce synergy from a combination of Amgen’s technological prowess as a world-class biotechnology company and Chong Kun Dang’s long-established sales force proven in the domestic market to expand Prolia’s presence in the local market,” Amgen said.


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