LG Chem said Wednesday that accumulated, combined sales of diabetes drug Zemiglo (ingredient: gemigliptin) and its combo agent Zemimet SR have exceeded 160 billion won ($148 million) since the launch of Zemiglo in 2012.
Zemiglo is an antidiabetic treatment that inhibits the DPP-4 enzyme, which is responsible for the inactivation and degradation of incretin hormones, while promoting insulin secretion in type 2 diabetes patients.
The drug’s annual revenue rapidly grew to 5.7 billion won in 2013 and was the first domestically developed drug to reach domestic annual sales of 55.7 billion won in 2016. This year, accumulated sales reached 55 billion won by the third quarter and the company expects an annual revenue of 70 billion won.
The conventional antidiabetic drugs normally pass out of the body through the kidney and the liver. However, if the pathway shifts solely to the kidney or the liver, there is a high risk of adverse effects as the drug accumulating in the body without proper excretion. Therefore, most of the existing DPP-4 inhibitors had to adjust dosage according to the progression of the kidney and liver disorders to prevent side effects.
Zemiglo resolved such inconveniences by balancing out the excretion of the drug in the kidney and liver, while making it more convenient for patients by delivering same treatment effects with just one 50-milligram tablet a day without any dosage adjustments. Its combo agent Zemimet SR also comes out smaller in size than existing treatments, making it easier for patients to take the drug.
The company has also expanded its Zemiglo lineup by releasing Zemiro, a treatment that offers the advantage of treating diabetes and dyslipidemia simultaneously, on Oct. 17.
“The success of Zemiglo is significant as it shows the strength of the domestic new drug in a market dominated by multinational pharmaceuticals companies,” said Son Jee-woong, head of LG Chem's Life Science Business Division. “The company plans to broaden its position in the global market with the differentiated competitiveness of Zemiglo.”
LG Chem also plans to accelerate its global market reach to 30 countries by 2020.
To achieve its goals, the company signed a licensing agreement for Zemiglo with multinational pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi and Stendhal. Currently, 11 countries such as India, Columbia, Costa Rica, Panama, and Ecuador have approved Zemiglo.
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