Korean pharmaceutical Handok said Thursday it signed an exclusive sales agreement with Actelion Pharmaceuticals Korea to sell its pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) drug, Uptravi (selexipag) in the local market.
|Handok CEO Kim Young-jin (left) signs the supply and distribution agreement for Uptravi with Actelion Pharma Korea’s CEO Hiroaki Tanaka Thursday in Seoul, Korea.|
PAH is a rare, progressed disorder caused by high blood pressure in the lung. Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension include dyspnea, fainting, chest pain, and edema, among others.
The partnership is the latest between the two companies. Handok had previously launched the Swiss pharmaceutical’s hypertension drugs Tracleer (bosentan) in 2006 and Opsumit (macitentan) in 2016.
“The addition of Uptravi to Tracleer and Opsumit provides more treatment options for PAH patients,” said Handok CEO Kim Young-jin. “We will do our best to help more patients with the condition to live a healthy life with Actelion.”
Uptravi gained the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety’s approval in 2016, after winning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s go-ahead in 2015, according to Handok. The orally active, selective IP prostacyclin receptor agonist is sold in three doses to be taken twice a day.
The drug is the only PAH treatment insured as a sequential three-agent combination therapy in Korea, Handok said. The drug proved to slash death and morbidity risks by 40 percent compared to a placebo in the GRIPHON study on 1,156 PAH patients, it added.
“Uptravi is an oral therapeutic agent that eliminates the inconvenience of other prostacyclin-type treatments that are injected or inhaled,” said Actelion Pharma Korea’s CEO Hiroaki Tanaka. “I am pleased to provide Uptravi, a new pulmonary arterial hypertension drug, to Korean patients.”
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