AstraZeneca Korea will likely seek a new local sales partner for its antidiabetic drug Forxiga (ingredient: dapagliflozin), an SGLT-2 inhibitor selling 30 billion won ($275 million) a year, and combo treatment Xigduo (ingredients: dapagliflozin, metformin).
The company signed an agreement with CJ HealthCare in April 2014 to co-promote Forxiga for prescription sales at hospitals and clinics.
However, industry sources said the two firms are taking steps to go separate ways, four years after the agreement.
According to data from U-BIST, Forxiga’s prescription sales posted 25.77 billion won, and Xigduo, 5.07 billion won, in 2017.
The pharmaceutical industry is watching which local drugmaker will become a new partner of AstraZeneca to sell the two popular drugs that sell 30 billion won a year together.
Rumors are circulating that possible candidates include Ildong Pharmaceutical, Daewoong Pharmaceutical, SK Pharmaceutical and Hanmi Pharmaceutical.
Ildong recently expanded the diabetes sales business. Another company, among the four, reportedly replaced the product manager for diabetes business, apparently getting ready to sell a new antidiabetic drug.
However, some industry sources questioned whether the sale of Forxiga and Xigduo would lead to good profits because the two drugs offer low commission on sales, at around 15-20 percent.
“As early as in March, AstraZeneca may change the seller. Some of the local drugmakers desperately hope to be its partner. In the end, how much the sales commission can be will decide the sales partner,” a pharmaceutical source said.
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