UPDATE : Tuesday, March 19, 2019
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Local drugmakers shift focus to convenient drugs
  • By So Jae-hyeon
  • Published 2018.02.27 14:26
  • Updated 2018.02.27 14:26
  • comments 0

Local drugmakers are diversifying their strategies into developing novel drugs.

Unlike in the past when local firms tried to find another agent that works the same with original drugs developed by multinational drugmakers, they are now seeking to improve patient convenience of new medicines.

GC Pharm has recently confirmed in a non-clinical trial that its new hemophilia treatment MG1121, being developed in collaboration with the Mogam Insitute for Biomedical Research, has more than three times longer half-life than conventional drugs.

The company unveiled the study results in December at the 59thh American Society of Hematology’s annual conference in Atlanta in the U.S., saying the investigational therapy had a longer drug duration.

Having more than three times longer half-life means the drug can become a long-acting hemophilia treatment.

While existing hemophilia drugs are injected once every two to four days, MG1121 may be able to be used once a week.

Hanmi Pharmaceutical is also eyeing overseas markets with longer-effective products, using technologies that enable Long Acting Protein/Peptide Discovery (LAPSCOVERY).

Experimental drugs under LAPSCOVERY include neutropenia treatment Glucagon Analog (HM15136) and GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1) antidiabetic drug Efpeglenatide.

Earlier, Hanmi pharm unveiled “Pentam Body,” a next-generation dual antibody platform technology that allows an antibody to bind to two different targets simultaneously, adding distinction to their new drug development strategies.

JW Pharmaceutical aims to create an innovative drug using URC102.

URC102, a new treatment for gout being developed jointly with Chugai Pharmaceutical under Roche Holding, is expected to have a therapeutic effect in patients with "renal underexcretion of uric acid," in which uric acid accumulates in the body without being released.

Although 90 percent of gout patients suffer from renal underexcretion of uric acid, there is no treatment for this particular disorder. Currently, gout remedies are more than 30 years old.

If URC102 can be commercialized, it can become a milestone treatment for gout, JW Pharmaceutical said.

“Local drugmakers have made big progress in technologies for drug substance development. It may take some time to apply such technologies to all of the products, but some firms are using their technologies to develop treatments in many studies,” a researcher at a drugmaker said.

In the generics market, companies are setting a new direction for new drugs and incrementally modified drugs, he added.


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