SK Chemicals said Thursday that it would co-market Forsteo, an osteoporosis treatment, with Lilly Korea.
Under the accord, Lilly will be in charge of marketing and sales activities for general hospitals and a portion of midsized hospitals, while SK Chemicals will be in charge marketing and sales activities for the remaining midsize hospitals and local clinics.
Forsteo is the world's first bone growth stimulator that offers a new treatment paradigm by promoting bone formation in osteoporosis patients. Unlike existing osteoporosis treatment, which inhibits the release of calcium from bone to blood, the drug increases the proliferation and activity of the osteoblasts involved in the formation of new bones.
The drug has become a significant option for treating severe osteoporosis through after receiving sales approval in 2006 and insurance coverage in 2016.
In 2017, the drug posted a record high 16.3 billion won ($15.2 million) in local sales and became the market leader after surpassing sales of conventional treatments in the osteoporosis drug market.
“By offering the optimal treatment option for patients with severe osteoporosis, the company is leading the market by leading to a change in the paradigm of osteoporosis treatment," Lilly Korea CEO Paul Henry Huibers. “We expect that the agreement will help us deliver the drug more smoothly and rapidly to medical professionals and patients.”
SK Chemicals also showed enthusiasm toward the agreement.
“SK Chemicals and Lily Korea has already experienced joint sales partnership with Cymbalta, an antidepressant drug last year,” SK Chemicals CEO Jeon Kwang-hyun. “The company will actively engage in marketing and sales activities so that more patients can benefit from Forsteo.”
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