LG Chem said Wednesday that it has launched Eucept, an Enbrel biosimilar (ingredient: etanercept), in Korea.
Enbrel is one of the most purchased drugs worldwide with an estimated $8.87 billion in sales in 2016. It has applications for autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and other inflammatory conditions.
LG Chem plans to expand its share in the domestic market of approximately 20 billion won ($17.8 million) based on differentiated competitiveness, such as securing drug efficacy and safety data through large-scale clinical trials and improving injection convenience.
Besides confirming the efficacy of the original drug, the clinical trial also demonstrated excellent safety results, including a significantly lower rate of adverse events associated with the injection sites.
LG Chem also extended its clinical trial for 48 weeks to check the efficacy and safety of switching from the original drug to Eucept. As a result, the company confirmed that even if the patient who had taken the original medication for 52 weeks changed to Eucept, the drug’s efficacy and safety extended over the 100-week period.
Unlike other Enbrel biosimilar competitors that use self-injection methods, the company has applied an auto-injection method with slimmer needles, making the injection procedure more comfortable and less painful for patients.
“We will expand our position in the domestic market based on differentiating strategy by, for instance, accumulating clinical data for Koreans and increasing the convenience of injection,” said Son Jee-woong, head of LG Chem's Life Science Business Division.
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