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'Superbug' fears bring antibiotics developers under spotlight
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2018.10.22 11:53
  • Updated 2018.10.22 11:53
  • comments 0

Investors are paying keen attention to antibiotics developers amid growing worries over the spread of “superbug,” or antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In Korea, iNtRON Biotechnology, CrystalGenomics, and LegoChem Biosciences are developing antibacterial treatments.

The three companies showed the steepest rise in stock prices among antibiotics-related firms on Friday.

On the tech-heavy KOSDAQ, iNtRON Biotechnology surged to close at 43,100 won ($38) on Friday, up 8.84 percent from the previous day. LegoChem Biosciences also jumped 8.06 percent to 49,600 won, and CrystalGenomics, 7.18 percent to 21,650 won.

Biotech companies categorized as “superbug-themed stocks” went bullish on Friday. Reyon Pharm, an exporter of the ingredient (arbekacin sulfate) for antibiotics that treat methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, gained 3.85 percent on Friday compared to the previous day.

LegoChem Biosciences is working on super bacteria antibiotics LCB10-0200, after establishing a joint venture Geom Therapeutics with U.S. experts in 2016. The company hopes to complete a global phase-1 study within the year and license-out the technology.

CrystalGenomics has recently finished conducting a phase-1 trial on CG-549 and completed a phase-2a study in the U.S., the company said.

According to the biotech firm, CG-549 is a new class of antibiotics that have never been used as antibiotics and had fewer side effects than conventional therapies in trials.

iNtRON Biotechnology is developing SAL-200, an antibacterial drug against MRSA and vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA), and NPA200, an antibiotic against super bacteria that includes Gram-negative bacteria.

The company hopes to see the outcome of the phase-2a study on SAL-200 within the year. The biotech firm said indications of its treatments would be able to treat other infectious diseases as well.

Super bacteria are resistant to most types of antibiotics.

Healthcare experts are raising concerns over the spread of super bacteria at hospitals vulnerable to infection control. Experts expect that infections with super bacteria will surge due to the abuse of antibiotics.

With the fears over super bacteria going global, the size of the antibiotics market will rapidly expand, analysts said.

hwz@docdocdoc.co.kr

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