Dong-A ST said Monday that it would start marketing Suganon, an independently developed dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitor for diabetes, as Valera in India.
|Dong-A ST's diabetes treatment Valera|
The drug’s advantage can be administered regardless of meals. Also, the small size of the tablets compared to other drugs makes it highly convenient for patients with chronic diseases and compliance. Patients with renal impairment can also take the medication without adjusting the dose.
The launch in India marks the first commercialization of the company’s product in a foreign country.
Dong-A also held a launching ceremony with Alkem Laboratories, its Indian partner, and plans to sell the product from April.
Alkem, founded in 1973, is one of India's leading pharmaceutical companies. It develops, manufactures and sells raw materials, generic medicines and health functional foods, and has more than 750 products with operations in more than 50 countries, including the U.S.
The launch comes after Dong-A ST signed a licensing-out agreement to develop and commercialize the drug in India and Nepal with Alkem in 2012. Since then, Alkem has completed phase 3 clinical trials in September of last year and received approval from the Drug Controller General of India in December.
Following successful commercialization, Dong-A will supply the raw materials to Alkem, while Alkem will be responsible for the production, sales, and marketing of finished products in India.
According to Dong-A ST, the number of people with diabetes in India is about 73 million, the second largest in the world after China, and the overall diabetes market grew 15 percent last year.
Among them, the sales of single DPP-4 type products increased 9 percent to 183 billion won ($161.1 million), while complex DDP-4 products grew 22 percent to 312 billion won.
“The launch in India marks the first release of Suganon overseas, and we expect it will be the cornerstone of the sequential launch of Sugaron in other regions,” a company official said. “As Suganon, the flagship product of Dong-A ST, is expanding its sales in Korea, we expect sales to expand in overseas markets as well.”
The company also expects to launch the product in Latin America and Russia. Its partners in the region have already completed phase 3 clinical trial for the drug and are in the process of receiving approval.
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