The government said it invested a total of 14.72 billion won ($12.34 million) in Kolon Life Science’s research and development of now-suspended drug Invossa-K. Industry watchers are paying attention to whether the government will retrieve the entire support funds.
Invossa is the first gene therapy drug in the world to treat osteoarthritis, which causes joint pain in the elderly.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s 14.72 billion won support for Invossa include 1.3 billion won through the ministry’s “new drug development support program” in 2002, 5.2 billion won through the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s “bio star project program” in 2005, and 8.2 billion won through the “high-tech biopharmaceuticals global market entry program” jointly by the health-welfare ministry and the Ministry of Science and ICT in 2015.
The government will decide whether it would recoup the state funds for Invossa by reviewing the food and drug ministry’s investigation results and relevance among research program supports, the health and welfare ministry said.
As the government has not completed the evaluation on the 8.2 billion won high-tech biopharmaceuticals global market entry program which ended as of 2018, the health and welfare ministry would soon hold an assessment committee meeting to accelerate the evaluation, the ministry said.
“By collaborating with other agencies, we will have a legal review for any wrongdoings in each research program, conduct a fact-finding investigation, and make special assessments,” the ministry said.
The Framework Act on Science and Technology states that if an entity performs R&D by fraud or other unlawful means, the government may restrict the entity’s participation in the national R&D projects and fully or partially recover project costs.
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