Global bio industry giant Biogen is highly likely to enter Korea’s market, industry sources said Wednesday.
According to plural industry executives, Biogen has been preparing to introduce to Korea a new spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) therapy called Spinraza approved in Europe recently while trying to set up its Korean offshoot.
Biogen, a leader in the multiple sclerosis therapy market along with TEVA테바is a giant of biotechnology industry with $11.4 billion in sales last year.
Biogen has founded Samsung Bioepis삼성바이오에피스 in a joint venture with Samsung Biologics삼성바이오로직스, and is taking part in the pricing of the tie-up company’s products by item and country. It also has a right to buy up 49.9 percent of Samsung Bioepis shares, until 2018.
Spinraza is a new therapy for SMA and Roche로슈(Olesoxime), Novartis노바티스(LMI070), and Astellas아스텔라스(CK-2127107) are conducting clinical trials concerning its applicable diseases.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) approved Spinraza at the end of last year ahead of its competing products, and the Biogen’s therapy won product approval from European Medicines Agency(EMA), too. A nucleoside is the main compound of the drug supplied by the Korean bio company Pharmicell파미셀. In late 2014, early clinical trials about a new candidate substance BIIB037 for Alzheimer’s therapy showed it had improved cognitive ability.
Other major products include the multiple sclerosis therapies 'Tecfidera (compound: dimethyl fumarate)' and Avonex(compound: interferon beta-1a)'.
The industry predicts the size of the Korean branch may not be big given that it starts with a rare disease treatment, the sources said, noting, however, that Biogen might bring about considerable change on the workforce and products in the domestic pharmaceutical market.
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