Pharmicell said Friday that it has made the first shipments according to the Methoxy-Polyethylene glycol (mPEG) supply contract with UCB, a multinational biopharmaceutical company. The company also received new orders worth 900 million won ($730,000) from Nektar Therapeutics of the United States.
Pharmicell said it expects that revenue from mPEG alone would increase to 5 billion won this year, compared with 2.9 billion won in 2019, as the market of mPEG derivatives for therapeutics began to grow in earnest this year.
The mPEG is a carrier that effectively delivers a new protein drug within the body, used for the drug delivery technology called "pegylation." Pegylation refers to a technique that binds PEG to a protein to increase the efficacy of the new protein drug and inhibit resistance in continuous use.
A company official said that Pharmicell has a contract for the supply of mPEG with Belgium-based UCB and a business relationship with Germany’s Merck, adding that Nektar therapeutics and Sunbio are also its major buyers.
“Global pharmaceutical giants want a deal with Pharmicell because they want a company that can mass-produce stably,” the official said in a news release.
New drugs developed by using mPEG cannot be produced with other ingredients because of the characteristics of polymer compounds of mPEG, he noted. “This means that the developers have to continuously use our polymers during the sales of their products, which is the base of our expectation for further growth," he said.
Pharmicell expanded production capacity at its factories in Ulsan two years ago to meet the demand from global pharmaceuticals. Supply volume and sales are likely to increase every year as the UCB, which has signed a contract with Pharmicell, continues to expand the indications of its bestseller, Cimzia, thanks to approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In the United States, Cimzia is indicated for treating seven disorders, including ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and Crohn's disease, with axial spondyloarthritis, it said.
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