UPDATE : Monday, September 7, 2020
SK Biopharmaceuticals to expand global presence with IPO
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2020.06.15 12:51
  • Updated 2020.06.16 14:41
  • comments 0

SK Biopharmaceuticals expressed its aspiration to become a global leader in the central nervous system (CNS) treatment market on the occasion of its initial public offering (IPO).

SK Biopharmaceutical CEO Cho Jeong-woo unveils the company’s goal in expanding its presence in the global market, during an online news conference on Monday.

“We will do our best to help the domestic pharmaceutical industry leap forward through our growth the global pharmaceutical market, starting with the launch of our CNS drugs in the United States,” SK Biopharmaceuticals CEO Cho Jeong-woo said during an online news conference Monday.

In late 2019, SK Biopharm became the first local firm to have two new drugs -- cenobamate and solriamfetol -- approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Solriamfetol, a sleep disorder treatment licensed out to Jazz Pharmaceutical, received a nod from the FDA in March last year, and cenobamate, in November.

The launch of cenobamate received considerable attention in Korea, too, as it was the first drug independently developed by a Korean company, from discovering a candidate to winning the FDA approval.

During the conference, Cho expressed the firm’s high expectations for the success of cenobamate.

“Patent expiration of major drugs related to epilepsy is expected within two years,” Cho said. “There are currently no cases where third-party treatments are being developed, and the company does not expect any competing drugs within the next five years.”

Cho stressed that the firm plans to maximize profits by directly marketing the drug.

“The company has established a direct sales network in the U.S. market through its subsidiary SK Life Science,” Cho said. “With the official launch of cenobamate, the company has hired more than 110 sales reps specializing in the marketing of CNS treatment.”

Cho also outlined the firm’s plans after completing its IPO.

“We will reinvest public funds secured through the IPO into researching, developing, and commercializing new drugs,” Cho said. “We are already developing new CNS drugs based on the abilities acquired through the launch of our two new products.”

New drugs mentioned by Cho include Carisbamate (Lennox-gastaut syndrome treatment), Relenopride (rare neurological disease treatment), SKL13865 (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder treatment), SKL20540 (schizophrenia treatment), SKL-PSY (manic depression treatment), and SKL24741 (epilepsy treatment).

“Carisbamate, which is undergoing late clinical trials, has received orphan drug designation by the FDA recently,” Cho said. “If approved, the company plans to sell Carisbamate directly in the U.S. and Asian markets.”

The company’s goal is to continue to develop therapeutics that have a high demand for unsatisfied products, and become a multinational pharmaceutical company, Cho added.


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