Daewoong Pharm Co. announced on Wednesday it has started the distribution of its generic antibiotics Meropenem across the U.S., marking the first time that a Korean-made generic medicine was launched in the world’s largest pharmaceutical market.
Meropenem represents Daewoong Pharm’s first drug product exported to the U.S. and Korea’s first generic drug launched in the country. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2015 and local marketing activities began this month.
Meropenem is a generic version of AstraZeneca’s Merem, a broad-spectrum carbapenem antibiotic which controls mild and severe infections. Merem has shown better efficacy and fewer side effects. The U.S. market for this antibiotic class was valued at $145 million in 2015.
Daewoong Pharm expects its drug will be supplied to the market in a stable manner given highly unmet needs for treatment with antibiotics there. Analysts forecast Meropenem exports to the U.S. will reach about 10 billion won ($8.8 million) this year. Shares of Daewoong Pharm closed Thursday at 93,600 won, down 0.32 percent or 300 won from the previous session.
Daewoong Pharm plans to expand exports of its major products along with the launch of Meropenem in the first half of this year. It also aims to complete the submission of an NDA to the FDA for its self-developed botulinum toxin Nabota within this year.
By Kim Yoon-jin
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