L&C Bio, Korea’s leading provider of skin graft materials, will launch its human skin allograft MegaDerm in China after July next year when a large-scale manufacturing site is completed, the company’s chief executive Lee Hwan-cheol told Maeil Business Newspaper last week.
The tissue engineering company established a joint venture in China last year with China International Capital Corp. (CICC) and attracted $200 million to build a local production center in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province. Lee said local marketing of MegaDerm is expected to begin timed with the site completion and regulatory clearance about 15 months later. He also said sales are projected to be 300 billion won ($270 million) in the first year and annual sales will soon surpass 1 trillion won in China, where patients still rely on xenograft, skin taken from an animal source.
MegaDerm uses donated human skin that undergoes a proprietary process to remove the epidermis and the cells that can lead to tissue rejection.
[Photo provided by L&C Bio]
L&C Bio has maintained market leadership in Korea, elbowing out U.S. Allergan. MegaDerm’s market share stands at 50 percent, about three-fold higher than that of Allergan’s AlloDerm. L&C Bio is the first Korean company that successfully localized skin allograft materials.
Lee said he will push for a 10 trillion won initial public offering (IPO) deal for joint venture L&C Bio China in 2023 in cooperation with CICC.
CICC is the largest investment institution in China established in 1995 by China Construction Bank and Morgan Stanley. The institution was once led by Levin Zhu, the eldest son of Zhu Rongji, a former Premier of the People`s Republic of China. Most of expenses for launching L&C Bio products will be covered by CICC, Lee said.
L&C Bio is planning to launch MegaCarti, a cartilage treatment, as a new growth driver in Korea. Once injected, the cartilage treatment derived from human sources can work over the patient’s lifetime unlike artificial joints, Lee said.
Preclinical data amount to 3,000 cases and clinical trials are underway in 90 patients at Severance Hospital, Korea University Anam Hospital, Gangnam Severance Hospital, and Ilsan Hospital.
The domestic degenerative arthritis care market is valued at 1.3 trillion won, and the Chinese market is 20 times larger, Lee added.
By Kim Si-gyun and Minu Kim
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