[THE INVESTOR] South Korea’s Hanmi Pharmaceutical said on Jan.4 it will launch its dual-action drug for hyperlipidemia, Rosuzet, across global markets in partnership with US pharmaceutical giant Merck Sharp & Dohme.
The two have newly entered a licensing partnership under which MSD will take charge of selling Hanmi’s Rosuzet across 23 countries, excluding Korea. Hanmi said it could not specify the given countries due to contract stipulations.
Rosuzet is a dual-action drug combining two active ingredients -- ezetimibe and rosuvastatin. It treats hyperlipidemia, a chronic illness caused by an overabundance of lipids, such as fats, cholesterol and triglycerides, in the blood.
Under the partnership, Hanmi will take charge of developing and producing Rosuzet while MSD will carry out the drug’s marketing and sales in the 23 countries.
It is the second time for Hanmi and MSD to co-promote a product developed by the Korean drug company. In 2009, the two signed a partnership for the global launch of Hanmi’s hypertension treatment Amosartan, also known as Cozaar XQ, which combines amlodipine with losartan.
“Under the partnership, Hanmi will be able to successfully launch Rosuzet in global markets by utilizing MSD’s global sales and marketing networks,” said Hanmi Pharmaceutical CEO Lee Kwan-sun.
“We plan to continue engaging in additional talks over expanding our partnership to include more countries,” Lee said.
Having kicked off 2017 with a new partnership announcement, Hanmi Pharmaceutical apologized for its mishaps in 2016, including delaying key disclosures on sensitive licensing deals that caused the company’s share price to plunge and prompted a legal investigation.
“We deeply apologize for our shortcomings in 2016 and pledge to emerge as a more trustworthy pharmaceutical company this year,” Hanmi said in a recent statement.
In September last year, the Korean drugmaker was heavily criticized for belatedly making a disclosure that Boehringer Ingelheim had terminated its license partnership with Hanmi over a new lung cancer treatment.
Hanmi’s share price also took a steep fall in December when it announced the reduction of a licensing partnership it had entered with Sanofi over a set of new long-acting diabetes treatments.
Hanmi said it is determined to regain public trust and make efforts to ensure that the remainder of the drugs it has licensed out global pharmaceutical companies can reach commercialization.
By Sohn Ji-young/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)