With South Korean biotech firm Genexine
set to complete phase 2 clinical trials of its long-acting growth hormone treatment later this year, investors and analysts expect the company to sign more license deals with global drug makers.
“Given that there is a high demand for long-acting compounds in the growth hormone market among global players, there are growing possibilities that Genexine could enter technology transfer agreements with them,” said Sun Min-jung, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment.
|Genexine president and CEO H. Michael Keyoung|
GX-H9, which is targeted for the treatment of adult and pediatric growth hormone deficiency, is undergoing phase 2 trials on children in Europe and the study is set to end in the second quarter of 2017. The interim study results will be presented at Endocrine Society’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, US, in April.
The treatment is being held up as a possible blockbuster drug that would provide a once-weekly alternative to current human growth hormone products that need daily dosage.
“Not many global drug makers that sell daily hormone injections have long-acting therapies in their pipeline,” Sun said.
Currently, the market’s top six pharmaceutical giants, including Pfizer, Novo Nordisk Pharma and Roche, are holding dominant market share of 94 percent in daily human growth hormone products.
The market size for growth hormone is currently US$4 billion globally and expected to grow at an annual rate of 5 percent, according to Genexine.
However, taking the lead in the market can be challenging for Genexine as it is lagging behind other long-acting growth hormone developers vying to be first to market their products, including OPKO, Novo Nordisk, Ascendis Pharma and Versartis which have their candidates in late-stage testing.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)