South Korean biopharmaceutical company Polus said on Feb. 28 that it has started construction of a plant that will produce first-generation biosimilar products such as human growth hormone and insulin therapies.
The plant is located within a 48,000 square meter plot in Gyeonggi Province, and will be completed by February 2018.
Polus seeks to start global clinical trials of its biosimilar products -- a highly similar and likely less expensive version of original drugs -- in the June-September period next year with a plan to win approval for its new drugs for marketing in the United States and Europe by 2020.
Established in March 2016, Polus is a new player in the biopharma sector, but has attracted much attention as the company’s top executives are mostly from major pharma firms including Celltrion and Samsung BioLogics.
Polus CEO Nam Seung-heon served as vice president and president at Celltrion and Celltrion Healthcare, respectively. Co-founder and President Park Joo-ho worked at Celltrion and Samsung BioLogics.
While global drug makers and biopharma startups are focusing on the second biosimilar wave -- mostly related to monoclonal antibodies, Polus is focusing on the first-generation biosimilar market which has already been developed and various regulations and clinical protocols have been set up.
The company plans to maintain its global quality by getting approval in advanced markets such as the US and Europe, while significantly reducing its price to less than 50 percent of the original drugs.
So far, Polus has attracted 60 billion won (US$53 million) from foreign investors including Turkey’s Saya Group and US Quantum Bio Fund.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org