] Kolon Life Science said on May 11 it will invest 78.5 billion won (US$69.13 million) to build a new factory for its osteoarthritis drug Invossa which will be unveiled in Korea this year.
Once the new plant is completed in 2021, it will boost production of the cell-based osteoarthritis therapy by tenfold.
“The factory will enable mass production of Invossa, with capacity of 100,000 doses per year from the current 10,000,” a company official said.
Kolon Life Science is expects Invossa -- the world’s first cell-based therapy for osteoarthritis exhibiting disease-modifying capabilities -- to be a new revenue source.
“I invested one-third of my life in the company, and am determined to do the same for the future of Kolon and the success of the drug,” said Lee Woong-yeol, chairman of Kolon Group, while visiting the drug maker’s Chungju plant last month.
The existing arthritis treatment market is divided into drug treatment for mild patients and surgery treatment for serious patients. But Invossa is evaluated as “first-in-class” which can treat arthritis with injections without surgical treatment. Once the injection is given, the pain persists for a period of one to two years and the symptoms do not worsen, according to the firm.
Kolon Life Science expects that Invossa will clear regulatory hurdles here before June to begin sales later this year.
In November, the company partnered with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, which will handle the clinical trials and regulatory filing in Japan.
In the US, it has also completed phase 2 trials and received a Special Protocol Assessment designation for the next stage scheduled to begin in the second quarter 2017.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)