[THE INVESTOR] Korean biotech company BIOCND has attracted investment from a venture capital firm for a new plant that will manufacture wrinkle-fighting botulinum toxin products.
According to a regulatory filing on June 4, Dt & Investment bought 1 billion won (US$871,300) worth of convertible bonds was recently issued by BIOCND.
“The majority of the funds will be used to operate the plant in Gangneung, which will be completed this week,” a BIOCND official said. He added the BIOCND, currently listed on the KONEX, the country’s third stock market for small firms, plans to move to the second-tier KOSDAQ next year.
The fresh funds follow an investment of 6.5 billion won in 2015 from a handful of venture capital companies, such as Mirae Asset Venture Investment and KDB Capital that are on the lookout for promising biotech start-ups. The Gangneung production site will be dedicated to producing BCD200, a botulinum toxin type A for treating wrinkles.
Founded in 2009, the company is currently developing three biosimilar candidates referencing blockbuster drugs including AbbVie‘s rheumatoid arthritis treatment Humira, Roche’s oncology therapy Avastin and Novartis’s eye drug Lucentis. None of the company’s biosimilar products have been marketed yet. Among them, its version of Avastin is in the most advanced stage of development, undergoing phase 3 clinical trials.
Meanwhile, BIOCND’s biosimilar versions of the Humira and Lucentis have been licensed out to two Chinese drug makers Genor Biopharma and Qilu Pharmaceuticals, respectively.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)