[THE INVESTOR] TissueGene, the US-based biopharmaceutical affiliate of Korea’s Kolon Life Science, said on Oct. 23 it is investing 154.6 billion won (US$136 million) into the development of Invossa, its cell and gene therapy for degenerative arthritis, more than doubling spending from the previously planned 96 billion won.
The company said 122.1 billion won will be spent on clinical trials in the US, which is crucial for the drug’s success, while 32.1 billion won and 400 million won will be used for production and marketing, respectively.
The huge funding plans come before the firm’s stock debut on Korea’s secondary KOSDAQ on Nov. 6.
“It is true that we will have cash flow after the initial public offering price was set at the highest range. But the increased investment is a strategic decision,” a TissueGene official told Maeil Economic Daily. “We decided to double the investment considering clinical trials in the US are crucial for Invossa’s growth.”
The Maryland-based company plans to initiate the phase 3 clinical trials of Invossa in the US next year hoping to bring it to the market by 2023.
The drug is designed as a single injection made directly into the knee joints to induce the regeneration of issue to treat moderate osteoarthritis. But it has yet to prove that it can help with regeneration, and has so far been approved only as a pain-reducer in Korea.
As of now, there is no treatment for osteoarthritis. Existing therapies, including steroid injections and other anti-inflammatory drugs, are only used for alleviating pain.
Except Asia, TissueGene owns the development and sales rights of the drug.
By Park Han-na (email@example.com)