Celltrion announced on Nov. 5 that it will start phase 3 clinical trials of its patch-type donepezil, a medication that aims to treat people with Alzheimer’s disease, jointly with local drugmaker Icure.
Established in 2000, Icure is a Kosdaq-listed firm that possesses more than 50 patents related to the transdermal drug delivery system.
“As part of our project to develop chemical drugs, along with bio drugs, we are developing a patch-type donepezil,” a Celltrion official said in a statement. “We will continue to develop diverse treatments for patients with Alzheimer’s to prepare for the rapid rise in aging population.”
The company said it will finish recruiting patients for the clinical trials overseas by the year-end. The stage 3 clinical trials are currently being conducted in South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and Malaysia.
It also noted that it aims to receive approval for commercializing the patch here by 2020.
In June 2017, Celltrion signed a contract to jointly develop the drug with Icure and conducted phase 2 clinical trials.
According to health care data provider UBIST, the donepezil market here in 2018 is worth around 180 billion won ($155.4 million) and has been growing at around 13 percent annually in the last four years. The market is expected to top 250 billion won by 2021.
By Song Seung-hyun (email@example.com)