[THE INVESTOR] South Korean biotech companies are making their presence felt in the global gene-based medicine market that is estimated to exceed US$790 million next year, a report said on July 5.
Kolon Life Science, Sillajen and Viromed are conducting four of the 25 phase-3 clinical trials for gene medicine under way around the globe, with Kolon pursuing what may be the world‘s first such medicine for osteoarthritis.
According to a report from the Biotech Policy Research Center, the global gene medicine market that was $8.9 million in 2008 is expected to hit $794 million next year, an average 64.7 percent annual growth. The pace of genetic research and its medicinal application has picked up, also expediting gene-editing technology CRISPR.
“The gene-editing technology market will likely reach $2.3 billion by 2022 through an annual growth of 36.2 percent,” Kim Moo-woong, a senior researcher at the center, projected. “The technology will greatly influence the development of gene medicine.”
Kolon officials said the company plans to submit Invossa, the gene drug for osteoarthritis, for approval by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety within this week. A formal approval would make Invossa the world’s first medicine for the degenerative joint disease.
Company officials said Invossa has market potential, differentiated from other approved drugs that mostly are for rare forms of disease.
“Osteoarthritis is a condition highly common in aging societies. There will be a big enough market,” a Kolon official said.