Dong-A ST’s diabetes drug Valera to launch in India

By Lim Jeong-yeo
  • Published : Mar 18, 2019 - 16:19
  • Updated : Mar 18, 2019 - 17:16

South Korean pharmaceutical company Dong-A ST’s diabetes treatment Suganon will launch in India on April 1.

The drug will sell under a localized new name, Valera, which in Latin means “strong.” A change of name is common for drugs when they launch overseas where original names may have already been taken by other legal entities.

Suganon, or Valera, is a novel drug developed by Dong-A ST. India is the first overseas nation where the drug will be launched.

Valera (Dong-A ST)

Dong-A ST had licensed out Suganon’s development and sales in India and Nepal to Alkem Laboratories, based in Mumbai, in 2012.

Alkem completed phase 3 clinical trials in September 2018, and gained approval from the drug controller general of India in December of the same year.

Once commercialization kicks into action, Dong-A ST will supply Alkem with the product ingredient. Alkem will produce, sell and take care of the marketing.

Alkem, established in 1973, is India’s sixth-biggest pharma firm in terms of sales. The company has over 750 pharma products and conducts business in over 50 countries, including the US.

According to Dong-A ST, the global market for diabetes treatments grew 15 percent in 2018. Sales of single-agent dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitor drugs recorded 183 billion won ($162 million), up 9 percent on-year, while compound DDP-4 drug sales recorded 312 billion won, up 22 percent on-year. India has approximately 73 million diabetic patients, second worldwide only to China.

Following the launch in India, Dong-A ST anticipates a chain of global launches of Suganon in 17 countries in Latin America as well as Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

Dong-A ST licensed out the rights to Suganon to Brazilian pharmaceutical firm Eurofarma in 2014, and to Russian firm Geropharm in 2015. Phase 3 clinical trials have been concluded in Brazil and Russia, where local partners are preparing to apply for governmental approval.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (