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KRX to consider delisting original developer of disputed drug Invossa

Delisting decision to be made no later than July 26

South Korea’s main bourse operator Korea Exchange (KRX) has designated Kolon TissueGene, original developer of the recently invalidated joint inflammation treatment Invossa, as a potential delisting target, officials said Friday.

Kolon Life Science CEO Lee Woo-suk (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)
Kolon Life Science CEO Lee Woo-suk (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)

“A screening committee will be held within 15 working days (by July 26) to decide whether to delist (the company) or to grant a grace period for improvement,” KRX said in a public statement.

Kolon TissueGene, the US affiliate of Kolon Life Science, went public on the country’s secondary Kosdaq market in November 2017. The trading of its stocks will be suspended until a final decision is taken by a committee. The shares closed at 8,010 won ($6.80) on Friday.

Seoul’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Wednesday finalized its decision to revoke the permit for Invossa, after confirmation that one of the main materials was different from the original document and could potentially trigger tumors.

Prosecutors are currently conducting a probe to check the approval procedure of the drug.

Apologizing to angry patients and investors, Kolon Life Science CEO Lee Woo-suk reiterated on Thursday that the mislabeling was only due to system flaws in the early-stage development and that it was nevertheless safe for usage.

The company also offered a 15-year free medical check-up for patients, but hundreds of patients -- represented by OhKims Law & Co. -- expressed discomfort over the company’s investor-focused stance and are likely to take legal action.

By Bae Hyun-jung (