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Daewoong seeks global expansion of Fexuprazan

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : June 5, 2023 - 16:30

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South Korean drugmaker Daewoong Pharmaceutical's headquarters (Daewoong Pharmaceutical) South Korean drugmaker Daewoong Pharmaceutical's headquarters (Daewoong Pharmaceutical)

South Korean drugmaker Daewoong Pharmaceutical said Monday that it is in talks with multinational pharmaceutical companies to carry out clinical trials of Fexuprazan, its new gastroesophageal reflux disease treatment, in key markets such as the US, Europe and Japan.

The announcement comes after Daewoong ended its partnership with US biotech firm Neurogastrx on the same day.

Earlier in June 2021, Daewoong signed an agreement to license out Fexuprazan to the US biotech firm. Under the contract worth $430 million in total, Daewoong gave sales rights to Fexuprazan to Neurogastrx.

Daewoong then received milestone payments and was also expected to receive royalties based on the treatment’s future sales in the US and Canada.

However, as the two companies agreed to terminate the contract, US biotech firm Neurogastrx has returned its license involving sales rights and development of Fexuprazan, Daewoong said.

“Neurogastrx agreed to terminate the contract after deciding that the company no longer wants to develop Fexuprazan,” an official from Daewoong said.

“Daewoong also wants to find new partners who can accelerate the development process of Fexuprazan since sales of the drug have been already approved in the domestic market,” the official added.

Daewoong, however, does not have to return its 5 percent stake in Neurogastrx, which the company acquired when licensing out the treatment, the company said.

“(Daewoong Pharmaceutical) will speed up its development and launch of Fexuprazan in overseas countries, through which it aims to secure a total of 1 trillion won ($765 million) in sales by 2030,” Daewoong Pharmaceutical CEO Jeon Seung-ho said.