The Korea Herald


Dream Pharma works on superbug treatment

By Korea Herald

Published : Dec. 28, 2011 - 20:56

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Dream Pharma Corp., a Korean drug maker, will develop new treatment for superbugs to cater to soaring demand for drugs against the fatal bacteria.

The Hanwha-affiliate said Wednesday it clinched a deal with LegoChem Biosciences Inc. for joint research and commercialization of the bioventure’s novel product.

The drug candidate known as LCB01-0371 has been proven superior to Pfizer Inc. Zyvox in treating superbugs, which are resistant to nearly all existing antibiotics, Dream Pharma said.

Clinical trials in the U.S. also showed that the product had almost no side effects like bone marrow suppression, and its high solvency could make it injectable, the company added.

The two partners plan to embark on the first-phase clinical trial at the Asan Medical Center in Seoul in January.

Superbug made headlines last year as it spread to Britain and the U.S. among travelers who had surgery in India. Nearly 20,000 people die each year in the U.S. as a result of their infection with drug-resistant bacteria, data shows. In Korea, some 5,000 patients received related treatment during the first half of the year alone.

The U.S. drug giant’s Zyvox, one of the world’s top-selling antibiotics, generated $1.4 billion in sales last year. Cubist Pharmaceuticals’s Cubicin sold more than $600 million.

“We will aggressively target the global market as demand is expected to grow in China and other countries,” said Lee Je-won, Dream Pharma’s chief developer, valuing the market at 4 trillion won ($3.5 billion) as of end-2010.

By Shin Hyon-hee (