The Korea Herald


Boryung revs up anti-cancer drug production line at Yesan plant

By Lim Jeong-yeo

Published : Jan. 19, 2021 - 16:07

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Boryung Pharmaceutical`s Yesan Plant (Boryung Pharmaceutical) Boryung Pharmaceutical`s Yesan Plant (Boryung Pharmaceutical)
Boryung Pharmaceutical announced it had begun full-fledged use of its Yesan plant and more emphasis on anti-cancer products.

Boryung announced Tuesday that it had been producing plasma cell myeloma treatment Velkin from end-December at the Yesan plant, and is soon to send the bulk out to the market.

Once the company gains EU good manufacturing practices certification, which the company is preparing to apply for this year, Boryung’s anti-cancer products will make their way to the global market.

The 28,551-square-meter Yesan plant has a capacity of at least 6 million vials of anti-cancer drugs a year, and can triple that output if needs be.

“Boryung products have risen in competitiveness with the opening of the full-fledged Yesan production era,” said Lee Sam-soo, CEO of Boryung Pharmaceutical.

“We are now able to immediately meet the demands from the market, and we will build the foundations for the global market with a world-class production edge,” Lee said.

Velkin, or bortezomib trimer, is a plasma cell myeloma treatment that comes as a white powder in a vial. It needs to be dissolved for injection.

The company also plans within this year to begin production for powder-type oxaliplatin, a generic therapy for colorectal cancer. The original is Sanofi-Aventis’ Eloxatin, which is now available in liquid form.

Boryung completed construction of the Yesan plant in 2019. Since early 2020, the plant has been used to produce Boryung’s solid tablet drugs.

The plant’s anti-cancer drug production line later received the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety’s good manufacturing practices certification in November 2020.

Anti-cancer drugs are the path Boryung has carved out for itself.

In May 2020, Boryung acquired the rights for Eli Lilly’s pancreatic cancer treatment Gemzar in Korea. Other than Velkin and Gemzar, the company’s anti-cancer product portfolio also comprises Campto for metastatic colon cancer and Megace F Suspension for common side effects of cancer therapies such as irritable bowel, anemia, headaches, sleep disorders and fatigue.

ViGenCell, an innovative biotech firm in which Boryung Pharmaceutical holds a 29.5 percent stake, is on track to make an initial public offering in July. The Catholic University of Korea Technology Holdings controls 10.64 percent in ViGenCell, while 28.28 percent is also held by other parties.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (