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S. Korean HIV medicine to be sold in China

KRICT's logo (KRICT)
KRICT's logo (KRICT)

Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology announced Thursday that a domestically developed HIV medicine has recently received regulatory approval for commercialization in China.

This new medicine was first developed by a local research team as part of a project started in 1995, supported by the Ministry of Science and ICT.

In 2006, US pharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences joined the project and co-developed a treatment candidate in 2008. The technology was sold to local biotech firm Kainos Medicine in 2012, which later signed a contract with Jiangsu Aidea Pharmaceuticals for sales rights in China.

The new treatment consists of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, which can prevent HIV from making copies of itself.

KRICT confirmed that it is safe to use the treatment in combination with other HIV medicines. The HIV medicine is also potent against the majority of HIV strains found around the globe.

The institute said that the new treatment can be also introduced to countries in Africa and Latin America in the future.

The global HIV drugs market is currently estimated to be worth 16 trillion won ($13.5 billion), in which Gilead Sciences holds around 60 to 70 percent stake, according to KRICT. The market is expected to grow annually by 1.7 percent, the institute added.

By Shim Woo-hyun (