Ildong Pharmaceutical invested over 100 billion won in R&D for the first time last year, spurring the development of major new drugs. The main area for new drug development is metabolic disease such as diabetes mellitus and steatohepatitis.
On 9th May, Ildong Pharmaceutical revealed that it had invested a total of 108.2 billion won in R&D last year. This accounts for 20% of the sales revenue, 559.1 billion won during the same period.
In the first quarter of this year, Ildong also invested 26.1 billion won in R&D budget, which was 17% of the Q1 sales, 133.1 billion won, intensifying its active effort in new drug development.
Ildong explained that the last year’s R&D investment of 108.2 billion won was the largest scale so far, given that usually over 10% of the sales revenue had been invested. The R&D budget was increased to achieve the goal to gain the status of a global innovative drug development company, it says.
In addition, its strategy is that it would develop and add new drug candidates to R&D pipelines as many as possible, and create favourable conditions for securing new material rights and technology transfer.
Ildong has over 10 new drug candidates in various areas including cancer, diabetes mellitus, liver disease, lung disease, gastrointestinal disease, eye disease and neuropsychosis.
Most of all, it shows visible progress in metabolic disease such as diabetes mellitus and steatohepatitis, by promoting global clinical trials and securing domestic and global intellectual properties.
‘IDG16177’ in development as the drug for type 2 diabetes mellitus is a new drug candidate in the family of GPR40 agonists that regulates blood glucose by activating G-protein coupled receptor 40 (GPR40) in pancreatic beta cells to induce the secretion of insulin.
‘IDG16177’ induces the secretion of insulin selectively when the blood glucose level is high, and thus can minimize the side effect of hypoglycemia due to medication.
In animal studies, it showed a superior effect of lowering blood glucose at the 10 – 30 times lower doses compared to similar competing drugs.
Last year, it obtained an IND approval for IDG16177 from the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) of Germany, and is currently conducting a phase 1 clinical trial there.
‘ID110521156’, another drug candidate for type 2 diabetes mellitus, is undergoing preclinical stages such as application for an IND approval and preparation for clinical trials.
An official of Ildong Pharmaceutical said, “We will proceed step by step to obtain various clinical research data to prove the efficacy of new drug candidates and secure competitiveness, and move on for their commercialization,” and “We plan to invest more in R&D than last year’s allocation.”
[WIKI KOREA=Kim Sun, Reporter]